Have you lost the pleasure in the things you once loved? Finding yourself withdrawing from going out with friends or having a hopeless outlook on life? These are some of the many symptoms of a mood disorder called depression. You shouldn't have to live your life in constant guilt or find it extremely challenging to do normal tasks like socializing with friends or even getting out of bed.
You may be stuck asking yourself why is dealing with depression so difficult? Depression drains every bit of energy, drive, and hope you have, making it difficult to take the next steps that will help you. Taking the first step will always be the hardest, but by following small positive steps day by day, you'll soon lift that heavy weight of depression off your chest and find yourself feeling happier, healthier, and more hopeful again.
While you may feel guilty for neglecting certain relationships in your life, staying connected to other people and taking part in social activities will make a world of difference in your mood and outlook. Reaching out doesn't have to mean a sign of weakness, your loved ones care about you and want to be there to support!
Taking part in relaxing and energizing activities will help you overcome your depression. While you can't force yourself, you can motivate yourself to take part in things you enjoy (or used to). Try to develop a “wellness toolbox” to help deal with your depression. Come up with a list of things you can do for a quick mood boost. The more “tools” you have the better.
Whether that involves you staying active to creating a healthy diet, these are both crucial steps to overcoming your depression. Exercise is known to be a powerful depression fighter. Research shows that regular exercise can be as effective as medication for relieving depression symptoms! Not to mention what you eat can also have a direct impact on how you feel.
Feeling powerless and hopeless is a common symptom of depression. It can change the way you see yourself and your future. When these types of thoughts overwhelm you, it's important to remember that it's only a symptom of your depression and these irrational attitudes (known as cognitive distortions) aren't realistic. Create a lifelong pattern of thinking so that it becomes automatic even when you're not completely aware of it. Identify the destructive thoughts and challenge them with questions such as “what's the evidence that this is true? Not true?”, or “ What would I tell a friend who had this though?”
If you have tried these steps and still find your depression getting worse, seek professional help. Needing professional help doesn't mean you're weak. Depression can be treated. Help get yourself on the right track to improve your mood and overall well being.