Overcoming Depression Tip Sheet
Overcoming Depression Tip Sheet
By John Thurman
Depression is a serious medical condition that affects the body, mind and spirit. It impacts the way one thinks about everything. A depressive disorder is not the same thing as feeling down, or having a little case of the blues. It is not a sign of weakness or a condition than can simply be wished, willed or prayed away. People with a depressive illness cannot simply “just suck it up and get on with life.” Without recognizing and treating depression its symptoms can last for weeks, months even years. It can ultimately take your life through suicide. The good news is that there are a number of proven treatment options that can alleviate or at least manage depression. These treatment options may include treatment with medication, talk therapy, nutrition, exercise and even exercising spiritual disciplines.
In a given 1-year period, 9.5 percent of the population, or about 18.8 million American adults suffer from a depressive illness.
While the economic cost associated with depression is high, the human cost cannot begin to be estimated. The power of depression first impacts the individual and then moves through the family, the community and the workplace causing pain and discomfort for all that are affected by it.
While all this sounds like gloom and doom and may make a person feel even more depressed, there are things you can do right now that can have a positive affect on you or some who you love that may be depressed. To move in the direction of health, you first have to have some idea of what is going on. If you have at least five of the following symptoms you could be have a depressive disorder.
If some of these symptoms sound familiar and if you think you are depressed you should contact your family physician and discuss your symptoms. Your physician will be able to help you develop a clearer picture of what is going on and should be able to assist you in your recovery. I addition to your physician you could also discuss your situation with a mental health professional, a pastor, priest, rabbi or spiritual director. Research tells us that there are medications and counseling techniques that can ease the pain of depression.
Furthermore, the ancient wisdom of the Old Testament and other ancient writings can give hope and direction in a time of depression.
A Suggested Action Plan
Get real! Be honest with yourself! If you feel you are struggling with depression take a step right now and begin to overcome it. Remember, depression can make you feel overwhelmed defeated and pretty beat up by life. Here are some things you can begin to do.
Re-assume a reasonable amount of responsibility for your life. Take some action. Set a couple of bit sized goals.
Break tasks and chores into smaller more manageable increments.
See your doctor, check out community classes, talk to a therapist, do some on line research.
Do things, healthy things that make you feel better. Put yourself around others when you can. Volunteer; willfully put yourself in a position of helping someone else. It will help you to focus less on you and your current feelings.
Begin some moderate exercise. When you are depressed you don’t feel like moving. Trust me; any moderate exercise will help you feel a little better.
Watch what and how you eat. Many individuals will turn to comfort foods when they are feeling down, if they are not careful these comfort foods could harm more than heal
Be careful to not self-medicate depression through over indulging in alcohol or in abusing drugs.
Expect your mood to improve gradually. You didn’t wake up feeling this way yesterday and you probably won’t be healed by tomorrow. As you choose to move in a healthy direction you will begin to feel better and your spirit will not feel as heavy.
Delay important decisions until you feel more like your old self. After all, it probably isn’t wise to quit a job, get married or divorced while you are in the thick of a depressive disorder.
Remember, we don’t live by our feelings. Our thought life can significantly impact how we feel. Why, the fact that you are reading this tip sheet indicates that you are making a positive thought that will impact how you feel
Let your family and friends help.
questions? email John