Depression is an illness that affects how you feel. It can be a devastating experience, and it is important to get help when you notice it. You may be feeling depressed for many reasons, including a life event or a medical problem. You may be able to treat your depression with medication, therapy or lifestyle changes.
Symptoms of Depression
The symptoms of depression can be very different for everyone. They can range from mild to severe, and they can last for weeks or months. Your mood, the amount of sleep you get, and your appetite can change a lot during a depression episode.
If you are feeling down, try to take some time to focus on the positive things in your life. Even small things can make you happy, so remember to find a few good things each day.
Exercise and eating right can help too. Just 30 minutes of moderate activity each week (like walking or dancing) can lift your mood and reduce your feelings of anxiety and sadness. Eating a healthy diet, drinking plenty of water and avoiding caffeine and junk food can also help.
Taking a break from work, school or other activities that take up too much of your time is another way to fight depression. Schedule some time to relax and rejuvenate by going for a walk in the park, watching a movie, or spending time with friends.
Family and friends can be very supportive when you are feeling depressed. They can give you encouragement, remind you to take your medication, and encourage you to make lifestyle changes that will help you feel better.
Talking to a mental health professional is helpful, but talking with people who have been there can be just as effective. You can join a support group or talk to a crisis hotline. These organizations have trained professionals who are available to listen and offer support.
When Depression Hits You Without Warning
Sometimes depression is triggered by stressful events, such as a new job, losing a loved one or having a major illness. It’s normal to feel a little low after a big change in your life, but if the feelings of sadness or hopelessness are lasting for a long period of time, they can become more serious and interfere with daily life.
During an episode of depression, it can be easy to feel isolated and alone. Your family and friends may not understand why you are feeling this way, or why you seem to want to isolate yourself.
It can be hard to let others in when you are depressed, but it is important to keep your friends and family close. They can help you cope with your problems and encourage you to see a doctor or other mental health professional when you feel down.
They may also be able to point you in the direction of a local support group or a helpline for those dealing with depression. It is important to keep these numbers in your phone so they are easily accessible when you need them.