A Powerful Combination to Fight Depression
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Margarita Tartakovsky's “9 Ways to Take Care of Yourself When You Have Depression” discusses the importance of taking care of yourself when you have depression.
When you are experiencing depression it may be hard to take care of yourself. This may sound strange, but depressive symptoms include lethargy and low motivation. When you have depression it may be difficult to get out of bed or even take a shower. But this might seem easier said than done, because when you have depression, the idea of taking care of anything feels like adding another boulder to your already heavy load. Tartakovsky explains that “If you’re feeling better, you might ditch certain self-care habits, too. Maybe you skip a few therapy sessions, miss your medication or shirk other treatment tools. According to Serani, as some people improve, they get relaxed about their treatment plan, and before they know it are blinded to the warning signs and suffer a relapse.” Skipping self care is a road to relapse. The following are ways to fulfil your needs for self care, especially when depressed.
7 Steps to Battle Depression
1. Attend therapy. If you are very depressed, you may lack the energy to even go to your therapu sessions, but if you are feeling better, you may feel you no longer need therapy and end your treatment too early. A professional is a better judge of whether therapy is warranted. If you are very depressed, it is even more important to meet with your therapist. Discuss your thoughts, feelings and any desires to decrease sessions or lack of motivation. These feelings are important to discuss with your therapist.
2. Take your meds as prescribed. When a person is feeling better, they may feel they no longer need medication, but only a doctor should make a decision on tapering medication or ceasing medication. Most antidepressants and antipsychotics need to be tapered off and not stopped immediately. Also, never skip or double up a dose. Take medication as prescribed is very important.
3. Sleep right, Eat right. Sleeping 7 to 8 hours a day is recommended, and when a person is depressed they may experience a change in sleep patterns including sleeping too much or too little. Sleep has a big impact on mood disorders. As Serani explains, too little sleep exacerbates mania and too much sleep worsens depression. So it’s important to keep a consistent sleep and wake cycle along with maintaining healthy sleeping habits. Eating right is also key to maintaining optimal physiological health, so eat a balanced diet, and cut the sugar and caffeine.
4. Exercise. Depression can make it difficult to have the motivation to even get out of bed, not to mention finding the motivation to exercise. However, exercise helps to increase the production of feel good neurotransmitters. Exercise can actually help to decrease depression. Going for a short walk or some exercise helps to combat lethargy.
5. Know your triggers. Learn your triggers to depressive symptoms and what makes it worse or better. Knowing can help you to better combat the symptoms.
7. Know your support system. Avoid people who are emotionally toxic. That friend or family member that is always negative or non supportive should be avoided - Instead, know who is supportive and empathetic, and reach out to people who will offer you understanding and support.
Depression is a serious disorder. Despite the availability of information, many still do not understand the signs and symptoms of depression. In addition, depression can be expressed differently for each person. Seek professional help if you believe you have depression.
- Kim B.