How to Handle a Long-Term Battle With Depression


Typically, depression occurs when a person has more frustration and anger than she can handle. Although these levels differ for everyone, unchecked frustration and anger can lower the number of chemical messengers in your brain — the neurotransmitters — and eventually lead to depression. Here are some tips to help you han­dle a long-term battle with the blues.

  • You are what you think. You may remember that old cliche more along the lines of “you are what you eat.” However, when it comes to controlling depression, what you think may be more impor­tant than what you eat. A recent study of 60 people showed that adding a positive twist to a negative thought improved self-esteem and relieved depres­sion. For example, if you think of yourself as a chronic complainer, add the thought, “but I am working every day to have a more positive atti­tude.” Repeat it to yourself several times a day. And try not to be so critical. Studies show that people who often criticize themselves usually feel more depressed and get less enjoyment from life than those who aren’t as self-critical.

Depression

  • Eat well to feel well. Strive for a balanced low-fat diet. Keep a journal for several days to get a clear view of your eating patterns. You may find some of your food fancies contribute to your depression, such as eating lots of sugar or skipping meals. Try to eat small frequent meals that contain a balance of proteins and carbohydrates.
  • Keep a journal. You may not even know why you feel bad. Writing can help bring your unconscious into contact with your conscious mind and resolve conflicts that are bubbling just below the surface. Even if you know why you feel down, writing about it can help ease your mind and may even reveal solutions you hadn’t thought of before.
  • Get Involved and stay Involved. Although this may seem like the last thing you want to do, diving into a hobby, sport, or vacation may be just what you need to relieve your depression. If you’ve been over scheduling yourself, try to cut back. Spending time with others can also help pull you out of a slump. Finally, follow your regular rou­tine. This may relieve stress and help improve your mood.
  • Lift the weight. When you’re depressed, it often seems as if the weight of the world is on your shoulders. According to Dr. Maria Fiatarone, you can lift that load right off your shoulders — with weights. Her study of a group of older depressed adults revealed that 10 weeks of weight lifting led to a two- to three-fold drop in depression levels.
  • Work it out. Regular aerobic exercise, like walking or running, also is great for preventing depres­sion. People who exercise regularly are less likely to feel depressed than people who are inactive. So lace up your walking shoes and beat the blues as you pound the pavement.
  • Boost your B’s. B vitamins that is. Even a small deficiency of the B vitamins, such as niacin, folic acid, thiamine, vitamin B2, vitamin B6, and vita­min B12, can send your mood on a downhill slide. Look for a multivitamin/mineral supplement that contains at least 100 percent of the recommended dietary allowance for these nutrients.
  • Anticipate the action and your reaction. You’ll often find coping with major life changes easier if you try to anticipate and be prepared for these events.
  • If nothing lifts the gloom that seems to surround you, see your doctor. If you feel suicidal, talk to someone immediately. No one to confide in? Check your phone book for a local suicide hot line or mental health crisis number, or seek help at the emergency room. But don’t give up. Researchers have made major strides in antide­pressant therapy in the past few years. It may only take a few weeks until you’re feeling better.

Filed Under: Health & Personal Care

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About the Author: Andrew Reinert is a health care professional who loves to share different tips on health and personal care. He is a regular contributor to MegaHowTo and lives in Canada.

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