Anyone with any form of depression knows that it can make their world different in so many ways. This disorder can make people feel sluggish, guilty, worthless, emotional (anger and sadness), frightful, suicidal, unmotivated and it can make someone feel like they are on an emotional rollercoaster ride that doesn't have an end in sight. The very signs and symptoms of depression make taking action to fight the disorder extremely difficult for many people. Many people with depression don't seek any form of treatment until a loved one or trusted friend effectively convinces them to at least try.
There are different forms of depression, but two of them are Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) and Persistent Depressive Disorder (PDD), also known as dysthymia.
According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America:
- Major Depressive Disorder is the leading cause of depression-related disability in the U.S. for those between the ages of 15 and 44 and affects over 16 million people per year.
- Persistent Depressive Disorder is a shorter-term depression that affects over 3 million people in the U.S. annually with the average age of the disorder being around age 31.
Taking a first step towards getting help is one of the most important things someone with depression can do to fight this often-debilitating disorder. There are also other reasons to take action, like decreasing dementia risk, as depression has been linked to an increased risk for later development of dementia.
What actions can someone take? Here are a few potential depression-fighting actions that can be employed to ease the grappling hold of the disorder...
1- Take Action And Fight Depression By Getting Active
There are several needs for someone who feels depressed, and depression treatment can be a combination of different action tactics and medication. A main goal for anyone should be to start taking action through activity, as described by The Mayo Clinic. Starting with just 10 minutes of exercise a day, and slowly increasing to 30 minutes a day (3-5 times per week), could have a large, positive impact on depression symptoms.
The catch-22 here is that depression can cause a significant drop in energy levels, making any activity seem like a demanding chore. However, staying inactive can feed depressed feelings and cause even more health issues.
2- Do Not Stay Isolated To Avoid People And Events
Similar to taking an active stance against depression, someone who is depressed should not stay isolated to avoid people and events that they may have once enjoyed. “Simple human interaction can make a big difference in battling depression,” Dr. Richard Honaker, Chief Medical Advisor for Your Doctors Online said. “Sometimes discussing things with a friend or family member can offer relief.”
Being in a social setting can be helpful, albeit sometimes tough to initiate. There are usually no shortage of local events someone can find online in order to connect with people with similar interests. Meeting a friend, or a few friends, for coffee, lunch or dinner can be an easy first step; and once you do it just a couple of times it often gets easier to make the time to do it again.
Remember, no one needs to let depression, and the associated signs and symptoms that go along with it, define them as a person.
3- Get Back Into Old Hobbies Once Loved
One of the worst things about depression is that the disorder can make someone lose interest in old activities and hobbies that they once loved and did often. It could be swimming, painting, reading, exercising, even sitting silently in a park watching passers-by. However, to fight depression, taking back any of those once-loved activities can help out immensely.
This may be challenging at first, since the interest in those old hobbies has lessened, but this is when the help of a loved one or trusted friend can come into play.
One of the best ways to do this is to schedule the activity with a friend or family member, then all parties involved can hold each other accountable so no one cancels when it's time to get together. Try it out a few times, if the interest isn't there simply experiment with a new hobby.
4- Talk To A Professional About Depression
No one can do this alone! This is a very vital fact that many people with depression do not understand, because of their disorder. If everyone with depression could fix himself or herself, we wouldn’t have millions still suffering from it. This makes seeking out and talking to a professional a must.
In Conclusion . . .
The first step in treating depression and fighting off its symptoms is to take a first step. This is, of course, easier said than done, but it is a vital step as it's the first one. From stepping out of isolation to talking about feelings with a professional, the above steps are actions that offer no guarantee, but certainly provide a bit of a roadmap to begin the journey back to feeling better again.
The fight against depression can be long, but getting started soon is optimal. Anyone with depression should try to remember that they are not alone and they don't need to let depression and its symptoms define them.
There are friends and loved ones who will help and there are millions of people living with this disorder who have joy in their lives.
If someone is thinking of hurting himself or herself, or is thinking of committing suicide, they should call 911 or their local emergency number immediately. Someone having suicidal thoughts (in the U.S.) can also call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255).