Coping With Depression
Depression is a discouraged state of mind that tends to make it difficult for the person to take action to make things better. A person who is depressed tends to lapse into inactivity. Everything seems impossible. Even simple, everyday actions can seem just too difficult to attempt. Professional counselors have strategies for helping overcome depression. But friends and family can also be of great help through encouraging the depressed person and being supportive. They need to know they are not being abandoned while they feel so vulnerable, and that others believe in their ability to get better.
If depression has been recurrent in your life, you need to work to understand the pattern of this emotion and why it repeats. What triggers it? Sometimes the time of year is a factor. It is well known that people become depressed on the anniversary of the death of a loved one. Also, many people experience depression due to Seasonal Affective Disorder. Cold, dark winter days cause some people to fall into depression. Their depression lifts with the return of spring. But getting outdoors on a sunny day can help during winter. Physical activity alone often helps relieve depression.
When in a down cycle, simply remembering happy and successful times can help lift the sense of discouragement and helplessness from a depressed person. Engaging in activity, whether mental or physical, is important. You can help encourage a depressed person to join you in some activity. When engaged and interested in something outside themselves, the depression tends to lift.
Sometimes it is easier for a person to engage with nature. A walk in the woods can improve a person’s mood. Therapy through interaction with pets, or through horseback riding, has been shown to help.
Read a good book, or watch an entertaining movie–especially a comedy–and you are likely to see your depression lift if it is not severe. Getting outside the boxed-in feeling depressed people have is what needs to be achieved. This can be done in many ways, depending on the cause of depression. If a difficult life situation can be changed for the better, the person can regain an optimistic outlook. A rational talk about the person’s depression can also help give them perspective so they no longer feel trapped in their emotions.
Beautiful, calming music can lift a person’s spirits like nothing else. This has been observed since ancient times and used therapeutically. Relaxing and listening to music in a secure environment can have a very good effect.
A person who is depressed tends to disengage from relationships. Family and friends can help by engaging the person and showing they care. It is hard to be depressed in the ebullient presence of a young child. Getting the person to return to social engagement is often half the battle. Show the depressed person that you want their company. Don’t avoid them.
Often a change in surroundings and engagement in some outer activity can help lift a person out of depression. Depression means being down in a low place, emotionally. We speak of being lifted out of depression. Help comes when the person is able to look up above the low place they have fallen into.