Depression help is at you finger tips . . . based on my forty plus years of experience helping depressed clients improve their depression, and I've outlined simple steps you can take to decrease depression, even if you feel like nothing will help.
Hope is important in getting depression help. I tell my depressed clients that depression help is right around the corner, literally. Just taking a walk or going to new places can lift one's spirits and make a difference. Here are 10 ways you can decrease depression and build a sunny disposition:
1. Getting a little exercise
2. Building or improving a healthy relationship(s)
3. Doing work or activities you love
4. Taking time to relax and have fun
5. Managing your stress and relaxing more
6. Eating a healthy, whole food diet (don't forget more vegies)
7. Connecting with nature and the beauty all around you
8. Meditating and exploring inner resources
9. Leading a spiritual life and deepening your faith
10. Positive thoughts (improving your outlook and Attributional Style)
Yes, psychotherapy is very helpful in treating depression. In fact, the best way to attack depression is to get therapy, take medication and learn cognitive skills that decrease depressive thoughts and feelings, and making lifestyle changes that will support a healthier lifestyle. Several forms of therapy have been found to be effective in treating depression, such as Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
Talking to an objective party, who is a trained listener and professional helper, can make all the difference. It feels good to have a sounding board and to get a partner in facing your difficulties. Since depression can affect relationships, it's smart to include your significant other in your counseling.
When I treat depressed clients in my private counseling and therapy practice, I start with a thorough assessment because effective assessment fuels effective treatment. Always get a complete and thorough assessment, before submitting to any treatment plan. Always work with a qualified, licensed therapist.
If you feel suicidal, get help immediately. Call an emergency service, 911 or hotline. Don't be ashamed. Just get the help you need. If you aren't sure where to turn, reach out to someone you trust and let them put you in touch with helping resources.
When people are depressed, everything seems gloomy and dark. Avoid making decisions when you're depressed. Wait to make decisions until you're feeling better and thinking more clearly.
Men and women are affected by depression and, although women may have higher rates of depression than men, depression is a problem for both sexes. Men, however, may not admit to being depressed, or may not know they are depressed. Thus, helping a depressed man can be rather difficult.
Men often feel as though they have to be strong and cannot allow themselves to be depressed. They may see depression as a sign of weakness. So, how can you help a depressed man? My article, Depression In Men, can give you some suggestions and guidelines.
Depression is often social, situational or contextual. If you live or work around depressed people, you may find yourself feeling depressed. Social variables are vastly overlooked factors that contribute to depression. If you're working in a destructive work environment, or you're in the middle of a divorce, you'll feel more prone to depressive feelings.
Usually, by the time you get depressed and need depression help, the risk factors have been in place for years. If you're drinking alcohol or using mind-altering drugs, you'll only make your depression worse.
Here is a partial list of common risk factors for depression:
Spending time in nature is one of my favorite ways to decompress, ward of stress and let more joy into my life. Nature heals, inspires and uplifts, so you may benefit from Journey to Relaxation, an audio program I developed to help my clients to get deeply relaxed and access powerful healing states of peace and contentment. Walking with a friend, a child or pet can be enjoyable for everyone. Just forget your problems and tune into the beautiful world around you.
Focus on building and maintaining heathy relationships. It is a myth that we don't need others. In the US, for instance, many people feel you don't need healthy relationships as long as you have yourself. The emphasis is on the individual. Nothing could be further from the truth.
Depression varies from culture to culture, but everyone can benefit from a close circle of friends, a strong family or powerful support system. So, it pays to work hard to improve relationships. Money will not make you rich inside, but love will.
Remember, want more depression help? Take care of yourself -- engage in Elegant Self-Care. Yes, your relationship with yourself can cause you to be depressed or make you resistant to depression.
We are social animals. So get your social life in order, and your depression will decrease. It takes time to invest in our relationships, but it's so worthwhile.
Relationships are life's greatest TREASURE.
Get plenty of good quality sleep, exercise and manage your stress. Exercise has been at least as effective in treating depression as psychotropics in the majority of the cases I've seen in my counseling and psychotherapy practice. Express your emotions in healthy ways by using your friends as a sounding board or writing your feelings in a notebook or journal, or throwing yourself into creative work that can be cathartic.
Learn to think more positively and rationally. Seeing a good Cognitive Behavioral Therapy therapist can help you to identify mistakes you may be making cognitively, and to help to develop an optimistic Attributional Style (the way you interpret events, see the world or explain reality). Learning to think in terms of possibilities, solutions and change is all-important to battling old, depressive mental states and cognitive styles.
The critical step is to believe change is possible, and if you're open to learning new skills, you can decrease depression and increase well being. Yes, optimism makes a difference.
Depression help isn't far away, if you're alert and willing to act. Depression does not have to be an emotional death sentence. There are ways to fight depression and to build a happy life.
Even if you are clinically depressed, there is hope . . . you can get therapy and take anti-depressant medication. The "medication-therapy combination" can help immensely. And it helps to do everything in your power, like building healthy relationships, exercising safely and finding new, healthy outlets for your emotions, to bring your depression down naturally.