How to Manage and Survive Depression

Surviving depression can be an incredibly challenging journey, but it is possible with the right strategies, support, and determination. Some signs you, or someone you know, might be suffering from depression is if you see five or more of the following symptoms:

  1. Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day.
  2. Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day.
  3. Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain, or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day.
  4. A slowing down of thought and a reduction of physical movement (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down).
  5. Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.
  6. Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day.
  7. Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day.
  8. Recurrent thoughts of death, recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide.

Five of these symptoms, with a depressed mood and a general loss of interest or pleasure is typically how clinicians diagnose depression within an individual. But if you, or someone you know, if suffering from depression, what can you do?

Consult a mental health professional, such as a therapist, counselor, or psychiatrist, who specializes in depression. They can provide a proper diagnosis and develop a tailored treatment plan. You might seek out a therapist specializing in Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), as it has been a proven and effective approach to identifying and changing negative thought patterns that contribute to depression. In addition to therapy, medication can be an essential part of depression treatment. A psychiatrist can prescribe and monitor the appropriate medication.

In your own time, individuals suffering from depression should reach out to friends and family: and share your feelings and experiences with trusted loved ones. Their emotional support can make a significant difference. In addition to this, participating in support groups for depression can offer a sense of community and understanding from people who have gone through similar experiences.

In addressing depression, consistency can provide stability and a sense of control. Ensure you get adequate rest, as sleep disturbances are common in depression. Monitor and maintain a balanced diet. Which have a positive impact on mood and overall well-being. Individuals engaging in physical activity release endorphins, which can improve mood and reduce symptoms of depression. On top of this, exercise and physical fitness can improve self-esteem, and confidence, and help combat negative feelings and thoughts. While doing this, treat yourself with kindness and understanding, as you would a friend facing a similar struggle.

But remember, while treating yourself with kindness, be gentle with your shortcomings. Break tasks into smaller, manageable steps to avoid feeling overwhelmed and help manage your goals. Remember to always celebrate small achievements, even if they seem insignificant. Don’t fret too much over minor setbacks, stress can exacerbate depression symptoms. Employ stress-reduction techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or mindfulness to cope better with life’s challenges.

Remember that depression is a treatable condition, and there is hope for recovery. Surviving depression often requires a combination of professional help, self-care, and support from loved ones. It’s essential to be patient and persistent, as progress may be gradual. You are not alone in this journey; resources and people are available to help you through it.  If this is something you or a loved one is currently dealing with, you can reach out to us online or by phone at (775) 452-4721, and find additional information on our website.

Nathan Valentine