What Makes Depression Worse?

People who develop depression often have a negative view of themselves, even when they’re not in a depressed state. They see life through a negative filter and misinterpret everyday experiences and interactions. Fortunately, there’s a wealth of information on the Internet about relieving the symptoms of depression. But, your toolbox for managing depression should also include what behaviors you need to manage, so your depression doesn’t become worse.

Feeling Overwhelmed

depressed

Difficulties at work, issues with family members or ill health can occur at any time. If you’re already depressed, it’s easy to get overly stressed when you have to manage new problems that arise. Even if the problem is uncomplicated, you can become so overwhelmed just thinking about all you have to do to solve it that your coping abilities falter. In this case, it’s not just that you have a new problem to deal with that makes your depressionworse. It’s your belief that the problem is overpowering and unmanageable. Thus giving you further proof that your life is hopelessly bad, and you’re helpless to do anything about it. When you’re depressed your motivation is low and it’s difficult to imagine how to even start tackling difficult situations.

The way to cope with the feeling of being overwhelmed is to change the way you look at the problem. To avoid making matters worse, try not to clump all of your problems together into on big disaster package. Instead, separate your problems in four categories, work, home, family, and friends. Write down the issues you have in each of these areas, one by one. Select one problem and rate its severity on a scale from one to ten. Next, think of depressedthree ways to manage the problem. Try not to look at another item until you’ve completed the first one. What’s good about this technique is you’ll feel a sense of relief even if all you do is create the list.

Isolation From Others

You may be inclined to pull away and isolate yourself from other people when you’re depressed. But detaching from the outside world is one of the worst things you can do. When you’re alone it’s easy to sit and ruminate, get lax about personal hygiene, and end up missing out on the positive aspects of interacting with people.

There’s no one to take your mind off your worries, make you laugh, give you encouragement or hope. Make yourself connect with others. If calling a friend takes too much effort go somewhere where you’ll be around people. You can hang out at Starbucks or Barnes and Noble, the idea is is to change the energy around you by getting off the spot.

Anger

depressionIf you’ve had depressive episodes in the past, it’s easy to fall into the trap of getting angry with yourself when symptoms return. But, getting angry when you’re depressed does one thing,  it makes you feel worse. Hating the fact that you’re going through another episode of depression intensifies your despair, making it more difficult to get relief. Chronic Depression can wear you down, you have the right to be frustrated and discouraged. The best thing to do is to acknowledge your feelings and let them go. You may never fully accept the fact that you suffer from a chronic psychological disorder, but it is possible to get to a point where you can live your life in spite of having a depressive disorder.

 

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Negative Input

Movies with tragic themes, sad songs, shocking news stories, other people’s problems, thinking about the past, and being around toxic people can worsen depression. Take some time and write down the amount of time you spend watching television, reading shocking stories, searching for old flames on the Internet or being around negative people.  Go through your list and consider how these activities make you feel worse. Think about specific actions or substitutions that are more positive and uplifting to replace each activity on your list.

Depression Is A Challenge

Chronic depression can have harsh effects on your mood and overall physical and emotional well-being. It’s important you learn healthy and effective ways to control your symptoms, and not give in to the temptation of using drugs or alcohol to manage stress. Examine your lifestyle making sure nothing you’re doing is leading to sleep loss, poor eating habits or unhealthy behaviors. Don’t try and manage depression on your own. Reach out to a family member friend you trust and ask for their help contacting a mental health resource in your community.

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Have a banner day!

Pamela

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By | 2017-07-06T11:29:30+00:00 |Categories: Blog, Personality Disorders, Tips And Resources|Tags: |
  • Meredith Wouters @ The Palette

    I think what’s hard about depression is that it makes you tend to do these very things. I can see where it would be really helpful to have someone helping you identify these triggers, as you’re working through them.

  • I think these tips are especially good for those experiencing depression after a major life event. It is really tempting to isolate during those times and just become overwhelmed with emotion. Yet, support can be so valuable during those times.

  • Depression is a serious topic. These are good tips on how not to make it worse.but I suspect they are all very hard things for a truly depressed person to do. But a person prone to depression may be able to recognize the early signs and act appropriately with this tips. The best advice here in my opinion is not to try and manage depression on one’s own, but to reach out to friends and professionals.

  • I tend to self-isolate, but at least have realized the power and good that comes from just making myself go out and do something… anything when I’m feeling that way. It always makes me feel so much better. I try to save my ruminating for journal entries as well and not let my brain drag itself down like that. Mostly, I’ve come to view the mind as a tool that can be trained, and part of that training means learning how to beat the blues. It can be done with effort (or at least for mild to moderate cases).

  • Depression is a really sticky problem, because all the things you want to do during that time or avoid doing at that time only make things worse. When you’re feeling isolated, its very difficult to reach out to people. But sometimes , even when depressed you have to move out of your comfort one. Good post, and I love all the images/captions too:-)

  • This is great! I think working from home makes me more prone to get depressed. I have to make sure I go out at least once a day and speak with strangers at the grocery store or setup lunch meetings with friends. Anything helps. I just have to move and be around others. This is wonderful. Thanks for sharing.

    • Thank you, Sabrina. Yes, I fall into the working from home thing as well. I think I feel as if I’m connecting with people because I’m on the internet and it’s not the same.

  • Marquita Herald

    Pamela I just love what you did with the photos in this post! Wonderful advice on depression. I am annoyingly upbeat person by nature, but my mother suffered from depression so I’ve seen what it can do to a person. I especially like your advice about breaking things down when you feel overwhelmed because these days it is so easy to slip into that and if you don’t catch it early on it can feel a bit like you’re drowning.

    • Thank you, Marquita for your kind words. Feel free to share any of the images. I’m sorry about your Mom. It’s difficult living with a depressed family member; there are a lot of mixed feelings. But, I’m pleased to see you have a more positive outlook on life.

  • Catarina Alexon

    Sounds like excellent suggestions for people who are prone to depression. Must be better than taking anti-depressants. Have thankfully never had a problem with depression, or worse.

    • Thank-you Catarina. The best results for Major Depression is medication plus therapy. It’s sad to say therapy is rarely included. Medication is beneficial but doesn’t “cure” everything, you still have to live with yourself.

  • It s definitely a good topic to discus. I come across a lot of people in daily life who are going through depression of some levels. One strange thing I have noticed in them is that a depressed soul finds comfort in the company of another like minded negative person, which in turn deteriorates their condition.
    You have shared some key points here. I will keep these in mind while dealing with someone suffering from depression.

    • Typically, someone who is experiencing clinical depression will not seek out anyone, positive or negative. I agree,”misery loves company” but people who seek out negative have an attitude problem, not depression.

  • Tim

    I would never put myself out there as someone who understands depression or the way it feels to be in the clutches of it however like us all, I have had blue and bluer days. Those are bad enough. Any article that reminds us of depression and further shines the light on the subject is a good thing as so many bad things can be a result of clinical depression.

    • Depression is under-diagnosed and under-treated. Chronic depression is especially harsh. After awhile friends and families tolerance diminishes. They feel the depressed person isn’t doing all they can to snap out of it and move forward. This is what starts the cycle of isolation, anger and hopelessness. Yes, it’s a great thing people’s acceptance of mental illness is growing. Also, people who are experiencing depression are more willing to seek help.

  • Jacqueline Gum

    This is an incredible topic Pam! I was diagnosed with situational depression many years ago while going through my divorce. Meds and talk therapy helped me beat it,, though it took longer than I expected. For the longest time, every moody day I would worry that it was coming back! It took me while to accept that even people who have never been diagnosed with depression have blue days! The biggest hazard for me is isolation…I will try to be more mindful of getting out and about. That’s good advice.

    • I’m so happy I was able to touch on something that resonated. As a writer, you’re probably at the computer for long periods of time. I wonder if it takes longer to realize you’re not connecting with people because you are connecting online.

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