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.
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 three 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.
If 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.
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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