DEPRESSION: 12 Most Common Symptoms and How You Can Combat It

emotionssSo, we talked about depression yesterday but how do you know you or someone close to you is depressed?

Here are the most common symptoms of depression.

1) Persistent sad or empty feeling.
2) Difficulty sleeping (sleeping too much or too little).
3) Insomnia (early morning awakening).
4) Feelings of helplessness, hopelessness, and worthlessness.
5) Feelings of guilt.
6) Loss of interest or the ability to enjoy oneself.
7) Loss of energy or fatigue.
8) Difficulty concentrating, thinking or making decisions.
9) Changes in appetite (overeating or loss of appetite).
10) Observable mental and physical sluggishness.
11) Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment.
12) Thoughts of death or suicide.

As an Emotions Therapist, Health Coach and Psychologist, I am trained to help people deal with this Silent Killer. From the work I have done in the last couple of years the truth is that a lot of people are walking around depressed, smiling outside and dying inside. It’s not just about having a bad day, or a bad week; depression is a psychological condition that needs to be quickly and professionally dealt with.

SOME TREATMENTS FOR DEPRESSION

There are various types of treatment for depression, depending on the type of depression.

Psychotherapy treatments:

This provides a supportive environment to share and work through difficulties. Psychologists and psycho analysts can strategically and skillfully help change thinking patterns and behaviors that cause depression. These techniques have been found to be much more effective than general counseling, and ultimately help reduce and control depression.

Medication:

A change in the balance of chemicals in the brain can impact on our mood, a lack of some specific chemicals in our brain may sometimes be responsible for feeling down, upset, fatigued, low, and sad. Antidepressant medications as prescribed by your physician can help restore the brain’s chemical balance to correct the imbalance that may be responsible for the biological symptoms of depression.

Combination treatments:

Some types of depression, particularly for the more severe ones, a combination of both psychological and medical treatment may be required.

Spiritual:

Focus on developing your level of spirituality and serving God is also a way of managing depression. Seeing God as your source, the author and finisher of your faith is critical. Depending on Him for life’s sustenance and absolutely trusting Him is important. Praying and reading the word of truth regularly creates blindness to the feelings that you hitherto would have been focusing on. For focus ultimately creates blindness.

Listening to motivational and inspiring music is also very important.

PRACTICAL THINGS YOU CAN DO TO MANAGE DEPRESSION:

The key problem areas and their respective solutions

1) Loss of Interest.

Individuals that go through states of depression are usually unable to complete daily chores and also do not enjoy pleasurable activities. Positive experiences associated with a sense of achievement sometimes elude them, and this eventually affects the people around them.

Evidence has shown that increased levels of activity, and participating in pleasurable experiences can help reduce depressive symptoms.

Steps to increasing pleasurable activities and your sense of fulfillment and accomplishment.

a) Make a list of activities to be completed.

b) Make a list of enjoyable activities (make sure you write down a lot of activities, also include marginally enjoyable activities).

c) Itemize your activity schedule for each day, this gives a sense of achievement when they are completed.

d) Include the number of enjoyable activities and increase the amount of time allocated to these.

e) Meditate on your accomplishments once the tasks have been completed. Especially meditating on the enjoyable aspects of your pleasurable activities.

f) Constantly discuss with like minded people about activities they enjoy, identifying and reflecting on their positive experiences.

g) Always stay focused on the positive aspect of your experiences, there’s always a positive twist to every experience, no matter how small. As you do this your experiences become more enjoyable.

2) Change your sleeping pattern.

Some symptoms of depression are over sleeping and or insomnia. Disruptive sleeping patterns can make you feel even worse. Very regular sleeping patterns are healthy and critical to recovering from depression.

So How Can I Establish Healthy Sleep Patterns?

a) Make sure you wake at the same time every morning.

b) Avoid sleeping or taking naps during the day.

c) Reduce your tea and coffee intake considerably and do not drink tea or coffee after 4pm.

d) When you are awake at night do not lie in bed trying to sleep for more than 30 minutes at a time

e) Get up, leave the room and engage in a relaxing activity, i.e reading, listening to music or exercise.

f) Return to bed immediately you feel sleepy.

3) Worrying and negative thinking.

Worrying about future events and having negative thoughts. These thinking patterns are unhealthy and can reduce a person’s ability to focus on recovery, and this may increase their vulnerability to other unhealthy emotions and behaviors. Changing negative thinking patterns and reducing worry is not as easy as it may seem. It can only be done by using the principle of replacement This is an area where people often require the assistance of a coach, psychologist and professional.

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Please If you see the signs identified above (and more) or suspect that you or someone close to you may be suffering from depression. Make that Timely Decision NOW; Save a Life Today. Email us:  info@olcang.com  Call us: 08077077000 . I have also created a CD “Overcoming Depression“call the number to order yours today. 

The Catalyst, Lanre Olusola.