Do you feel lost when it comes to coping with your depression? If the answer is yes, here are some helpful tips you can use in your everyday life.
Living with depression isn’t easy. Feelings of hopelessness and emptiness can cloud your thinking, judgment, and worldview. It can even make you feel like you’re working twice as hard as everyone else just to make it through the day.
If you can relate to those feelings, please know that you’re far from alone. Major depression may affect more than 7% of the adult population and is the one of the leading causes of disability across the world amongst people aged 15 to 44.
Because depression affects so many people, we’ve collated some resources, both internal and external, filled with information, tips, and strategies to help you — and many others — adopt coping methods.
It’s important not to confuse depression with sadness, and vice versa. Sadness is a normal reaction to loss, difficulty, and disappointment. It’s an emotion everyone will feel at many points in their life.
In addition to those mental and emotional symptoms of depression, the condition can also have a physical toll on your body by causing:
And while depression can definitely occur after traumatic or difficult events — known as situational depression — depression can also appear in you for what seems like no particular reason.
There’s no single cause of depression. It can occur for a variety of reasons and it has many different triggers.
For some people, an upsetting or stressful life event, such as bereavement, divorce, illness, redundancy and job or money worries, can be the cause.
If you think you might have depression, it can help to talk with a mental health professional about what you’re experiencing. They can offer guidance on treatments that can help.
Keep in mind that depression isn’t a one-size-fits-all diagnosis. If you can’t exactly relate to someone else’s experience with depression, there might be a reason for that.
Some common types of depression include:
- major depressive disorder, also called chronic depression or clinical depression
- depressive episodes in bipolar disorder
- postpartum depression, which occurs shortly after giving birth
- premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD), where depression arises at certain times in your menstrual cycle
- seasonal affective disorder (SAD), or seasonal depression
- persistent depressive disorder (PDD), where depression lasts for at least two years
- atypical depression, where depression lifts in response to positive life events
If you think you might have depression, but you’re not sure which type, it can help to read up on different symptoms. Keeping a mood diary can help you work out your specific symptoms, what triggers them, and how frequently they appear.
Bringing your mood diary to a doctor or mental health professional can give them some insight into your experiences and help them determine which type of depression you might have.
Other mental health presentations often also present with depression as a prominent feature, or be misattributed altogether as depression, these include:
- post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
- substance use disorder
- borderline personality disorder
- bipolar disorder
There is comfort in knowing that there are many options for treating depression. These can include psychotherapy (talk therapy), antidepressant medication, and natural approaches, such as eating a nutritious diet, getting regular exercise, and following good sleep habits.
With the help of a healthcare professional, it’s up to you to decide which combination of approaches works best for you.
One of the largest epidemiological studies of people with a lifetime major depressive disorder diagnosis revealed that:
- 53.1% used medication
- 62.5% talked with a professional
- 14.9% received nonprofessional support (self-help, support group, etc.)
- 11.8% were hospitalized overnight or longer
This report shows that treatment approaches are broad. If one approach doesn’t work, try to remember that there are other options for you.
Managing depression goes beyond getting an initial diagnosis and starting a treatment plan. It requires daily attention and effort to keep symptoms in check and to prevent recurrence or relapse.
Whether it’s dealing with fatigue or handling concentration difficulties at work, managing depression on a daily basis can bring unique challenges. To find day-to-day coping strategies for your depression, the articles below may be useful.
It can be painful to witness a loved one with depression. Although your first instinct may be to take away your loved one’s pain or “fix” it in some way, sometimes just being there goes a long way.
Being a loving and supportive presence in your friend’s life can make a world of difference in helping them feel seen and heard.
If you’re struggling with depression, don’t hesitate to reach out to:
- a friend
- a trusted health professional
- a mental health support group
Even if it doesn’t always feel like it, there are many people ready to offer their support and a listening ear.
Whether you’re educating yourself on the different types of depression, trying to learn how best to help a friend who is struggling, or experiencing depression yourself, there are plenty of resources and forms of professional support available to you.
You never have to go it alone. Help is only a click or phone call away.
If you would like to know more about any of the psychological phenomena discussed in this post, or would like to discuss arranging a consultation for an assessment regarding any difficulties you may be experiencing, please feel free to contact us.
Sanctum Psychology, Cyprus.
Sanctum Psychology is a Wellbeing and Psychological Services Center based in Nicosia, Northern Cyprus (TRNC) offering psychological support for a wide array of psychological presentations which are also discussed within the psychology blog maintained by Sanctum’s Founder and lead Clinical Psychologist, Savash Akgonul
Sanctum Psikoloji Lefkoşa, KKTC’de hizmet veren Klinik Psikoloji ve Psikolojik Hizmetler veren bir kurumdur. Kapsamlı psikoterapi yaklaşımları ile psikolojik zorluklarin birçoğu için tedavi opsiyonlari sunan Sanctum, İngiltere’de Klinik Psikoloji Doktorasi yapan, 15 yıllık NHS deneyimi olan kurucusu Klinik Psikolog Savaş Akgönül tarafından çalıştırılmaktadır.