Mental health and depression are terms that are often used casually in conversations when referring to low moods or feelings of sadness. This has made the actual condition to be somewhat trivialized, thus making it difficult for many people to recognize when they actually have a clinical problem that needs to be addressed professionally.
However, having occasional feelings of sadness, anxiety, or fatigue do not necessarily mean that you are depressed. These are normal emotions that anybody can experience. On the other hand, clinical depression is more serious and can have detrimental effects on a person’s quality of life.
Typical Symptoms Of Depression
Depression, in the true sense of the word, is an actual medical illness. People who have been diagnosed with depression have been found to have a general loss of interest in life, and are not able to find comfort even in activities that they used to enjoy.
Compared to the normal feelings of sadness or loss which only lasts for short periods of time, depression tends to last longer, and is more difficult to overcome. People who are depressed constantly feel down, even for no apparent reason.
While it is still best to get a professional diagnosis, there are a few signs that you can watch for in order to gauge whether you or someone you know is suffering from depression. Physical signs include changes in appetite, weight, and sleeping habits, lethargy, unconscious movements such as constant pacing, as well as slowing of speech and motion.
Mentally, there would be feelings of guilt or inadequacy, lack of concentration, inability to make decisions, and uncontrollable thoughts about his death or taking his own life. These symptoms can range in terms of severity and must be properly addressed with the help of a professional.
When To Get Help From A Professional
In the initial stages, it can be difficulty to identify whether you are merely going through a normal downtime, or are already suffering from depression. A good way to differentiate depression from a bad mood is by the length of time that you stay in this condition, and the effect it has on your quality of life.
You should seek professional help when the negative emotions last for more than half a month, or when they get so serious that it affects your ability to work, study, or socialize with friends and family. But if you start getting persistent suicidal thoughts and plans on how to do it, you have to talk to a professional immediately. Bring yourself to an emergency room in any hospital if your suicidal thoughts become urgent and pervasive.
Though depression may make you feel hopeless, this is not the actual case. Depression is actually curable, and there are available medication that can help alleviate the symptoms, thus enabling a person to once again function normally in society.
For example, ketamine therapy has been found to be effective in treating depression and mood disorders when included as a part of a comprehensive treatment plan. Ask your doctor what treatment options will work best for your condition. He can also explain what is ketamine therapy, and how it can aid in the treatment for depression to ensure that you are fully informed before making a decision.
Managing Depression At Home
Aside from getting professional treatment, there are other things that you can do at home to help you manage the symptoms of depression. These activities may be difficult to do at first, but you just need to talk yourself into doing them every day until they become part of your daily routine.
Exercise is one of the more effective ways in combating depression. This is because the body releases the happy hormone called endorphin when you exercise, which gives you an instant lift in mood and an overall feeling of satisfaction.
You can choose the type of exercise that you feel most comfortable with. The complexity of the routine does not matter, what is more important is that you are able to maintain the practice and do it regularly. It can be as simple as talking a walk around your block every afternoon, or as complex as yoga poses to stretch your muscles and calm your mind.
Getting enough sleep is also a key to managing symptoms of depression. Try to get at least 7 to 8 hours of deep, quality sleep everyday so that your body can recover from the stresses of the previous day. It will also help your mind to become clearer and more stable, which will help you fight off the negative thoughts and feelings brought about by your depression.
Finally, keep a healthy, balanced diet that includes vegetables, meat, fruit, and vitamins. Make sure to drink enough water every day to keep your body energized and hydrated. When you have a healthy body, you will be in a better condition to manage the other symptoms of your depression.