Depression is a serious mental health condition that can often feel overwhelming. Luckily, it’s a highly treatable disease. And it’s imperative to seek treatment, as depression can often worsen if a person doesn’t address it.
Wondering how to get out of depression? The most effective treatment for depression is therapy and medication. In addition to these, there are some self-help steps you can take to further alleviate or reduce depression symptoms. These are often approaches that can improve your overall mental health and are great tactics to include in your everyday life.
What Is Depression?
Depression is a type of mood disorder that causes intense symptoms that impact how a person acts and feels. It’s important to understand that depression is more than “just being sad.” The feelings of sadness are so intense and constant that they may affect the person’s ability to sleep, eat, take care of themselves, go to work and maintain friendships. These feelings negatively impact the person’s life, stealing their ability to live the happy, fulfilled life they deserve to live.
There are many types of depression, including:
- Major depression
- Persistent depressive disorder
- Bipolar disorder
- Seasonal affective disorder (SAD)
- Psychotic depression
- Postpartum depression
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PDD)
- Atypical depression
- Situational depression
- Treatment-resistant depression
Unfortunately, there’s still a stigma around the “depression” label. However, individuals struggling with depression should never be ashamed of their condition. Depression is one of the most common mental health conditions, and the World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that 5% of the global population suffers from depression.
Many people who have depression wonder how to stop being depressed. Depression is highly treatable. Individuals should never ignore their depression symptoms as, without help, they can worsen and, in extreme cases, even lead a person to become suicidal.
What to Expect When Doing “Self-Treatment”
On its own, self-treatment isn’t a viable solution or “cure” for depression. Instead, it should be seen as an “add-on” to the effective, scientifically proven ways to treat the condition, medication and therapy. It’s important to understand that trying to cure depression on your own, without professional help, is very dangerous.
Still, there are some benefits to trying some self-care for depression. Generally speaking, self-care is beneficial for a person’s mental health. It can help reduce depressive symptoms even further and help build healthy habits.
How to Get Out of Depression: 5 Self-Help Tips
Here are five self-help tips on how to get rid of depression:
1. Get Physical
Exercise has been shown to improve mental health by reducing depression, anxiety, self-esteem and negative moods. Exercise releases endorphins, which help enhance your mood and make you feel better.
Of course, when you’re suffering from depression, finding the motivation to work out can be incredibly challenging. If that’s the case, try starting small. Even a walk around the block can count as getting some physical exercise. Over time, try to work up to getting at least 30 minutes of some form of physical activity every day.
2. Get More Sleep
Individuals with depression often struggle with insomnia — they either can’t fall asleep or have trouble staying asleep. In fact, when being diagnosed with depression, the patient is usually asked about their sleep habits because “sleep disorders are a core symptom of depression.”
When we don’t get adequate sleep, it can negatively impact our mood and mental health. A bad night’s sleep can make depressive symptoms more severe.
Someone with depression should prioritize getting a good night’s rest every night. Implementing a nighttime routine can help reduce sleep problems. Some ways to get a good night’s rest are:
- Get blackout curtains
- Use a sound machine to block out noise
- Stop using any electronic devices 1 hour before bedtime
- Go to sleep at the same time every night, even on weekends
- Avoid alcohol
- Limit daytime naps to a maximum of 20 minutes
3. Eat a Healthy Diet
You know that feeling you get after you indulge in a bag of chips, some greasy pizza and ice cream for dinner? In the moment, it feels great eating those foods, but immediately after, you feel lethargic and unhappy. That’s because our diet and mental health are closely intertwined.
While you don’t have to become a health nut overnight, keeping on a balanced diet as much as possible is essential. Ensure you’re eating healthy fats, getting adequate protein and eating your fruits and vegetables daily.
If you struggle to eat healthy, try taking it one step at a time. During the first week, try making a healthier choice for your breakfast. The following week, you can tackle lunches. And by week three, you’re focusing on healthy dinners and already having a more balanced diet.
4. Daily Positive Affirmations
Someone with depression often finds themselves in a negative self-talk loop. They might think they can’t do anything right, no one likes them and they bring no value to anyone. If someone has been having these thoughts for a while, it can be tough to break the habit of engaging in this type of negative thinking.
One way to battle this habit is with positive affirmations. Get a daily journal, and every day, write down three things you love about yourself and three things you love about your life. It might seem simple, but this can be the key to changing your perception of yourself and the world.
To make sure you keep up with your journaling, try to always do it at the same time. Have a journal by your nightstand and do it either first thing in the morning or before you go to bed.
5. Get in Some Laughs
Did you know that laughter can increase dopamine in the brain? Laughing feels good and makes us happier.
So, try to laugh every day. Start watching comedy shows at night, listening to a comedy podcast on your commute to work or just reading jokes when you need a break. However you can fit it into your schedule, make sure you get a good belly laugh in daily!
What to Do When Depression Becomes Unmanageable
If your depression feels unmanageable, getting help immediately is vital. We can’t stress enough that depression is treatable. You can stop feeling these awful symptoms if you seek professional treatment. You deserve to live a happy life, which can be made possible with therapy. Medication is also helpful for some, although you don’t have to try this route if you don’t want to.
Always seek help before your depression gets to the point that it feels overwhelming. Have a daily check-in with yourself and recognize when things seem to be getting progressively worse rather than better.
It happens. All you can do is acknowledge the problem and get help to fix it.
Depression Treatment at Restore Mental Health
Remember that you’re not alone in the fight against depression. In the United States, over 19.4 million adults are struggling with depression.
At Restore, we know a better life is within reach for you. Our highly trained and compassionate staff will see that you get the help you need so you can heal and transform. Contact us today to find out about the programs we offer for depression treatment.