Linda Looking at Life
5 Ways to Alleviate Depression
No matter where you are in life, there is always something to learn and to share. Linda Sage
Depression is like a super white mist that descends slowly and silently. According to The Mental Health Foundation, “Depression is the predominant mental health problem worldwide.” Many people suffer in silence for many years, others go undiagnosed; just thinking it is something that will pass on its own. Depression has no gender, age, social or race boundaries, it can be caused by one event or incident, or it can accumulate with small occurrences adding up. Also, depression can reoccur many times during a lifetime.
Depression is classified as: Depression is a common mental disorder that causes people to experience depressed mood, loss of interest or pleasure, feelings of guilt or low self-worth, disturbed sleep and/or appetite, low energy, and poor concentration.
One by one these symptoms do not seem to be very difficult to notice, understand and alter, but we all make excuses and ignore symptoms. Knowing yourself is a golden key, as we are all different with different choices. However, these symptoms do not usually come one by one, but they do come in degrees of severity. The deeper the depression, the deeper the symptoms are and the more debilitating they are.
More than four million people in England are long-term users of antidepressants, new figures obtained by the Guardian show.
Data released under the Freedom of Information Act shows that more than 7.3 million people were prescribed antidepressants in 2017-18, 4.4 million of whom also received a prescription for such drugs in both of the two previous years.
1.6 million people prescribed antidepressants in the past year were “new” users, meaning they were not being prescribed such drugs in either 2015-16 or 2016-17.
Depression does not automatically mean medication, it can be alleviated by taking action for yourself, small steps give great outcomes.
1. Boundaries – work/life – when you are doing one are you thinking about the other?
Being 100% involved in what you are doing, helps concentration, productivity and self-achievement. Working at whatever you are doing for set periods of time, then a break is great practice ie. 50 mins work, 10 min break. Stand-up, move around, keep drinking water. (Hydration is also an important key).
2. Do something you enjoy – laughter is a great medicine, make time to do something fun, it is all too easy to get embroiled in the serious side of life, but YouTube is always on hand to lighten the mood. Put an appointment in your diary, you are more likely to keep to it. MeX (Me whatever it is you enjoy).
3. Sleep – in bed, this seems fundamental, but sofas and armchairs become an easy place to nod off, then when you do go to bed, the problem of sleeping gets compounded. Invest in a good mattress, sleep and relaxation rejuvenates, a lumpy, bumpy mattress does not help. Keeping your bedroom uncluttered, calm and mobile/gadget-free, helps you relax and sleep.
4. Keep off quick fixes – caffeine, alcohol, drugs, sugar can and do give quick fixes to “get through for a while,” but they all take their toll and add to depressive thoughts, beliefs and actions. These all start out as crutches and end up being a massive issue on their own, giving you another problem to deal with.
5. Music/Arts – Not everyone is a Picasso, J.K. Rawling or Maria Callas, but it does not mean you cannot enjoy what others can produce, or even produce your own version. Losing yourself in music, art or literature can transport you to another world, aid relaxation and lift moods. You may not want to, or be able to go to a gym, but playing some music and moving around the room is great exercise for any ability.
Life is challenging, but it does not have to be depressing. The mind is an amazing piece of equipment, but like all equipment, it needs some TLC as well. Self-care is not a luxury, it is a necessity. If you are functioning at your best, it will benefit you and all those around you too.
Small steps, regularly taken will lead you in another direction, towards the life you really want.
Here’s to your bright future.