I have experienced very severe Depression. It lasted for years. I felt sad and hopeless most of the time during that period. I have thankfully been able to come out the other side of Depression. Here’s how I have managed to deal with it:
Medication can work by balancing chemicals in your brain.
I have tried a lot of medications for my mental health. I have lost count I been on so many. Some worked and some didn’t. I am currently taking an anti-psychotic called Vraylar and it is working wonders on keeping my mood episodes at bay. I know medication isn’t right for everyone but if other treatments aren’t working, medication can be a great option.
Anti-depressants are usually the first medication given for people dealing with low moods. Anxiety Disorders can come along with Depression so you might try anxiety medication as well. Although not everyone will experience increased anxiety with Depression. Sometimes an anti-psychotic will be used if other treatments haven’t worked or you have treatment resistant Depression.
The anti-depressants I have tried are Prozac, Lexapro, and Cymbalta. None of them ended up working for me though because it turns out that I have Bipolar Disorder. Sometimes anti-depressants can induce hypomanic or manic episodes in people with Bipolar Disorder. I didn’t have any major side effects from those medications besides the mood shifts. Just because they didn’t work for me doesn’t mean that they couldn’t for you.
Please see a professional to get medication advice.
Getting enough sleep is very important but getting too much sleep can also be harmful. The goal is usually 7 to 8 hours a night. But it also has to be restful sleep. If you have insomnia associated with Depression then it can be hard to fall asleep or stay asleep. Here are a few tips to help with any sleep problems not due to other medical conditions:
Put away electronics
The light from your electronics can keep your brain awake. It can trick it into thinking that the sun is still up and it isn’t night-time. I recommend staying away from electronics for about 30 minutes to an hour before you plan to go to sleep. If you look at your phone before bed, try reading a book or spending time with loved ones.
Pick a time
Try going to sleep around the same time every night. And try to wake up around the same time every morning. This can help you get consistent amounts of sleep. It can also help your body get familiar with a routine and know when it is time to fall asleep.
Being active during the day can help you get more restful sleep at night. That means mental and physical exercises. Try talking a walk or playing a mind game. Keeping your body and mind busy during the day can make you more tired when it comes time for sleep.
If you have hypersomnia then try making several alarms to wake you up within the 7 to 9 hour sleep range. Another way to help with this is to change your bedtime. If you usually go to sleep at 9pm then keep yourself busy for an extra hour or so before going to bed. If you still have trouble with sleeping too much maybe try setting appointments and other obligations in the morning to motivate you to get up and ready for the day earlier.
Support is really important for recovery. It can come from psychiatrists, therapists, friends, family, or support groups. My family is very supportive and is there for me when I need their help. I also have experience going to a Depression and Bipolar support group. It was a safe place to talk about what you want or to listen to others who are going through similar experiences. I recommend looking up support groups in your area and going when you feel like you need extra support or if you can not talk openly with loved ones.
Your treatment team can be your biggest ally too. They can listen to your symptoms, recommend medications or treatments, and support you through your Depression.
Talking about what is going on in my life with a licensed therapist was really beneficial for me. I have seen multiple therapists in my lifetime. At first I had a difficult time opening up to my therapists. I would only cry during sessions and not really accomplish much. If you find it hard to open up then here are a couple of tips:
Find the right one
Finding the right therapist is very important. Having the right therapist will help you to feel more comfortable sharing information with them and allow you to get the best help and advice for your situation. There are therapists who have experience working with people with Depression and that’s who I would recommend you start with.
Try saying what you want to share out loud in the privacy of your own home before your appointment. It might sound silly but it helped me when I would get too nervous to say what was on my mind.
Self-Care is also important to recovery from Depression. Taking care of yourself and being kind to yourself can help you so much. Self-care doesn’t necessarily mean to take a bath with candles and low lighting (Although it can be). You can take a walk, clip your nails, eat a healthy meal, make your bed, reply to emails, or whatever will help you feel good and accomplished.
I personally like to take walks and write posts for my blog. I also think journaling is super helpful in tracking my progress and symptoms. Even taking a minute out of your day can help you in the long run.
Finding something you love to do is beneficial to recovering from Depression. If you currently have lost interest in everything, think back and pick something you once loved to do. Having a hobby can give you something to strive for. It can help you take a break from being depressed and give you hope to recover.
I like making art in my free time. It allows me to be productive during the day and be creative. It also helped me to get out of my thoughts and focus on one thing.
If you are having trouble finding a hobby, think back to what you did when you were a child. This can help you rediscover things you once loved. Here are a few examples of hobbies: writing, reading, painting, singing, volunteering.
Please take everything I said with a grain of salt. I am not a professional.Those are things that have personally helped me overcome my Depression, although I can still have bad days once and awhile. If you are struggling, please seek out a professional for treatment. I hope this was helpful to you and gave you ideas on where to start your recovery. One thing to know is that it will get better. It might take a while but it will happen. Please feel free to leave your experience by leaving a comment.