Overcome Depression: Natural Treatment Without Medication
Overcome Depression: Knowing the truth can help you get out of a funk. Depression is a medical condition, not “laziness” or a natural, fleeting response to grief and disappointment.
A severe depressive is defined as experiencing five or more of the following symptoms every day (or most days) for two weeks or longer:
- An irritable or sad disposition
- Sleep problems (i.e., sleeping too much or too little; sleeping mainly during the day)
- A lack of motivation or a shift in one’s interests (i.e., not being interested in what you used to enjoy).
- An excessive sense of guilt or a fictitious poor self-esteem
- Significantly lower energy levels and a change in self-care practices (i.e., not showering anymore)
- There is a considerable drop in concentration (i.e., a sharp decline in grades or performance)
- Changes in appetite (i.e., eating too much or too little)
- Severe anxiety/panic attacks or excessive agitation
- Suicidal thoughts, plans, or behavior’s, such as self-mutilation (i.e., intentionally cutting or burning yourself)
It’s critical to remember that not everyone who is depressed is contemplating suicide. You can still get therapy even if you haven’t displayed any specific suicide or self-harm behavior’s or if your symptoms aren’t as severe or chronic as the signals described above.
OK, I’m having a bad day… So, what’s next?
You can use some positive coping skills now that you’re aware of the signs and symptoms of depression. The following tactics are supported by scientific research and pharmaceutical prescribers, such as psychiatrists. These abilities are frequently recommended as critical parts of therapy, even for those who continue to take antidepressant medications.
1. Purpose: Look for small ways to help others.
To discover personal meaning, volunteer for something greater than yourself. It’s vital to remember that meaningful service doesn’t have to be vast. “Success, like joy, cannot be pursued; it must happen… as an unexpected side effect of one’s own dedication to a course larger than oneself,” the author writes.
2. Your objectives: Set attainable goals that offer you a sense of success.
Most people feel guilty when it comes to goals because they set goals that are unreasonable or difficult to fulfil. If a plan fits the following characteristics, it is feasible:
- Something over which you have control (i.e. not dependent on others)
- It is possible to control (i.e., not overwhelming)
- It’s right for you (not for someone else)
- Measurable (i.e., you know whether or not it is done or getting done)
If something goes wrong with your goal, instead of being critical and stating, “This is why I’m horrible,” ask yourself, “What can I learn from this?” Also, be cautious when comparing your progress to that of others. We typically juxtapose our worst weakness with the greatest strength of another individual. It’s inequitable (and usually not accurate anyhow).
3. Pleasant Activities or Events: Make plans for enjoyable activities or events.
Don’t put off doing something until you’re “in the mood.” Allow yourself a 30-minute “break” daily, or schedule a healthful activity. Remember to tackle these situations with the proper perspective (see Engagement). Also, foster gratitude by focusing on what went right today rather than what went wrong. It’s a good idea to keep a gratitude journal. Recognize that being grateful for your benefits does not require ignoring your difficulties.
4. Commitment: Stay in the now.
The word “mindfulness” is used to characterize this approach. As much as possible, avoid being in your head with self-judgment during activities. You won’t be able to stop judging yourself, but you will be able to recognize it and gently bring yourself back to the present. According to research, those with a higher level of self-compassion also have a higher level of self-worth or self-confidence.
For persons who struggle with self-compassion or healthy Engagement, Kristin D. Neff’s website has self-compassion activities. Mindfulness-based stress reduction courses are also available in Utah.
5. Exercise and eat healthily.
Moderate exercise, done five times a week for 30 minutes, can dramatically enhance your mood. Any action that makes singing from the diaphragm difficult is considered moderate exercise. Pay attention to how your mood is affected by your drinking food or beverage. You don’t have to follow fad diets, but anyone who regularly consumes carbs, junk food, and energy drinks will get depressed. Keep in mind the virtue of moderation.
6. Relationships: Spend time with individuals that encourage you.
To help you grow, interact with others daily (not people that bring you down). While it’s OK to spend some time alone, it’s essential to establish a balance and avoid isolating oneself since this will prolong the grief.
7. Maintain a Regular Sleep Routine: Try to maintain a regular sleep schedule.
Avoid sleeping too little or too much to maintain a healthy sleep pattern. Staying up late one night and then sleeping the next day is a sure way to make you sad. Also, fixing problems late at night when your brain is half asleep is not a good idea.
As you practise these coping skills, know that you’re on your path to overcoming depression.
Depression, on the other hand, tends to persist when people manufacture a reason why they cannot execute these tasks. Regardless of what medication you’re on, doing several of these daily activities — even when you don’t feel like it — is crucial to treating depression. These good coping skills may take time and practice, but if we don’t make an effort to be healthy, we may find ourselves dealing with periods of “sickness” later.