When you are dealing with major depressive disorder, otherwise known as depression, everything feels challenging. The persistent feeling of sadness and lack of motivation can make even the seemingly simple tasks overwhelming, like getting out of bed or socializing with people you love.
The most frustrating thing about major depressive disorder is that you may not know when a new episode of your clinical depression will strike. Therefore, it’s best to equip yourself with the right knowledge and some strategies to help yourself when you’re feeling depressed.
In this article, we will explore seven tips that you can follow to cope with your depression. Additionally, we will tell you where you should go to get professional help for your depression if you are located in Virginia.
1. Spot the Triggers of Your Depressive Episodes
Episodes of depressive disorders mostly catch individuals off guard. The good news is that triggers for depressive episodes can be identified so that they can be avoided. When you know the triggers of your depression, you become prepared to deal with them.
Episodes of major depressive disorder can be triggered by the unexpected loss of someone very beloved, feelings of rejection, and hormonal changes, among others. It’s important to mention here that not all episodes of depression have a direct cause, and it’s OK if you can’t find the trigger of your depression.
To spot the unique trigger of your depression, keep a journal with you and jot down any important events, changes to your daily routines, and your mood. It’s a good idea to rate your mood on a scale of 1 to 10 to identify an event that may be a trigger of your depression.
2. Stay in Touch with Your Loved Ones
Staying in touch with the people you love is one of the most important things you can do to help yourself with depression other than psychotherapy and medications. Knowing that you have someone you talk to when you feel low goes a long way toward major depressive disorder treatment.
It’s a good idea to forge stronger ties with friends or family. You can also get help from a support group in your area that meets your needs. Your mental health therapists can also help you find a support group in your area.
3. Find Ways to Tame Your Stress
When you experience stress, your body produces a hormone called cortisol. This hormone helps us gear up to cope with whatever is causing the stress. Unfortunately, in the long run, excessive cortisol can cause many problems and may be linked to depression. This may be the reason why many people with depression have elevated cortisol levels in their blood.
Therefore, it’s a good idea to learn some stress management techniques to help lower cortisol levels and thereby cope with symptoms of depression. Stress management techniques such as mindfulness, meditation, and breathing exercises can help you learn to look at the problem differently and thereby reduce stress, which greatly lowers your risk of becoming depressed.
Studies have also supported the idea that regular periods of mindfulness can reduce the symptoms of major depressive disorder and help cope with depression.
4. Have ABedtime Routine
Studies have found that nearly 80% of people with depression experience sleep disturbance. In depression, people feel like they either cannot sleep or struggle to get out of bed. What’s more, lack of sleep can also trigger depression.
Therefore, make a bedtime routine to cope with depression symptoms. Turn off all the electronics in your bedroom at least an hour before you go to bed and use dim light to read a book or engage in a relaxing activity. This way you can associate your bed with relaxation rather than stress.
5. Learn to Manage Negative Thoughts
Depression not only can make you feel bad, but it can also cause you to think more negatively. Your therapist can teach you some effective ways to identify and modify your negative thoughts.
Therapies like cognitive behavioral therapy can help you change your negative thoughts into more balanced ones to alter feelings and behaviors. For major depressive disorder treatment, notice how often you have negative thoughts and then challenge those thoughts and replace them with more positive thoughts.
6. Engage in Exercise and Physical Activity
There is a close association between exercise and mood. When you exercise your body produces hormones called endorphins which are natural mood boosters. A recent study published in the Journal of Psychiatric Research has also suggested that getting physically active can be effective in treating episodes of major depressive disorder.
Getting out of bed, let alone exercising, can be challenging in depression. That’s why it’s advisable to start slowly. Start by doing something as small as a brief walk around the block every day and then gradually walk for 30 minutes. It’s wise to engage in mild to moderate exercise at least five times per week.
7. Eat Healthy
Many people with major depressive disorder don’t feel like eating and resultingly lose weight, while others find comfort in food and become overweight. Improving your diet could be key to coping with symptoms of major depressive disorder.
It is pertinent to mention here that many nutrients that are essential for the brain can also affect depression. For example, studies have found that zinc deficiency can be associated with symptoms of major depressive disorders. Therefore, before making any major changes to your diet or beginning to take your supplements or vitamins, talk with your mental health professional.
Major Depressive Disorder TreatmentNear Me in Virginia
Remember that these tips are not a substitute for professional help. So always reach out to a mental health provider for help.
If you or your loved one are in search of a highly trained and experienced mental health professional who provides personalized and comprehensive major depressive disorder treatments, look no further.
At EPIC Health Partners, we have highly trained and skilled psychiatrists, professional counselors, and other mental health therapists who can provide you with top-notch care for your mental issues like depression. We are proud to offer a comprehensive range of mental health services including outpatient therapy, mental health skill-building programs, psychiatric services, addiction recovery and treatment services (ARTS), community stabilization services, and intensive in-Home Care Services to enable our patients to lead a positive and rewarding life.
If you would like to know more about our services or would like to make an appointment, call us today at (434) 835-4601. Alternatively, you can use our convenient and secure online Request an Appointment form.