Monitoring symptoms goes a long way toward learning how to deal with depression. It’s about keeping perspective, because left unchecked, listlessness, despair, disappointment and a sense of worthlessness are compounded. They stack. In this way, depression becomes entrenched.
Everyone has ups and downs, but major depression can last months or years. An estimated 20 – 25% of adults may suffer depression at some point in their lives. Everyone is different, however, so while many are afflicted, the severity and duration of cases are extremely wide ranging.
Everyone’s window of perception is unique, consequently so is their mental strife. For this reason, it’s normal to feel as though no one understands what you’re going through. There’s some sense to that, but it’s just the depression talking. In truth, there are common thought patterns that keep many people down. In figuring out how to deal with depression, recognizing them is of great benefit.
Perfectionism is one culprit, because nothing is flawless. Many depressed people dwell on minor imperfections, even surrounding overall successes. Holding impossibly high standards causes undue emotional strain, leading to self-punishing thoughts like “I can’t do anything right,” when that simply is not the case.
Other people diminish the positive. Things can go smoothly, but there’s still the a sense that it’s “only a matter of time” before disaster strikes. Similarly, good interactions are mired in skepticism, and thoughts that the other person “just wants something from me.” It will help you deal if you identify when you’re jumping to such conclusions without sound reason.
People also label themselves “idiot,” or some negative term. In the 5 minutes that it takes to locate a misplaced set of keys—a everyday occurrence—it takes a weighty psychic toll if you’re berating yourself as “idiot, idiot!” People are quick with all sorts of labels. Situations “suck,” or are stamped as “ridiculous,” before they’re given a fair chance. If you can identify snap judgments and labels it’s possible to change them or stop the pattern.
Journaling is effective in keeping perspective. Left alone, jumbled concerns, worries and fears get confused and bolster themselves. Writing helps to demarcate issues. Keeping a log can help identify labels, track accomplishments and bring clarity to unfounded concerns. People use gratitude journals to focus on positives.
Isolated people often think they’re a “bother,” but people want to help. Talk to a friend, loved one, minister, doctor or professional counselor. There are numerous, welcoming support groups. Realize that some depression is not manageable without professional and medical assistance. In learning how to deal with depression, however, the more perspective you have the better equipped you are.