There are many options for the management of depression, which is a very treatable illness. A doctor or therapist may recommend one or more treatment methods, including:
- Alternative and complementary therapies such as yoga or acupuncture
- Transcranial magnetic stimulation.
In addition to these depression treatments, there are some depression lifestyle changes that may make it easier to live with this condition.
Depression Lifestyle Changes
If you suffer from depression, these depression management techniques may help you feel better. Begin with simple steps such as:
- Breaking up larger tasks into smaller ones
- Engaging in mild activities that you once enjoyed, such as going to the movies, religious gatherings or social activities
- Postponing important decisions until after you begin to feel better
- Setting realistic goals for yourself
- Spending time with trusted friends or relatives.
In addition to these beginning steps, consider additional depression management techniques, such as:
- Avoid alcohol (a depressant) and recreational drugs.
- Exercise. Although depression can cause fatigue and lower motivation, at least 30 minutes of exercise three times a week will help ease depression symptoms. Exercise can be as simple as a walk around the block.
- Get a little sunlight each day. Sunlight exposure increases the amount of vitamin D in your body, which may help with depression symptoms.
- Get enough sleep.
- Reduce your commitments to activities. Give yourself time to relax without feeling guilty about it.
- Try to eat a balanced diet. Eat foods with limited carbohydrates and enough vitamins, minerals, omega-3 fatty acids and B-complex vitamins.
Depression Support Groups
Depression lifestyle changes can also include joining a depression support group. Whether you choose an in-person or online group, it will help with management of depression in many ways. Depression support groups:
- Allow individuals to learn from one anotherÃ•s experiences.
- Allow individuals to monitor other people’s progress, encouraging hope.
- Make individuals feel less isolated, providing a safe and welcoming environment.
- Motivate individuals to seek professional help or additional resources for depression management.
When joining a depression support group, ask yourself the following questions:
- Does the group focus specifically on the management of depression and its symptoms?
- Does the group have a set of existing guidelines?
- Is a mental health professional involved in the group?
- Is the group confidential?
- Is the group free? If not, what are the fees?
- Is the location convenient?
- Is there a group leader or moderator?
- What is a typical meeting like?
- What is the depression support groupÃ•s schedule?
Depressed individuals who adopt these depression management techniques will most likely experience decreased symptoms. Talk with your doctor to determine what will work for you.
ChooseHelp.com Staff. (2009). Depression-lifestyle changes that can help you feel better. Retrieved May 21, 2010, from the Choose Help website: www.choosehelp.com/depression/depression-lifestyle-changes-that-can-help-you-feel-better.
Mayo Clinic Staff. (2009). Support groups: Share experiences about depression, mental health conditions. Retrieved May 21, 2010 from the Mayo Clinic website: www.mayoclinic.com/health/support-groups/MH00044.
National Institute of Mental Health Staff. (2009). How can I help myself if I am depressed? Retrieved May 21, 2010, from the National Institute of Mental Health website: www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/depression/complete-index.shtml#pub12.