Coping Skills for Depression
A major depressive episode is defined as experiencing five or more of the following, everday or most of the time for more than two weeks.
@ Too much/ Too little sleep
@ Change in interest/Low motivation
@ Excessive guilt/Unrealistic low self-image
@ Significantly low energy /Change in self-care
@ Can't concerntrate
@ Eating to much/to little
@ Agitation/anxiety/panic attacks
@ Suicidal thoughts/Self-harm/Self-hate
It is important to know that *not everyone who is depressed is suicidal*. You can still seek help even if your symptoms aren't as severe /persistent as above mentioned.
OK... You feel depressed 🤦 what now??
You have ticked all or some of the boxes... Now is the time for some positive *coping skills*. These are scientifically researched, supported by doctors and psychiatrist as well as psychologist - and they are often recommended as part of an anti-depressant regiment with medication.
Practice these everyday
It's important to know you probably *Won't* feel motivated to do any of them at first... Know that it's normal to feel this way. This is where the NEED TO HELP MYSELF comes in...
1. Meaning ~ Find a way to bring back the "meaning in your life". Find personal meaning that's serving something larger than yourself. Don't need to be "big" to count. Just stop and listen to someone else get out of your own head.
2.Goals ~ Don't set unreasonable/unworkable goals.
- Something you can control NOT depend on others...
- Something manageable NOT overwhelming
- Realistic for YOU!! NOT for other people
- Measurable ~ so you can see the difference.
If your goal doesn't work out, adopt a "what can i learn from this?" attitude NOT a judgmental attitude "this is why i am horrible" attitude. We usually compare our weaknesses to another's biggest strengths!! DON'T!! It's unfair and usually not accurate anyhow.
3. Engagement ~ Stay in the present!! Try not to be in your own head with self-judgment, but you can take notice of it and bring yourself back to the present. Remember theirs no harsher judge that oneself!!
4. Pleasant-events ~ don't wait to be in "the mood"!! Do something pleasant for yourself. Stop and sit on the sideline of life a bit. Notice really notice other people. Practice gratitude take time to notice the things that did go well that day. Don't just focus on stuff that went wrong. Being grateful doesn't mean you Discount your Problems...
5. Exercise ~ And eat right too. Doing moderate exercise 5x a week can dramatically help your mood. You don't have to diet but anyone would get depressed if they frequently binge on carbs, junk food and energy drinks. Remember the virtue of moderation.
6. Relationships ~ Focus on people who lift you up. While it's okay to have some alone time, find a balance and DON'T isolate yourself, the depression will linger.
7. Sleep regularly ~ Try to keep a regular sleep schedule. Keep it balanced, not to much or to little. Staying up one night, and sleeping in the next day is a sure-fire way to feed depression. And don't try to solve problems late at night...
Practicing these coping skills, know you are on the right path to overcoming depression. Remember making reasons why you can't do these things (no matter what medication you're taking) depression is going to linger. Doing some of these everyday exercises especially when you don't feel like it!!! Is vital to the treatment of depression.
DO NOT SUDDENLY GO OFF YOUR PRESCRIPTION MEDICATIONS WITHOUT FIRST TALKING TO YOUR MEDICAL PHYSICIAN.