Depression is the foremost global mental health issue. Over 20% of people in the UK over 16 show symptoms of anxiety or depression, and it is essential to remember that, regardless of any stigma you encounter in your immediate community, you are not alone. Regardless of the severity of your depression, there are some steps you can take to offer some alleviation.
1 – Talk to Somebody
A frequent symptom of depression is a strong sense of loneliness. It can be so tough to talk about mental health, especially if you feel that those who you’d speak to would judge you for it. Even though it is hard to do, bringing yourself to tell somebody how you feel can help. The NHS lists many helplines that offer judgement-free conversations. Even this can be hard for some people, especially as depression is often comorbid with social anxiety. If this is the case, anonymous (moderated) chat-rooms can be highly beneficial. If you can, speaking to your GP about your problems should be your highest priority, as they can recommend you onto some therapies that offer long-lasting support.
2 – Alter your Lifestyle Choices
Diet and exercise have a huge impact on your brain chemistry. Few people are aware that stomach health is actually linked to mental health. The nature of depression means that many victims opt for fast-foods, which almost always make you feel worse. The temptation of instant pleasure from a pizza may be hard to resist, but your body and brain will feel healthier when eating dishes high in vitamins (fresh fruit and vegetables are key).
Remembering to stay hydrated is so important, and it also helps brain functioning. Dietary supplements can be beneficial, but their effectiveness depends on the nature of your depression. For those who have depression linked with any links to insomnia, verywellmind.com suggests that 5-HTP can aid the regeneration of serotonin overnight and enhance the neurotransmitter regulation that sleep provides. Some more traditional supplements are lithium-based, and these are renowned for stabilising depression in severe cases. Their pharmaceutical forms can be difficult to obtain in a way that your body can absorb, but Health Monthly’s research has found that lithium orotate (which is much more accessible) is absorbed and utilised similarly to the prescription formulae.
3 – Focus on yourself in a healthy way
Many of those suffering from depression experience clouded thoughts, poor memory and confusion. This can make talking about specific problems difficult. If this is the case for you, it may help to sit down and think about what you are feeling. It is easy to ruminate (think in cycles without helping yourself at all), and if you suspect you are doing this, then mindfulness may help. This meditative technique shows you how to clear your head and become an observer to your thoughts. The National Institute for Health and Care Excellence recommends mindfulness as a depression preventative, especially in those who have previously suffered from bouts. Their website offers detailed guidance on recognition and management, so if you want clinical recommendations, they are a great place to start.
If you’re struggling at all from depression, it is extremely recommended that you have a chat with a medical professional like a GP at your earliest possible convenience. The efficacy of the tips here have hopefully demonstrated that you have not been sentenced to a life-sentence of sadness. It is genuinely possible to get better, and sometimes it can be easier than you think.