Are you looking for tips on how to survive depression so you can live a better and more productive life? This detailed guide breaks down everything you need to know into seven doable steps. Learn with us below.
A Surefire 7 Step Guide on How to Survive Depression
Step 1: Acknowledge That You Are Depressed and Need Help
Acceptance is the first step towards forging a path on how to survive depression. Sadly, there is still a stigma around depression that prevents people from seeking help. Accepting your situation opens you to the reality that you are not alone.
Acceptance also allows you to relate with people struggling with depression. Another reason for acceptance is that seeking help should be your idea. Otherwise, it will not work.
Step 2: Seek Professional Help
Talking to peers and family may feel comfortable, but it shouldn’t replace professional help. This is because depression patients need medication prescribed by a psychiatrist.
What’s more, professionals are better equipped to help you navigate your depression.
If you cannot afford a private session, try online toll-free services, where you can call for help. Even with online help, a visit to a professional is vital for diagnosis and treatment.
Here are a few tips for finding a mental health professional:
- Decide on who you want: Are you looking for a psychiatrist to prescribe medication. Or are you looking for a counselor to help you navigate your issues? Or will a social worker be a better point of contact?
- Gather referrals: Once you are clear on who you want, it is time to look for contacts. Gather contacts of professionals who accept your health insurance plan. If not, get contacts from your community mental health centers.
- Make the call: After compiling potential care providers, calls and book your first appointment.
- Ask questions: Asking questions allows you to establish whether you are comfortable. If not, continue making more calls to your contacts until you find one that you are comfortable with.
- Foster a relationship: After finding the best professional for your needs, build a friendship. This will make your treatment plan more productive.
- Once you have settled for a mental health practitioner, be vocal about what you want and feel will work for you.
- Take an active role in choosing members of your treatment plan as it is vital for your recovery.
Step 3: Develop a Strong Support System
This could mean forging stronger relationships with family and friends. Or joining a local or online support group for people struggling with depression. Either way, it is imperative for your recovery. This way, you do not have to suffer in silence.
Having people in your corner, no matter how small, assures you that you are not alone. Also, sharing your experiences opens you up to ways in which you can resolve some of your struggles.
Note: While a support system is essential, be selective with how much you open up about your illness. Or what you are going through, especially with people you do not trust.
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Step 4: Follow through and Be Patient
The next step on how to survive depression is commitment. While you may want the sadness gone immediately, remember that it is a gradual process that requires patience.
Surviving depression entails ongoing efforts outside therapy and medication.
- Establishing a healthy sleep routine. Studies suggest that sleep is directly related to mood. Therefore, make a continuous effort to go to sleep and wake up at the same time every day. Also, stay out of bed all day until it’s time to sleep again.
- Next, consider improving your diet and eating habits. Research has shown that specific diets can improve, prevent and treat mental health symptoms. For instance, a 2012 study associates zinc deficiency with some depression symptoms.
- Practicing what you learn in therapy is vital for mastering how to survive depression. This includes practicing learned techniques to stop negative thoughts or overcome procrastination.
Step 5: Actively Pursue Wellness
Mastering how to survive depression requires you to pursue progress consistently. It doesn’t have to be anything significant. The last thing you need is to add stress to an already stressing mental health condition.
Break down your daily tasks into smaller, manageable ones. Do not forget to celebrate all the milestones you meet on a given day. Also, hold yourself accountable for what you did not accomplish.
This doesn’t mean being hard on yourself. Instead, be kind to yourself and purpose to meet your goals the following day.
Meeting your goals gives you a sense of accomplishment, and motivates you to do better. This can be anything from cleaning to working out.
Step 6: Be Compassionate with Yourself
Mastering how to survive depression is a long process. Unfortunately for some, it is a lifelong commitment. That said, you can expect to have some bad days. This is normal and happens to all of us.
It is therefore vital to be compassionate and kind to yourself. Remember, the goal is progress and not perfection.
Step 7: Explore Your Options
Lastly, if your treatment plan is not working for you, it is okay to explore other options. Remember, as earlier mentioned, a lot (besides therapy and medication) goes into surviving depression.
All in all, depression is a manageable condition with which you can live a productive life.
Watch this video by MEDSimplified on diet for depression:
There you go, preppers. Being in the right frame of mind is vital indoors as it is outdoors. Luckily, this guide takes through the vital steps of how to survive depression.
And offers you tips on what to do to reach recovery. Remember that everybody’s situation is different and will take time to recover.