This is part 3 of 3 in a series on long term depression.
The million dollar question – what can you do to help with your chronic or long term depression?
In the last article, I eluded that the prognosis is good. At least I tried but there is a catch!
here is the million dollar answer
Get treatment – any treatment. That’s the answer in a nutshell.
Without treatment depression will prevent full enjoyment of life. It may not interfere with every day living but it will always come back to haunt you. There’s no telling when it will decide to drop back in for a visit.
starting point for treatment of long term depression
The most important thing – go to your doctor and get diagnosed.
Seems to be a pattern here.
You see once you go to your doctor, you both have a better idea of what you are facing. Perhaps there are further underlying causes. A medical condition or maybe you have more than just chronic depression.
It’s good to find that out. It’s like a twelve step program.
The first step is to acknowledge you have a problem. Once you’ve done that the rest is easy….well, easier.
the next most important thing
Your treatment will not be short and there is no magic pill. You will have various things you have to do and it is important to follow through until you are certain your issues are resolved. You don’t want them popping back up. Do you?
I keep saying that…guess why?
It’s really important.
There is hope but it takes serious dedication and commitment to resolve or at least control your depression and the underlying reasons for it. Depression is not nice and you deserve to have a quality of life instead of just dreaming about it.
steps to recovery from long term depression
Here’s a previous and much more detailed article on the steps for coping with depression.
To get a look at the whole picture, you have to battle it on several fronts.
- acknowledge – admit you have depression
- educate – go to your doctor to find a possible treatment (take your time to find the right one). Read about it and learn everything you can about the causes and cures. Find the online and community resources or tools you need. Look up the number for the various helplines.
- commit – make a commitment to follow through and recover
- get social support – it’s important to build a social network. Spending time with friends and family instead of isolating yourself is one piece of this puzzle but there are groups, forums and other places you can go for help. Not just depression groups either. Finding an activity you like may give you the lift you need.
- choose medical options– you don’t have to take medication as a treatment. There are many other ways (in some cases) that you can battle your depression.
- see a nutritionist – depression and diet go hand in hand. Eat right. There are some foods you need to avoid too!
- unhealthy habits – quit smoking and reduce or eliminate your alcohol intake. These contribute and change your brain chemistry.
- exercise – the Achilles Heel for many, but exercise and depression, truly an all purpose elixir for good health in general.
- medication – discuss the possible drug therapy options with your physician
- psychotherapy – there are many forms of therapy including group therapy. A doctor or therapist might use cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT), interpersonal, narrative, supportive or even family therapy as a treatment.
- light therapy – this is a newer approach to getting your body the vitamins it needs that can only be found in sunlight. Light therapy is especially good for those that suffer in the winter, when light is at a minimum.
- find the cause – Perhaps life long events you haven’t dealt with are preventing you from having the life you deserve. Until you find out why, you will have a problem figuring out how to fix it!
Dedicate and persevere.
A little bit of self help and a lot of patience and commitment will get you through it. You need to learn about depression and all the tools available to make a healthy and happy you.
It’s time to explore that, isn’t it? Don’t deny yourself.
Always remember that depression is an ailment of the mind. A healthy body and positive thoughts will contribute greatly to help you conquer it.