Statistically, approximately 1 out of 8 people suffer from depression in the course of their lives. Depression can be related to stressful life events like the loss of a loved one. It can be a long term but mild depression, or it can manifest as a severe depression that renders a person, unable to get out of the bed in the morning. If you have ever suffered from depression, you know that regardless of its form it makes many aspects of your life more challenging.
If you are experiencing a depression as the result of the loss of your job or the loss of a loved one, your depression will likely pass in 8-12 weeks. During this time, it is important to gather support and give yourself time to feel your feelings. If you know someone who is going through a difficult time you can help them understand the importance of doing the things on this list:
- Make sure that other people know how you are feeling. Don’t assume that they know how badly you are feeling just because they know the situation.
- Ask them to check in with you. It is crucial that you give your support people this instruction. They may not be certain how to support you.
- Be as clear as you can be about what helps. Do you need them to just listen? Do you need them to stay even if you don’t pay any attention to them? Let them know how they can be there for you.
- Don’t isolate. If you are thinking that you really just want to be left alone, this is often a symptom of how you are feeling. People are very important to help you move through this situational depression.
- Take care of yourself. Make a list of things you used to do to take care of yourself when you were not feeling so sad. Do one of these things each day.
For those who are suffering from moderate and especially from severe depression, doing what you might intellectually know is the best for you, in this condition, often seems impossible. You will benefit from support the same way that someone with a situational depression might but you will also need to try additional tools.
- Get professional support. If you have been suffering from depression or think that you might be suffering from it, consult a qualified professional. Many factors can contribute to your depression, and a professional will be best able to determine which interventions will be best.
- Make a list. Make a list of things you used to do for enjoyment when you are not depressed. Do one of these things each day.
- Get moving. Push yourself to make your bed and get dressed. Although you might resist the very thought, taking care of business does really help you feel better.
- Know that you can get through this. Depression can lead us to believe that we will always be depressed. This is not true. You can overcome your depression or find ways to maintain a depression free state.
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