Many people who haven’t had depression look at those who are depressed and think they should be able to “snap out” of it. Like they can just give themselves a pep talk, or a little motivation boost, and get back to “normal.”
Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as this. Far from it.
Clinical depression is a medical condition. If you’re depressed, there is a chemical imbalance in your brain affecting how you feel. Depression can hurt, both physically and mentally.
It’s not something that you can change overnight or snap out of with some positive words
It takes time for someone to reverse the effects of depression and get over the illness. In most cases, patients require medication, therapy, and changes in their lifestyle to manage the condition.
Depression Is Different from Sadness
Depression is often confused for sadness. Most people will feel sad at points in their lives, and feeling sad is a key part of depression. The main difference is that there are ways you can find relief from sadness. You can cry, talk about it, or do things to take your mind off the cause. Time is also the main healer when you’re sad.
But if your mood doesn’t improve over time, it’s likely you’re depressed. Depression is very different from sadness. It’s a medical disorder that has an overpowering effect on a person and will not simply go away with time for most people.
There are actual changes in the chemical makeup of your brain when you’re depressed. It can worsen without proper help. This isn’t the case with sadness.
Signs and Symptoms of Depression
The symptoms of depression vary from person to person and are complex. Below is a list of the physical and psychological symptoms of depression.
● Feeling lethargic
● Moving and speaking slowly
● Changes in weight and appetite
● General aches and pains
● Loss of libido
● Sleeping issues.
● Continuous sadness and low mood
● Feeling at a loss and helpless
● Low self-esteem
● Feeling irritable and angry
● Lack of motivation
● Feeling worried and anxious
● Thoughts of hurting yourself.
If you experience a number of these symptoms for 2 or more weeks, a doctor would consider you to be suffering from depression.
Ways to Beat Depression
As already mentioned, it’s not possible to just “snap out” of a depressive state. Sometimes, people suffering from a very mild form of depression will get better over time without medication. However, they will need to make some changes to their lifestyle and actively work on getting over their depression.
If a patient’s symptoms do not improve, a doctor will try one or a combination of the following treatments:
There are a number of different medications available to treat depression. Most of them work by changing the chemical balance in the brain that affects our moods and emotions.
They don’t work for everyone, there are some side effects, and there is often a trial-and-error period to find which meds work best. But for most people, antidepressants help them stabilize their mood and function normally.
There are also a number of therapies that are effective for some patients. Therapies are either used in combination with antidepressants, or as their own treatment. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), and interpersonal therapy (IPT) are two of the common types of therapy.
CBT involves talking and working with a counselor. The counselor helps you identify patterns and behaviors that cause depression and hold you back from healing. For example, you could learn how to challenge negative hopeless feelings and negative thoughts.
IPT focuses on a patient’s relationships with the people around them. It helps them figure out how they can strengthen those relationships and improve communication.
Eat Well, Exercise, and Sleep Better
There are three natural methods for getting over depression that may work on their own or in combination with other treatments. These are eating healthy, exercising, and getting better quality sleep.
They all complement each other. Exercising stimulates the body to release the hormones someone with depression is lacking. So does eating healthy. Sleep is equally important, a good night’s sleep will give you more energy, strengthen the immune system, and help your body heal.