How to Deal with Depression
If you missed the last couple weeks you might want to check out Depression 101 and 3 Obstacles to Treating Depression so you can get an overall view of this topic.
Today we’re gonna talk about: How to Deal with Depression
If you’ve been diagnosed with depression that’s not the end of the story. Recovering from depression is possible. Depression is something you have, it’s not something you are. I love what Dr. Jon Benson says, “Depression describes you, it doesn’t define you. So how do you find a life around it, despite it, and through it?”
There’s not one simple answer to that question. I’m not going to say it’s easy because it’s definitely a challenge to be deal with depression when an illness can leave you feeling helpless. So let’s start with 3 simple steps.
1. Refuse to isolate. Create a support system that includes as many components as possible, such as family, friends, church, support groups, or social connections. It’s easy to give into depression and never go out, but this doesn’t empower you to push past your feelings and find encouragement.
2. Engage a combination of psychotherapy and medications. People find the best success with this blend of treatment. Counseling will focus on support, stress management, changing self-defeating thoughts, overcoming helplessness as well as finding acceptance. Regarding medications, there seems to be a lot of confusion in this area. It’s not uncommon for people to need to try several different options or a combinations to find relief. Don’t give up. It’s worth the effort to fight for a better life. Most importantly, anti-depressants do not increase risk of suicide.
I had a friend who was struggling with depression and she started out with medication. It was helpful, she saw an immediate change in her mood, and even started sleeping better. But there were still some things in her life that felt out of control. Her marriage was up and down and she felt like her husband didn’t fully understand what she was going through. She decided to enter therapy for herself and occasional marriage counseling as well. The transformation took time and commitment but was well worth the effort.
3. Address the physical area. Exercise and light therapy can have a significant impact on depression and should never be overlooked.
I’d like to give a special thank you to Dr. Jon Benson, who shared his expertise with me so that I could pass it onto you.
…we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us. Romans 5:3-5 (ESV)
Question and Action Steps:
How are you dealing with depression? What success have you found in treating this illness? Comment below, I’d love to hear from you.
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See you next time!