Depression can occur in any person at any time throughout the recovery journey. No person is immune to feeling its effects, which range from the feeling of a small dark cloud lingering about to a desperate feeling of loneliness or like life is not worth living. Social stigma has decreased around depression, which is making it easier to seek treatment and support for dealing with its effects.
Dealing with Depression
The treatment, practice and prevention of depression can be supported through a number of ways. Some of the following tips may be helpful for any individual struggling with depressive symptoms:
Check for physical reasons
Depression may indicate the body’s chemistry is out of balance. The number one thing to do is visit an experienced physician or healthcare professional who can determine if something is going on. Many people are afraid to admit to feeling depressed, but speaking up is an act of courage against depression itself. Most forms of depression can be easily controlled or managed with the right support.
Stay away from drugs or alcohol
Ingesting chemical depressants while feeling depressed is not as likely to help as people think. Trying to escape the darkness of depression with the use of drugs or alcohol may take an even darker turn for some people. Ingestion of depressants may accelerate chemical depression.
Maintain a balanced lifestyle
Living in balance is really the best way to combat depression. Some of the following are ways to do this:
- Healthy eating habits
- Eating enough food
- Getting enough sleep
- Daily exercise (at least 30 minutes)
- Social interaction and engagement
- Spiritual foundation of support
- Follow physician directions for medication
People should not attempt to be doctors or assume what is best when it comes to medication disbursement. Medical diagnoses of depression can have serious implications for a person’s lifestyle, which requires a shift in perspective to taking better care of oneself.
Depression can take the joy out of recovery and the feeling of overcoming addiction. People may even resort to suicidal thoughts thinking it is the only way out. Recognizing the symptoms of depression is key, then acting upon those to visit with someone who can support a more balanced way of thinking. Self blame can occur when people become depressed. Friends in recovery may even suggest symptoms occur due to lack of effort in recovery. This can be dangerous for individuals trying to seek help. Something is not working properly if a person is depressed and help is usually needed to get better.
Once depression has been diagnosed, a number of different treatment options exist. These include:
- Prescription medication under a treating physician
- Psychotherapeutic support along with possible medication
- Electroconvulsive therapy (ECT) for severe depression or when all other options have failed
It is not a failure to seek help for depression. If you or a loved one exhibit signs and symptoms of depression, the Villa can provide resources and tools to get better. Call us to find out how we can help guide your journey back to health.