depression

Coping with Depression

Depression is a common yet serious mental health condition that negatively affects the way a person thinks and feels. A person with depression experiences depressed mood, fatigue, changes in appetite and weight, crying spells, changes in sleep pattern, lack of interest in pleasurable activities, feelings of guilt, worthlessness, difficulty in making decisions, helplessness, hopelessness, and suicidal thoughts. In children and adolescents, sad mood will be replaced by irritability. However, there are some ways in which one can cope with depression.

Pleasure, Mastery and Opposite Action:
Pleasure activities are those which bring joy, happiness and relief to the client. It can be as simple as having favourite food to eat or reading a novel. Mastery activities are those which provide a sense of achievement. It can be any daily task such as cleaning the house or physical exercise. These tasks can vary from person to person. They can be planned with a one hour period dedicated to each activity in a day. For e.g., 8am to 9am - Having breakfast, 9am to 10am - Meditation and exercise, 10am to 11am - Watering the plants, 11am to 12pm - Painting etc. Opposite action means doing the exact opposite of emotions which get in our way to act effectively. For instance, one may feel anxious about going out. Opposite action in this case would mean to overcome these anxious emotions and going out.

Gratitude Exercise:

Gratitude exercises involve consciously expressing gratitude towards all the positive events happening around us. This helps the person to acknowledge and appreciate the good things in life. It also helps to relieve stress and negative thoughts by being present in the moment. Gratitude exercises can be worked out by expressing gratitude by writing down thoughts, talking to people one is thankful to or writing in a letter.

Sleep Management:
Depression is associated with insomnia (difficulty in falling asleep or maintaining sleep) and hypersomnia (excessive sleep). Hence, it is important to manage sleep patterns. One can indulge in calming exercises such as deep breathing, cut down on use of gadgets before going to bed, eating healthy, reducing alcohol and caffeine intake and inculcate the habit of exercise. However, if sleep issues prolong, it is best to consult a professional.

Self – Care:
Self – care means nothing but indulging in activities in order to take care of our mental, physical and emotional health. Self - care will help a person with depression to bring positive changes in self. It will also help one to feel good about himself/herself. One can make an effort to indulge in basic activities such as consuming a healthy diet, exercising, meditating, hobby activities, grooming, spending time with loved ones etc.

It might seem difficult at first but with some determination and effort, you can do these things to cope with depression. In case you wish to consult a mental health professional, you can book a session with our experts through the PinkyMind app.

Reference:
Corey, G. (2011). Theory and practice of counseling and psychotherapy (9th ed.). USA: Cenveo Publisher Services.
Guarino, M. (2018). Gratitude exercises worksheet. Retrieved from https://www.psychpoint.com/mental-health/worksheets/gratitude-exercises/
Michael, R. (2016). What Self-Care Is — and What It Isn’t. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 5, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/blog/what-self-care-is-and-what-it-isnt-2/
Sadock, B., J., Sadock, V., A., & Ruiz, P. (2015). Kaplan & Sadock’s synopsis of psychiatry: Behavioural sciences / Clinical psychiatry (11th ed.). Philadelphia: Wolters Kluwer.
Tartakovsky, M. (2017). Use This DBT Skill to Manage Your Emotions and Enhance Your Life. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 6, 2018, from https://psychcentral.com/blog/use-this-dbt-skill-to-manage-your-emotions-and-enhance-your-life/