This week’s blog is my Top 10 list of ways to combat, and practice overcoming depression. Depression is a debilitating condition that combines many factors, including body chemistry, past life experiences, substance use and abuse, current life situations and circumstances, to name some of the more prevalent factors.
10) Recognize and admit that depression is possibly going on.
- There are a variety of websites and checklists that can help identify ie. www.webmd.com
9) Eat (appropriately).
- Sometimes, one’s appetite is suppressed with depression, while others may tend to eat more. Eating small amounts throughout the course of the day can be a helpful approach.
8) Outdoor living.
- The absorption of vitamin D, an important ingredient in countering depression, can be gained by as little as 20 minutes of sunshine each day.
- Although it may feel like the last thing that a person feeling depression may want to do, being with others is a good way to gain support when going through a difficult time.
6) Just do it.
- Again, may be the opposite of what we “feel” however, by engaging in some act, or project, we can obtain a sense of accomplishment or purpose…when combined with #7 we can increase the impact against depression.
- This might seem a lot like #6, however, this is specific to some type of sport, exercise, or workout. A Duke University study showed that 20 minutes of walking every other day was as effective as a tested medication in helping subjects improve mood, and were no longer clinically depressed.
- Talk therapy, with a professional therapist, has been shown to be highly effective in helping to overcome depressed mood.
3) Doctor, doctor.
- Consult with your primary care physician, or, a psychiatrist, to determine if medication might be right for you.
- The ‘stream of consciousness’ and getting these thoughts out, and somewhere else (on paper).
1) Prayer/ Meditation/mindfulness.
- Taking time out for reflection, and perspective, can be helpful, especially in a busy and stressful world that may seem to be swirling about – Prayerful time with God, and scientific research backs the importance of one applying faith practices to cope, and overcome depression.
Mr. David Wiley, MS, LPC is a Licensed Professional Counselor at Miller Counseling Services. He has practiced in a variety of behavioral health settings in the Triangle area of North Carolina since 1981, including innovative approaches to substance abuse and chronic pain management, crisis intervention, as well as working with relationship issues with couples and families. Areas of interest, and expertise include: mood disorders such as anxiety and depression, substance abuse education/screening/outpatient follow-up, ADD/ADHD, relationship/premarital/marital counseling along with co-therapy, stress/pain management including biofeedback modality, life transition issues especially with college students as well as older adults, adolescent counseling.