Coping with depression
Depression is something that can creep up on you at a moments notice. It can weave its way into your thoughts, and give you a negative perception about the world around you. The troubling thing about depression is that it does not only impact your mind, but it can also cause your body to enter turmoil. So if you’ve ever experienced a depressive episode, there are some things you need to know that will help you cope with it. So let’s dig right in, and determine exactly how you should be coping with depressive episodes.
How depression affects your body
If you’re going to learn how to cope with depression, you’ll first need to know how it can impact your body. While depression may be a mental disorder, that does not mean that it leaves the rest of your body unscathed. Believe it or not, if depressive episodes are not handled properly, they can even lead to increased risks of heart attacks.
How depressive episodes can lead to increased risk of heart attacks
Depressive episodes cause your brain to function in a different way than it normally would. While you may be aware of your insomnia, irritability, or even negative thoughts, you might not be aware of what is happening to the rest of your body. Believe it or not, depression can actually lead to restricted blood vessels. This reduced flow of blood can lead to numerous heart conditions, with the possibility of a heart attack being the worst case scenario. If your blood vessels end up restricted, you can also experience lethargy and the possibility of a blood clot also comes into play. Make sure you pay attention to how depression is impacting your heart, because it may save your life.
Depression and the immune system
Depressive episodes can also lead to an increased risk of illness. So, if you’re not careful, you can end up sickly while you’re depressed. This will end up making matters much worse. Depression reduces your bodies ability to fight disease, and if this leads to a cardiovascular illness, you’ll be exposed to even more risk.
Depressive episodes can also lead to an increased amount of fatigue, and this fatigue can even cause a loss of your sex drive. If you’re stuck in bed for a few days, this will definitely lead to quite a bit of fatigue and reduced motivation. If you factor this in with a loss of appetite, or overeating, you’ll end up with quite a few problems.
How to cope with depressive episodes
Now that you know the risks, you’ll want to make sure that your body stays as healthy as possible during depressive episodes. To do this, you’ll need to learn how to properly cope with depression when it hits. Let’s take a look at some good methods to cope with a depressive episode.
Therapy is going to be your best bet, and this is even more true if you want to shy away from medication. If you employ therapy, you’ll find that therapists can give you the ability to cope with depression on your own. The best type of therapy for depression is definitely cognitive therapy. Cognitive therapy will provide you with the mental strength to combat the negative thoughts depression brings with it. If you want to calm yourself down during an episode, having thoughts to combat depression in your arsenal is the most important thing you can do.
Whether or not you want to try medication is up to you, but it can definitely be as effective as therapy. There are plenty of antidepressants on the market, so be sure you consult with your doctor when looking into medication as your solution. Medication can help during an episode, but can also help in cases of long term depression if you’re on a daily medication dosage. When using medication, just make sure you understand the impact they can have on you.
When you’re in the middle of a depressive episode, it can feel like you’re in a rut. If you want to break this rut you’ll need to make a change. Think of this as your personal way of shocking your mind out of depression. Here are some tips to change up your habits during an episode:
- If you wake up later, you should try to get up earlier
- Make sure you’re eating healthier food on a regular basis
- Try to set short terms goals, because completing them can help you feel much better
- Work harder than you normally do to take your mind off depressing thoughts
At the end of the day, however you deal with it, depressive episodes can be a real burden on your mind and body. When you understand the risks that it can have on your body, you should definitely feel a sense of urgency when looking to cope with your depression. If you notice any of these symptoms coming on, be sure to seek relief to ensure your body is getting what it needs. There are plenty of resources out there to help you.