Depression is not a rare or unusual experience, but actually quite common. Persistent sadness, fatigue, and feelings of hopelessness are the more common symptoms of depression. Many times people feel depressed in reaction to a loss, disappointment or trauma. Depression can also be caused by irrational or faulty thinking. Sometimes we tend to focus on the negative aspects of a situation rather than the positive, for example. Everyone feels sad and down now and then, but when these feelings do not go away, we may be experiencing depression. A qualified mental health professional can help make the correct diagnosis and suggest a course of treatment. Some tips for coping with depression are as follows:
•Identify areas of stress in your life. Feeling overwhelmed, out of control or stressed out can play a major role in depression. Sometimes there is a medical cause for these feelings. Recognizing sources of stress, looking for solutions and rebalancing life’s priorities can go a long way towards solving depression.
•Consider counseling (talk therapy), anti-depressant medications (from a physician) or even a support group. Asking for help is an important strategy to conquer depression. Trust God to lead you to the right individuals and ask him to reveal His sense of purpose and direction for your life. God wants you to win over depression.
•Take care of your physical needs. Get enough sleep, regular exercise and eat a healthy diet. Try to avoid a lot of caffeine, energy drinks and junk food. If any of these are part of your daily diet, you may be masking a physical problem.
•Make the effort to get along with the people in your life. Conflict in relationships causes anger and bitterness which can lead to depression. Work to see the good in people and search for ways to help others. In every crisis of life, there is always an opportunity to make something good happen.