What's the Deal with Depression

Depression can feel debilitating and symptoms can range from irritability to sadness. A clear sign of depression is when negative feelings start to impede on daily function with no reprieve. There is serious differentiation between having a bad day and impaired daily function. Persistent sadness and and diminished interest in your once enjoyable daily activities can be a tell tale sign that depression may be lurking.


The COVID-19 pandemic has perpetuated feelings of depression. Managing depression, and signs of depression is a serious but important undertaking. Your cup continuously running dry can lead to a more serious case of depression.


Here are symptoms to watch for when you think you may be experiencing depression:

  • Frequent crying and sadness

  • Under or over sleeping

  • Continuous feelings of guilt or worthlessness

  • Under or over eating

  • Weight loss or weight gain

  • Trouble staying focused

  • Trouble completing important and necessary tasks

  • Loss of interest

  • L:oss of joy

  • Challenges making decisions

  • Suicidal ideation


It is important to remember, depression and grief can be challenging to distinguish and, can coexist. Grief can also lead to depression. While grief and sadness take time to overcome they have a way of resolving over time. In the instance that healing does not occur, grief can progressively turn to depression.


There can also be a genetic predisposition to depression and environmental factors can drive and perpetuate depression. The chemistry of the brain is very complex and other parts of the body, like the gut and endocrine system can have adverse effects on brain function as well.


How to Cope


Living with depression can feel challenging, but there are ways to improve day to day life. Living well in this instance requires effort but making the choice will certainly improve day to day life.


Find Your Support System

Who you surround yourself with matters. Surrounding yourself with positive people is essential for your mental health. It is invaluable to have family, friends and community to look to for support. Find your tribe of trusted individuals.


Treat Your Body Like Your Love It

Properly fueling and moving your body will undoubtedly have positive effects on your mental health. Sugar is the culprit of many health concerns, and even when sugar is not to blame, it certainly does not promote wellness. In addition, alcohol will surely send you spiraling if you are struggling with depression.


Regular exercise is also necessary in order to maintain and promote mental health. You can dedicate time to taking a walk, or find a fit community to join. Better lifestyle choices will certainly leave you feeling accomplished and leave you in a much better state of mind.


Manage Your Stress

Stress can lead to feelings of overwhelm. Managing stress requires a dedicated routine and self-care rituals that you stick with. Organizing overwhelming feelings in a journal can be a powerful and affective practice.


Depression does not have to dictate how you live your life. These are just a few suggestions on how to improve your daily living.


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© 2020 by Markesha Miller, Ph.D.