Depression is experienced by a lot of people and is a common reason why people seek counseling. Depression is characterized by feelings of sadness and hopelessness, diminished interest in activities one use to find pleasurable, significant weight loss or weight gain or decrease or increase in appetite, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, insomnia or hypersomnia, feelings of worthlessness, and recurrent thoughts of death or suicidal ideation.
There are many ways one can cope with symptoms of depression. Some of these coping techniques are as follows:
- Reading books or materials about depression to understand the disease and how to cope with it such as found in self-help books.
- Writing your thoughts in a journal to examine and challenge thoughts that are contributing to depression
- Practicing positive self-talk to counteract negative statements about self
- Increasing your activity level and opportunities to receive rewards
- Developing or enhancing skills that promote pleasant feelings such as assertiveness, conflict-resolution, and problem solving
As counselors’ we work with our clients by utilizing some of these techniques in session, and exploring how they can be applied in our client’s everyday life. By understanding the connection between negative thoughts, depressed feelings and actions will help minimize depressive symptoms.
People also find certain self-care activities helpful in coping with their depression such as listening to music, exercising, meditation, and volunteering. The common denominator for all of these coping techniques is engaging, both the mind and body. When you keep yourself active, it will be more difficult for depressing thoughts to seep in.
You also do not have to face depression alone. If you can only do one thing, that one thing should be to ask for help. A strong support system is essential in dealing with daily life stressors and coping with depression. Counselors at SACBC including myself have helped many individuals overcome depression. Contact us, we are here for you.
About the Author: Jane Godelia, LPC-S, LMSW
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