Depression is often regarded as one of the major mental disorders. But is it that serious, or have we exaggerated it? It is an enhanced version of sadness, meaning a persistent feeling of being sad and uninterested, affecting your daily functioning. This article will cover how to overcome depression.
Depression is a complex condition, and various factors can trigger it. There are no specific parameters; nobody knows what exactly causes it. Some have it due to their family history, going through life changes, or the death of a loved one. Some may also feel overwhelmed with sadness and loneliness for no apparent reason.
Some of the primary causes could be:
- Physical or emotional abuse
- Death of a loved one
There are several tips and guidance on overcoming depression. However, each individual is different; it may work for some and not for others. Before knowing how to tackle depression, let’s find out the difference between anxiety and depression.
Difference Between Anxiety and Depression
The terms “anxiety” and “depression,” which most people talk about in casual conversations, are nothing but mood disorders that can stop you from living like you used to. Both these emotions can be experienced in unfamiliar situations or circumstances.
The relationship between these emotions is somewhat idiosyncratic. For instance, a person going through anxiety may tend to avoid people and isolate oneself, distancing from pleasurable experiences, leading to a low mood.
While others who are anxious would want others’ attention and energy to get them out of the situation so that they can re-engage with the world, analyzing and understanding the distinctions between them may help figure out the severity of the problem and determine the essential steps to feel better.
Before differentiating the two, let’s explore their relationship – they share a biological basis. A person continuously being anxious or low mood will change their neurotransmitter function. Serotonin, dopamine, and epinephrine levels will be significantly lower, in both cases, of anxiety and depression. (1)
While the chemical composition may be similar in both, they are experienced quite differently – something like two sides of the same coin. People can experience them individually, or one might trigger another.
Now, let’s start pointing out the differences between anxiety and depression. There are two main differences involved – mental and physical.
Mental differences between anxiety and depression:
Mental Pointers for Anxiety:
1) Constant uncontrollable thoughts about going something wrong.
2) Analyzing and worrying about the near or long-term future.
3) Running away from situations that may feel overwhelming.
4) Thinking about death due to negative anticipation of the outcome.
In simple terms, people with anxiety are psychologically preoccupied with something that has nothing to do with actual risk or reality.
Mental pointers for Depression:
1) Feeling worthless, as if one’s existence is not valuable or significant
2) Hopelessness is not allowing one to think or behave differently
3) Unable to see something positive happening to oneself or others
4) Re-occurring suicidal thoughts for not living up to oneself or the world
Physical Differences Between Anxiety and Depression
Physical pointers for anxiety:
These signs can be observed when one is in a heightened state of being anxious:
1) Muscle tension or twitching
2) Talking way too fast due to increased heart rate
3) Unable to pay attention to present situations
4) Dizziness or gasping
5) Digestion distress
Physical Pointers For Depression:
Baseline characteristics can be observed, such as:
1) Lack of energy or fatigue
2) Talking slower than usual
3) Unable to focus or concentrate due to constant thoughts
4) Sleep cycle changes significantly, either through lack of sleep or oversleeping
5) Increased or decreased appetite
How To Tackle Depression:
As mentioned earlier in this article, depression can make you feel empty and exhausted due to low energy in the body. This also means that you won’t feel ready to seek outside treatment.
However, there are other things you can do on your own or with the help of your loved ones to improve your overall sense of well-being.
Continue reading this blog to implement effective ways to overcome depression:
7 Tips on How To Overcome Depression:
1) Incorporate a few coping skills every day:
a) Exercise and eat right: Doing some basic exercises or warming up for about 15-30 minutes can significantly enhance your mood. Moderate exercising pumps your heart and boosts your confidence by building self-esteem, thereby reducing depression and other mental issues.
Along with exercising, it is also essential to be conscious of what you eat on a daily basis. Every kind of food influences your mood and energy. If you frequently binge on junk food, cold drinks, and carbs, it will aid in depression even more. Make sure to eat whole foods, fruits, and green vegetables.
b) Stick to a sleep schedule regularly: Getting good quality sleep with regular timings is as important as eating healthily. Maintain a balance, not too little or not too much sleep. Staying up all night and sleeping more the next day is a definite way to boost your depression.
c) Be helpful or service to others: Find a more significant meaning than yourself by serving people, even if it is a small effort. It is a fact that humans feel naturally happy when they help or be kind to others.
Remember, service doesn’t have to be big. It is the effort that counts. As humanity is often seen as one, helping others helps you overcome depression significantly.
2) Spend time in nature
Nature always influences us in a positive way. Exposing yourself to sunlight increases your serotonin levels, which helps to improve your mood for quite some time. (2)
Research shows that people who travel or be out in nature every day have good mental health. Consider taking a walk in the park after work or whenever you have time. Activities like these help you to reconnect with nature and soak vitamin D at the same time.
3) Practice gratitude:
When you are depressed, you will probably feel that everything is insignificant, and you will eventually stop valuing things. This is when you need to put in the conscious effort of gratitude.
When you have someone to take care of you or do something that you love, you will be able to boost your mental health by being more thankful for it. Writing down or just considering thankfulness in your mind can exceptionally be meaningful.
4) Meet or face your problems as they are:
First, you must understand that depression, anxiety, and other mental health-related problems are generally common. They affect millions of people worldwide, including some in your life.
Even they go through the same, although the situations may vary. Your mental health won’t be the same every day either. It may fluctuate very often, and hence it becomes crucial to understand and accept where you are right now than seeing yourself in the past or the future.
The primary step to treating yourself for depression is to be accepting, open-minded, and self-aware.
5) Start journalizing
You will often feel that suppressing your emotions and feelings would be a logical way to cope with depression. But this will not help with your situation and will always lead to a dead-end, creating an unhealthy pattern. (3)
If your emotions overwhelm you on a specific day, let yourself feel all those feelings but don’t stay in one place. Try to understand every feeling that arises within you.
Better yet, start writing or journalizing about what you are going through. Feelings that come and go. Write everything as you go through it one by one. Reflecting on the flow of depressive symptoms will embark you on your self-healing journey.
6) Don’t generalize. Recognize the parts
It is not uncommon in depression for someone to recollect all the negative emotions. You will often think about the one thing that went wrong instead of all the others that went right.
Try not to give power to one bad situation. If it helps, write down all the good and happy moments you have experienced, followed by what went wrong.
Noticing all the weight you have been carrying unnecessarily about this one thing will help you deviate your thoughts from the whole and let you focus on the joyful and positive parts.
7) Set realistic goals
Realistic goals are those goals that are attainable as you are going through tough times. A long weighted to-do list will not help your situation; you would instead do nothing.
Give yourself smaller goals that you think you could complete within one day. One or two tasks a day should be convenient initially.
1) Don’t clean the entire house; take the trash out.
2) Don’t go shopping; buy something that is readily available
3) Don’t go to the gym; do light exercises at home.