Depression is the most common mental health disorder in the US and it impacted an estimated 16 million people last year.
Although depression is a serious illness, I want you to know that you can get better with treatment even though it might feel impossible. (During the winter months you might also experience Seasonal Affective Disorder and you can read more about that here.)
The first step in treating this is to identify which symptoms you’re experiencing. Keep in mind that the signs vary from person to person and that people usually experience several symptoms at a time. You also need to know that the severity, frequency and intensity of depression symptoms can vary by person.
In addition to psychotherapy and medication, here are five things you can start doing today to feel better.
Connect and share how you feel.
Take care of your body.
Get regular exercise.
Challenge your negative thinking.
Try to do things you enjoy (or used to enjoy).
Depression robs you of energy, motivation and hopefulness, and this often makes it feel impossible to do the very things that you need to do to feel better. Overcoming it is hard and it takes time, but it is possible.
The key is to start small, build up your effort day-by-day, and get help. And remember, you don’t have to do this alone!