Depressed? How to add value to your life

You are not alone, and there is hope, says Dr Elizabeth Yuko

In Summary

• Eat a healthy diet, get enough sleep, exercise and spend time with loved ones

A pensive woman
A pensive woman

According to the World Health Organisation, depression is a serious mental health condition that affects millions of people worldwide.

Signs of depression include mood swings, remote attitude and dropping grades. Ask yourself if you are getting bored and falling asleep every time or you are grumpy. Burnout may be the diagnosis.

While it can be challenging to deal with, there are several ways to cope with depression and improve your mental health. This feature article provides tips and advice on how to deal with depression.

1. Acknowledge your feelings and seek help

The first step in dealing with depression is to acknowledge your feelings and seek help. As Dr Janet Taylor, a psychiatrist and spokesperson for the American Psychiatric Association, says, "It's essential to recognise that depression is a medical condition that requires treatment."

2. Practise self-care

Self-care is crucial in dealing with depression. Dr Elizabeth Yuko, a bioethicist and health journalist, recommends "eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, exercising and spending time with loved ones". These activities can help improve your mood and reduce stress levels.

3. Create a support network

Having a support network is crucial in dealing with depression. Dr Kevin Gilliland, a clinical psychologist, emphasises the importance of "connecting with others, especially those who understand what you're going through". Joining support groups, therapy sessions or reaching out to friends and family can help you cope with depression.

4. Set achievable goals

Depression can make it challenging to set goals, but it's essential to have a sense of purpose. Dr Gilliland advises "breaking down tasks into smaller, more achievable steps". This approach can help you feel more accomplished and motivated.

5. Seek professional help

If you're struggling with depression, it's essential to seek professional help. As Dr Taylor explains, "A mental health professional can provide a proper diagnosis, medication, therapy and support." A therapist or counsellor can help you develop coping mechanisms and provide a safe space to talk about your feelings.

Remember that depression is a treatable condition, and seeking help is a sign of strength, not weakness. As Dr Yuko says, "You are not alone, and there is hope."

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