The worst thing you can tell a depressed person is “snap out of it”. The worst thing you can do for them is tell them to “man up”, “get a grip”. The best thing you can do for them is be patient with them, understand them.

Depression is an illness. Just as you lose control over your body when you are physically ill, depression causes the sufferer to lose control of their willpower and strength.

If you suffer from depression, are there things you can do to, if not heal yourself, at least make yourself feel better and cope better? The answer is yes, and that’s what we will look at in the article. Before we do that, though, let’s get a proper definition of depression.

Depression: The Basics

The correct terminology for clinical depression is major depressive disorder (MDD). It typically involves at least two weeks of being in a low mood. During this time, you experience feelings of low self esteem, apathy for things you normally enjoy, low energy, and pain that has no clear cause.

Other symptoms of depression include headaches, cramps, trouble concentrating, self harm, substance abuse, frequent thoughts of death, memory problems, weight gain or loss, and digestive problems.

The effects of depression can extend through a person’s life, work, education, sleeping habits, and their general health.

The causes of depression are varied:

  • Environmental – for instance, financial problems, toxic work environment, and the trauma of experiencing assault.
  • Brain chemistry – changes to neurochemicals in your brain can alter your mood stability and cause depressive episodes.
  • Diet and exercise – bad eating habits contribute to depressive episodes. For instance, consuming fast food, caffeine, and alcohol in large amounts. Poor exercise as well.
  • Hormones – hormonal changes, for instance during and after pregnancy, can cause depression.

Other risk factors for depression include genetics (it can run in families) and personality (low esteem individuals are at a high risk).

Drug abuse is both a cause and effect of depression. On the other hand, having a history of mental illness makes you vulnerable to using some drugs.

Major depression disorder is not the only type of depression. Other types of depression include: psychotic depression, persistent depressive disorder, bipolar disorder, and seasonal affective disorder.

How to Handle Depression

Professional therapists are trained to understand what people are going through and come up with appropriate solutions/remedies to help them get back to “normal”. The main type of therapy applicable for people dealing with depression is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which helps you adjust your thoughts and actions.

Either undertaken alone or in conjunction with medication, CBT is an excellent treatment for depression.

This is what you will learn during cognitive behavioral therapy…

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