Saturday, 23 December 2017

Ten Tips for Surviving Depression


WATER


Water is most important. We are made up of nearly 60 per cent water. People can survive for without food for a few weeks but only a few days without water. Keep a bottle of water close by and sip throughout the day. Drink also 4 glasses a day.
A daily shower or bath is very beneficial - in my view essential. If showering, invest in citrus/lemon/tangerine shower gels. Allow water to splash on your face. For baths any relaxing
The shower or bath only needs to take a few minutes but the effect can last for hours.
If possible go swimming. The sea is the ideal. The salt water and natural surroundings are priceless. The local pool will do if you can’t get to the sea. Even if you can’t swim, walking in the shallow end of the pool is beneficial. It soothes the brain as well as the body.

Things to do
1.    Buy a water bottle.
2.    Buy some bath/shower products.
3.    Buy a swimming costume.



FOOD


It has been said “you are what you eat”. It makes sense. I see it the same way as running a car. If you don’t put fuel in, it doesn’t work. It comes to a halt. It may be worth reading about good nutrition or seeing a dietician. Fruit and vegetables along with protein and carbohydrates are necessary. There seems to be some evidence that omega oils such as found in fish and seeds are good for the brain. Diets should be avoided. Three balanced meals a day with a couple of healthy snacks every day is the best plan – that is, normal eating.
At some times in depressive illness people overeat as a result of appetite changes due to medications or comfort eating. This can be a very real problem which can worsen one’s mood and self-esteem. A slight change in food quantity and extra exercise may help. If the problem is severe, a change of medication may be warranted.


SLEEP


Attend to the bed. It must be made every day. If you aren’t able to do this ask someone to help make it and wash the quilt/blankets regularly.
Try and go to bed at a regular time. Have a relaxing drink. Hot milk or Horlicks are useful.
A hot water bottle can be comforting.
Turn off all electrical equipment including phones and TVs.

Get up when you awake in the morning.

EXERCISE AND ACTIVITIES


Any! Walking, swimming, cycling, yoga, tai chi, Anything! “Move those muscles.”
Try and develop an interest. Go to the library, museum. Join a class. There are often free courses for adults run by the council.

MEDICATION


Visit your doctor or psychiatrist. Be advised by their advice. In my own case I found benzodiazapines, to be counterproductive. I notice some practices will not prescribe them under any circumstances. I believe this type of medication worsened my depression. Anti-depressant medication can be very effective.


TALK


Talk to someone you trust. Counselling and psychotherapy can be helpful in the long run. However, at the time it can seem as though your depression is worse as many painful memories, thoughts and feelings can surface. It can be like the layers of an onion. For long-lasting recovery though it may be beneficial to go through the process. There are various types of psychological interventions. I personally did C.A.T. cognitive analytical therapy and was fortunate in having very good practitioners.

FAMILY ISSUES


Most families encounter difficulties from time to time. There are often stresses and strains in the relationships between parents, partners, siblings, children, and other family members. The talking therapies can help you find ways of coping and dealing with these areas.

MONEY


Money problems can actually cause depressive symptoms or can arise as a result of depression and not being able to organise one’s finances. There are many organisations that can help. In the UK, CAP Christians Against Poverty Debtors Anonymous

ALCOHOL


Self harm and suicide are much more common in people with alcohol problems. Often people use alcohol to alleviate depression and anxiety but it invariably worsens these conditions and can cause them. Regular drinking has been shown to actually lower the levels of serotonin in the brain.
If you think you have a significant problem with alcohol groups such as Alcoholics Anonymous can provide support.

HOUSING


The environment in which we live is bound to impact our mental health. Poor housing conditions can lead to or worsen depression.
Again there are people who can help.
A picture or candle or flower or plant can be used to brighten a room.
Music has the ability to lift or lower the mood so choose something that makes you feel better.

Talking books are often used to relax people.

Copyright @Jackie Parkes

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