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How to Handle Depression (5 Steps)

If you have depression, it is important you recognize and understand how to handle depression.

Here are five steps to help you get started.

How to Handle Depression - Chris Massman.png

If you are depressed, it is important for you to learn and understand how to handle depression as soon as possible.

Depression is one of the most common mental disorder. According to the World Health Organization, 300 million people have depression

We may not know everything about depression yet, but we do know the importance of recognizing depression earlier than later so you can develop a plan regarding how to handle depression.

Understanding how to handle depression is not always easy. You may find certain steps more difficult than others. 

In this article, I have gathered five steps for your consideration.

How to Handle Depression

Depression affects everyone differently.

If you suspect you struggle with depression, it is important that you recognize how it affects you. This will help you develop a better understanding of depression and how to handle depression.

The sooner you do this, the sooner you will get back to feeling like yourself.

To help you get started, take a look at a few of the steps to consider. 

1. Get Out of Bed

This step may seem impossible at times, but its one of the most critical steps you can take toward overcoming depression.

Some people rely on a mantra to get them out of bed. Other’s use momentum, trying to turn their brain on autopilot so they can hurriedly get out of bed, brush their teeth and make a quick breakfast before their mind has a chance to start going haywire.

It may even help to prep as much as possible the night before – the less you have to do to get your day going, the better. Lay out your clothes for the next day, make some breakfast the night before or prep the bowl on the kitchen table for when you get up, have the coffee set up to be as simple to make as possible once you’re out of bed.

2. Surround Yourself With Positive People

This does not work for everyone, but being around friends and family can sometimes give you the noise and liveliness you need to silence the bad thoughts in your mind. On some days, all you need to feel monumentally better is a little company, and maybe some good laughs.

On other days, of course, all you want to do is be alone. That is okay too, but try to keep track of how often you do that. A little solitude can help you think and reflect, but too much isolation can make things much worse.

3. Enjoy Comedy

It may sound silly, but popping in a funny movie or watching an hour of standup can actually help. Laughter may not be the best medicine, but it can still help, and having a few laughs can put you in a much better mood when you need to be in a better place mentally.

You do not have to sit alone and watch a show to get your laughs – if you are feeling up for it and want to do something more engaging, there are social activities centered on comedy and laughter, from going to a live open mic to attending “laughter yoga”.

4. Write a Journal

One of the ways therapists encourage patients to tackle their depression is by changing the way they think, as a way to change how they feel. Cognitive behavioral therapy involves adapting to a healthier way of thinking to lessen the impact of depression, and it often involves exercises that try to track down and challenge a depressive thought.

Doing so in your own head can be daunting at times. However, by putting it down on paper, you can isolate the problem and focus on it in a new and different way. Try to write about your thoughts regularly, and challenge them. You may find yourself finding ways to deny your depressive thoughts, and cling to new thoughts.

5. Talk to A Licensed Therapist

If you feel overwhelmed by depression and feel you cannot manage it alone, that is okay!

Depression is a serious condition that sometimes requires the assistance of a professional. A licensed therapist has years of training and experience treating depression. It is not always clear why someone has depression, but a professional may be able to help you identify underlying problems that could be a contributing factor.

This insight will help you develop a better understanding of what is causing you to feel depressed as well as how to handle depression.

If you have questions, please feel free to contact me or schedule a complimentary phone consultation to discuss your concerns. 

Depression Is Not Weakness

It is very important to reiterate that getting help is not a sign of being weak, and neither is depression. It is difficult for some to sympathize with people who struggle with depression because we are used to diseases and disabilities being physical rather than mental. When someone is suffering from depression or PTSD, their lack of apparent physical problems at the time may suggest to some people that their “real problem” is a matter of character or morality.

This can be a very difficult and painful burden to bear. While struggling with depression, most people make an effort to appear normal and healthy to the outside world, to put up a façade because it is easier than bearing the shame of not being “properly put together”. However, that does not mean things are fine, or that depression does not have a physical impact. It may take someone three to five times longer to get ready than other people, and on some days, taking a shower can be so monumentally challenging on a mental level that you may even end up skipping it for a week or two.

This is not weakness or a laziness. It is a disease, and there is nothing shameful about fighting against a disease and seeking help from a licensed therapist.

Conclusion

Sometimes it is going out for a walk, sometimes it is getting up to do some cleaning, and sometimes it is just making your way to the nearest movie theater and watching something. Doing anything at all can help you get out of a dark mental place, and maybe help you find something more worth your time.

Depression is a common mental disorder, affecting an estimated 300 million people around the world. 

It is important you identify depression as early as possible so you can develop a better understanding of how to handle depression. Try these five steps and let me know how it goes. If you feel like you need professional treatment, please schedule a complimentary phone consultation so we can discuss your concerns and explore your options.


Chris Massman is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in Agoura Hills, CA. She graduated Phillips Graduate Institute with a Master of Arts in Psychology in 2014 and received her Chemical Dependency Specialty in 2014. Today, she practices Congnitive-behavioral therapy to help individuals, couples, and families identify and overcome a variety of unique challenges.