“What’s the big deal?”

“You are just a little upset, it’ll pass with time”

“Why don’t you just cheer up?”

These are the most commonly used dialogues in order to comfort the people struggling in depression. Are these really comforting? Mental illness isn’t always easy to see. There’s a reason why 2 out of 3 people suffer from silence. Unawareness among people and fear of judgement take these people down and stop them from seeking professional help.

Among all this chaos, choosing betterment, recovery is an act of courage and reflects your dedication to grow. It needs inner strength and motivation to deal with mental health problems along with professional support that will take you a long way. There are various treatments available for depression also some tips that you can practice individually on a daily basis. These can also be the precautionary measures that can be used by everyone to stay mentally healthy. Here are some activities that will help you dealing with depression:

  1. Stay active: Try doing activities that you enjoyed in the past. Force yourself into being productive and engaged in activities. Because, empty mind, is a devil’s house!
  2. Know your triggers and risk factors: Loneliness, chronic pain, stress can be some of the triggers which one needs to know about self and then try to avoid them strategically.
  3.  Try to keep up with friends: people in depression usually try to shun people, by doing that you’re calling upon loneliness which can worsen your condition.
  4. Make a set routine: So that, you don’t have to worry about what to do next? Do daily things at fixed timings.
  5. Relax and engage with self: schedule a regular time to relax, meditate, yoga, exercise. Health has a direct connection with your mind. So be physically fit and active too. Go to the spa, get a head massage, etc. Pamper yourself cuz you deserve it.
  6. Don’t self-medicate: don’t take drugs or substances without a prescription. Psychiatric drugs have side effects which you may not be prepared to deal with, and substance abuse will worsen the condition.
  7. Seek out professional help: ultimately, go see your therapist regularly. Your daily efforts will work, but professionals are better equipped to help you deal with your concerns. Do not hesitate.

Tips for caregivers

Living with a person who has depression is also equally challenging. It can be stressful for family and friends. They can follow further tips which will make their own and the mentally ill person’s life easier:

  1. Recognising that depression can be expressed as irritation, hostility or rejection.
  2. Put the depressed person in charge of the conversation or give them some responsibilities. For eg, “I feel like cooking today. Can you decide what should be on the menu?”
  3. Encourage them to seek professional help. Accompany them to the counsellor or a psychiatrist depending upon the severity, but also make it clear that getting better is their own responsibility.
  4. Notice, support or reward significant improvements. But be genuine.
  5. Consider family therapy: it’ll help bringing all family members together and helping them to learn the effective ways of coping in difficult situation together.

If fighting a war every single day inside your head isn’t exhausting, then I don’t know what is! Seek help and choose to get out of it. It’s time to understand the importance of our mental health. Follow these activities daily and be the change you want.

Rasika Karkare

I am a certified therapist and have an experience of working with various psychological vulnerabilities for more than 4.5 years. I have been working with adults in the age range 18-40 years who present a wide range of emotional/mental health concerns. In my practice, I strictly adhere to therapies based on scientific evidence and value ethical guidelines provided by APA (American Psychological Association).