In this article, we will try to answer the question ‘how does it get better for depression?’.The article will also give you a deeper understanding of depression with a few tips on how to mark your progress over a period of time.
How does it get better for depression?
It is always said that It’ll get better for depression. But how? Here are a few steps you can follow to ensure that it’ll get better for depression.
- Start by reaching out to someone: getting social support is the most important thing. You may feel exhausted and sad, but taking the first step is very important. Reach out to your friends or family. Talk to them about how you are feeling. Let them help you. You can also join support groups for depression. Meet people who feel similar things like you. Exchange your feelings with them. Reaching out to someone does not always have to be human beings. You can also care for a pet. Pets bring a sense of joy and companionship in your life and make you feel less lonely. Push yourself slowly to go with friends to a social gathering.
- Take part in things that make you feel better: it is important to take your mind off the sadness. In order to do this, you need to make an effort in doing things that you love. Choose a former hobby and spend your time with it. You may not like it in the very instance, but it does make you feel better when you introspect.
- Take care of your health: it is important to keep your stress in check to ensure that it’ll get better for depression. Keeping your body and mind healthy is essential. You can do this by having a clean and hygienic environment. Clean your house/bedroom. Take a long hot water shower. Sleep for a minimum of eight hours a day. Eat healthy and nutrient-rich food. Cut down on alcohol and other toxic substances. Detox yourself. Spend some time with nature. Stick your hands in the soil. Try yoga, meditation, exercise, and other physical activities.
- Get moving: this can be done in two ways, one quite literally. Get out of your bed. Go running. Engage in some physical activities. Do not laze around. Get some doses of Vitamin D every day. Go for a hike, or go surfing. The second way of moving on is to get back to your normal life. Do it but slowly. Start going to work. Take small projects that would not add to your stress. Start attending meetings to know what is going on. Call up a colleague to catch you up.
- Challenge negative thinking: it is very natural to feel weak and powerless while going through depression. Although it is important that we start to alter our pessimistic thoughts. Stop overgeneralizing things. Do not think of yourself from an all or none perspective. Do not use emotions to reason with yourself. Put your thoughts on a witness stand. Ask yourself evidence for all the negative thinking.
- Find a sense of purpose in life: giving yourself a meaning is very important. Adding meaning to life makes it worthwhile. Your spiritual well-being is about who you are and where you belong. Dedicate yourself to something that you might enjoy.
- Professional help: most importantly, it is required to get professional help. Going to therapy sessions and counseling will only make your situation better. Do not skip your sessions. If prescribed with medication, take them as per the doctor’s suggestion. Medications help you release happy hormones, making you feel better. Hence with the above-mentioned self-care activities, it is important that you also get some professional help.
Depression is the most common mental illness in the 21st century. Globally, more than 264 million people of all ages suffer from depression. Having said this, the question arises: Does it get better for depression? It most certainly does. People do recover from depression.
Although recovery from depression is not easy. It is one of the hardest things a person has to do. It is not like a wound that fills itself in time. Rather depression takes efforts, both mental and physical. It is seen that 80% of people who receive help say that it gets better for depression. If you stick with your help, the odds are very good that you will get better.
Signs and symptoms of depression
Coping with depression as we know is the hardest thing. But what does it look like to have depression?
Depression is a mental disorder that drains your energy out. It keeps itself alive with an intense, overwhelming sense of hopelessness. This hopelessness kills the motivation to reach into the world for support, something that is already fragile because of the stigma that is so often attached to mental illness.
Here is a list of signs and symptoms to help you understand what it is like to have depression.
- Crying for no apparent reason
- Difficulty concentrating or staying focused
- Eating too much or too little
- Feeling sad, worthless, and/or guilt
- Feelings of hopelessness
- Having difficulty doing normal daily activities
- Losing joy in your daily activities or passions
- Overwhelming feelings of anxiety
- Physical symptoms such as stomach aches or headaches
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Thinking about or trying to commit suicide
- Waking during the night or early in the morning
- Not finding pleasure in any activities.
If you have these symptoms for two weeks or more, make sure to consult a mental health professional.
Is it okay to use the phrase ‘It’ll get better for depression’?
Yes, it is okay to use this phrase because research shows that there is a huge chance of recovery for depression.
Although it is important to remember that you say it rightly. If someone is sharing their feelings with you, you need to be empathetic. You cannot disregard their feelings, making them feel like a burden. If you ignore their feelings and just tell them ‘not to worry it will all be fine, you are overthinking’. Instead, you should listen to their feelings, try to be empathetic, and make them believe that you are there for them and things will get better for depression.
How to mark your progress?
If you have been under therapy and medication for depression for over a month, it is likely that it has started to get better for depression. Recovery from depression is a slow process. Work with your therapist to make a set of goals that act as a benchmark.
Some ways to determine that it is getting better for depression can be:
- Improving symptoms: If your symptoms start to reduce gradually, for example, if you regain your appetite, sleep sufficiently, start engaging in pleasurable activities, you will start to feel better. You can ask your therapist to compare your scores for depression tests such as Beck’s Depression Inventory. You can then see which of your symptoms require more attention.
- Improved daily functioning: once you start feeling better, it is likely that you will regain your ability to function like before. You may be able to get up, go to work, make yourself a few meals.
- Reduced medications and side effects: once you start feeling better, your doctor will certainly reduce the doses of your medication. This reduction in medication will also reduce the side effects making it easier for you to get back to life.
- Limited relapses: relapses are common with depression. It is important to look after relapses. Once your relapses reduce, it is an important indicator that you are getting better.
Given the signs of recovery, it is also important to track your progress. Apart from working closely with your doctor, journaling is the easiest way to track your progress, explore your emotions, and manage your feelings.
Record your experiences with medication as well as self helps strategies. For instance, you can use your journal to record what type of activity you tried (such as exercise, meditation, or listening to your favorite music), writing down how you felt before and after, and noting what you like or didn’t like.
Review the past journals to create self-awareness. This helps you find out your triggers and move on accordingly. Share your journal entries with your mental health professional, so you can work together to adjust medication or try different strategies to better manage any symptoms of depression.
In this article, we have tried to answer the question ‘how does it get better for depression?’.The article has also tried to give you a deeper understanding of depression with a few tips on how to mark your progress over a period of time.
Side Note: I have tried and tested various products and services to help with my anxiety and depression. See my top recommendations here, as well as a full list of all products and services our team has tested for various mental health conditions and general wellness.
FAQs: It’ll get better for depression
What are the causes of depression?
The main causes for depression are:
Family history. It is likely for you to develop depression, if you have a family history of depression.
Early childhood trauma. Any event in childhood such as sexualabuse, divorce of your parents, all affect the way your body reacts to fear and stressful situations.
Brain structure. There’s a greater risk for depression if the frontal lobe of your brain is less active.
Medical conditions. Certain conditions such as chronic illness, insomnia, chronic pain, or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), may put you at higher risk,
Drug use. A history of drug or alcohol misuse can affect your risk.
Does depression damage your brain?
Yes, depression not only makes you feel sad and dejected, but also can damage your brain permanently. It reduces your ability to concentrate. Upto 20% of patients do not seem to make full recovery. Infact, research finds that depression can lead to reduction in the size of the hippocampus.
What is the most serious form of depression?
Major Depressive Disorder is considered to be the most serious form of depression.. It is also known as unipolar mood disorder. A person with MDD has a persistent feeling of sadness or a lack of interest in outside stimuli. You may have this disorder, if you have 5 or more symptoms of depression lasting for 2 weeks or longer.
What are the things you should avoid saying to a depressed person?
It is important to respond rightly when someone is sharing their feelings with you. Here are a few phrases you should avoid using when a person is depressed: ‘Don’t think about it’, ‘Think positive’, ‘count your blessings’, ‘It could be worse’, ‘Get over it’, ‘you are freaking out over nothing’, ‘it will pass’.
What age group has the highest rate of depression?
According to the National Institute of Mental Health the prevalence of major depressive episodes was higher among adult females (8.7%) as compared to males (5.3%).it also showed that prevalence of adults with a major depressive episode was highest among individuals aged 18-25 (13.1%).
What we recommend for depression
If you are suffering from depression then ongoing professional counselling may be your ideal first point of call. Counselling will utilize theories such as Cognitive behavioural therapy which will help you live a more fulfilling life.