Feeling sadness, even deep sadness, from time to time is a normal response to specific life experiences. If, however, your feelings of sadness are persistent and interfere with your ability to manage daily life, you likely have depression.
The good news is that depression is highly treatable, and there are many self-care activities to help with depression. At Athens Recovery, we have helped a significant number of clients learn to manage their depression symptoms in our outpatient depression treatment program, and we can help you, too.
Call 844.959.4998 to speak with one of our compassionate team members about individualized depression treatment.
Understanding and Recognizing Depression
Depression is a mood disorder characterized by profound feelings of sadness, hopelessness, emptiness, and isolation that are persistent, lasting two weeks or longer. Depression symptoms can be severe and affect a person’s thoughts, feelings, behaviors, and ability to manage daily life activities.
There are several types of depression, some of which can develop under specific circumstances, such as perinatal depression and seasonal affective disorder (SAD). In addition to existing as a stand-alone disorder, depression can be a symptom of various other mental health conditions.
Living with depression can be incredibly lonely, and many people suffer in silence, falsely believing that their feelings are normal, no one will understand their feelings, or no one can help them. It is vital to understand that depression is not a normal emotion, nor can someone with depression “snap out of it.”
Recognizing depression can help you or a loved one seek treatment. Common signs and symptoms can include:
- Depressed mood for most of the day, on most days, with noticeable signs of hopelessness or sadness
- Feelings of excessive worthlessness or guilt
- Significant and unintentional weight loss or weight gain
- Sleep disturbances, including insomnia or hypersomnia
- Angry outbursts, irritability, or frustration, even over small matters
- Loss of pleasure in most or all previously enjoyed activities
- Exhaustion, fatigue, and low energy
- Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions, or remembering things
- Persistent feelings of excessive guilt or worthlessness
- Recurrent thoughts of death and suicide, or making suicide plans or attempts
Many people with depression frequently experience physical symptoms like headaches, backaches, stomachaches, and gastrointestinal problems. Depression symptoms can impact work, school, relationships, and social abilities. If you or a loved one is experiencing depression symptoms, it is vital to seek professional help for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment.
Self-Care Activities to Help with Depression
Depression is complex and impacts your psychological, emotional, and physical well-being. Effectively treating depression involves professional interventions, including medication and therapy. However, lifestyle choices can also affect the severity and management of depression symptoms. For example:
- Poor sleep habits can interfere with cortisol levels, increasing stress and anxiety, which often co-occur with depression.
- Unhealthy eating habits can create or worsen vitamin deficiencies that contribute to depression symptoms.
- A lack of exercise decreases the release of endorphins, which are natural mood stabilizers.
In addition to exercising, eating a balanced diet, and maintaining healthy sleep habits, self-care activities to help depression can include:
- Establishing a structured daily routine
- Spending more time in nature
- Limiting social media use
- Practicing mindfulness techniques
- Staying connected with friends and family
- Practicing stress management techniques
- Practicing gratitude
Choosing at least one activity for depression can provide a healthy outlet for emotional expression.
Call Today to Discover the Benefits of Activity for Depression at Athens Recovery
Living with depression can be debilitating and cause unnecessary suffering not only for the person with depression but for their loved ones. At Athens Recovery, we offer compassionate, comprehensive outpatient depression treatment in a safe and welcoming environment.