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Im Depressed: Solutions for When You’re Feeling Down

Im Depressed: Solutions for When You’re Feeling Down

When we think of physical ailments that pose a threat to our health and well-being, we almost always think of medical conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, arthritis, or others. We shouldn’t forget, however, that psychological and mental illnesses pose just as real and serious of a threat as strictly physical conditions.

One ailment that is particularly dangerous and quite misunderstood is depression. This should not be confused, however, with sadness. They are too very different things, which can be confusing since we so often say, “Im depressed” when expressing general sadness. But periodic and passing feelings of sadness are normal. In fact, many psychologists and doctors even call these episodes healthy.

The problem comes when you find yourself saying, “Im depressed” on a regular and chronic basis. When you hit this point, it might have evolved from simple sadness into actual depression.

If you’re unsure whether you’re suffering from depression or not, ask yourself a few questions. The largest factor to watch for with this condition is whether it interferes with your daily life. Are you unable to get out of bed in the mornings? Is it affecting your ability to concentrate at work or at home? Have these feelings of utter sadness been happening for a prolonged period of time? Are you experiencing thoughts of suicide or other forms of self-harm?

If you answered yes to any or all of these questions, it’s possible you are suffering from depression. Especially if you are entertaining ideas of hurting yourself in any way, shape, or form, you should seek professional help immediately. This can entail visiting a doctor and explaining your recent feelings or calling any number of suicide help lines. They are staffed by individuals trained in dealing with depression.

Let’s say, however, you do not have clinical depression. In that case, it is very unlikely you’ll have to seek professional help or take medication. All of us find ourselves saying, “Im depressed” every now and again. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to cheer yourself up.

First, determine what it is that is making you sad. Perhaps you had a fight with your best friend, and the lingering bad feelings and guilt are causing your sadness. In this case, the best way to make yourself feel better is to confront the situation. Deal with the issue at hand, and you are sure to change your tone from, “Im depressed” to “I’m relieved.”

If the root of the sadness is something that can’t be easily talked away such as the death of a loved one, it is natural and healthy to allow yourself the time to grieve. In instances such as this, it’s simply wise to believe in the old adage that time heals all wounds.

Perhaps your sadness is simply a reaction to your environment. Many people feel increased depression during the winter months because the weather is so cold, dreary, and dark. If this sounds familiar, make sure that you’re getting plenty of vitamin D through your food. Milk and other dairy products are a great source. Vitamin D is a natural component in sunlight, and when we lack in sunshine, those levels can drop in our system greatly. If it’s truly getting in the way of your daily life, there are plenty of SAD lights on the market. These simulate natural light, and doctors advise those easily affected by the weather to sit under these lights for enhanced mood.

Another group of people tend to feel sad when life is simply too hectic. For many of us, working full time and juggling a family or social life leaves us with very little downtime. If your utterances of, “Im depressed” spawn from an overtaxed schedule, make sure to pencil in some time for yourself. Even something as simple and cliché as a long bubble bath can truly do wonders for your stress levels and overall sense of well-being. Don’t discount the positive effects of other stress reducers such as calming music, aromatherapy, naps, and reading a good book.

Keeping our physical ailments in check is sometimes a lot easier than keeping our mental state in balance. But we should never forget just how crucial a healthy, happy temperament can be.

Photo courtesy of fakelvis.

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