Depression is a disorder that impacts the lives of millions of people, but it’s still very taboo to talk about the suffering openly. If you’ve been diagnosed with clinical depression or feel you might be affected, here are some tips, insights, and resources that will lead you toward help and healing.
Do you have depression?
Depression is more than sadness. According to Mayo Clinic’s overview of depression:
“Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn't worth living.
“More than just a bout of the blues, depression isn't a weakness and you can't simply ‘snap out’ of it. Depression may require long-term treatment. But don't get discouraged. Most people with depression feel better with medication, psychotherapy or both.”
If these symptoms sound familiar, you may be depressed.
Where to get help for depression
Getting help for depression is an individual decision you must reach on your own. Even when you do make the difficult decision to get help, you might not feel better right away or even quickly. Depression is unique, just like you. You may need to try different tools and techniques before you find what works best for you.
Online and in-person resources for depression
This short list includes some of the most helpful online resources about depression:
Depression Care (Mayo Clinic)
These resources can also help you find a licensed therapist in your area, which is a step that’s worth investigating further. Often speaking to an unbiased person who can listen and provide time-tested help without passing judgment is the best way to learn how to start feeling better.
Tips for managing your depression
Committing to therapy, talking to loved ones, and perhaps even trying medication are among the strategies for reigning in depression. Here are some additional, science-backed ideas that will help you feel better:
- Get outside. Studies suggest that vitamin D can help with symptoms of depression. When your skin is exposed to the sun’s rays, it triggers the process that leads to the creation and activation of this important vitamin.
- Read self-help books. One study showed that reading self-help books (along with support sessions around how to use the books) was associated with decreased depression levels after one year, compared to patients who only underwent more typical treatments for depression.