Depression is a debilitating illness that can affect anyone. For those suffering with depression, it may be difficult to focus at work, interact with friends or even get out of bed. This can be made worse when people around someone with depression do not understand the problem.
If you are suffering from depression or you know someone who is, it is important to get help. The first place to go should be your GP but there are other ways to help someone with depression. Life Works Counsellors have compiled 10 great ways to help treat depression. These will not replace impatient treatment or advice from a GP but they are effective.
1)Attending self-help or support groups is a good way to treat depression. It gets the depressed person out of the house and allows them to interact with other people facing the same problems. These people provide a caring and understanding environment and a support network that can be called upon in times of need. Joining a group is also a great way to show someone with depression that they are not alone. Just knowing that there are other people with the same troubles can lift a huge weight off someone’s shoulders. Support groups also offer the chance for people with depression to share their stories and get advice from people who have been in their shoes.
2)Learn mindfulness as a way to help with depression. Mindfulness is a Buddhist practice that teaches users to keep their thoughts in the moment. This prevents people from obsessing over the past or future and helps clear out some of the mental clutter. It is also a good way to increase awareness and help someone with depression better accept their situation.
3)Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is another good option for treating depression. The best way to get this is to visit a residential treatment centre or a therapist but there are also online resources and books that can provide some very basic CBT.
4)Exercise is another great way to fight depression. Even walking can release endorphins and help improve mood and motivation.
5)Hypnotherapy is another way some people have used to treat depression. This method can be controversial but it is important to mention it because some people have found it helpful. There are CD’s and online resources available that can provide some basic hypnotherapy.
6)If depression is linked to trauma, the sufferer can try reading Invisible Heroes, a book on surviving and coping with trauma. This is full of help and advice that can make dealing with trauma more bearable.
7)Emotions Anonymous groups are another good way to deal with depression. While it could be argued that this piece of advice is covered under number one in this list, emotions anonymous is often overlooked by people with depression so it bears mentioning. Emotions Anonymous is a 12 step group that meets weekly to help members deal with emotional difficulties. This can really help someone with depression plus it helps increase their safety net.
8)Art therapy can also be used to deal with depression. This method was used by Winston Churchill and there are plenty of art therapy books available. By using art or other creative outlets people can express themselves and enjoy the process or creation this can be cathartic and has a number of other positive side effects.
9)Journaling of emotions can be another effective method of treating depression. By keeping a journal of thoughts and emotions, someone with depression can externalise their emotions and analyse their feelings. Simply seeing your feelings written down can help people better understand and deal with emotion.
10)The final piece of advice is to check out mindfulness podcasts and podcasts that can help with depression. These are usually free and offer a great resource to learn more about the condition or get help.
As previously stated, none of these things will replace speaking to a GP or attending a residential treatment centre but they can all help. These tips are especially good for someone who has already undergone treatment or for anyone who may be resistant to treatment.
To learn more about depression, check out the Life Works Depression Knowledge Centre.