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What are three strategies for coping with depression

Updated: Sep 2, 2023

An old man is lost in his thoughts
Coping with Depression

Are we worried about the impact of COVID-19? Disruptions to our mobility, isolation and disconnection from loved ones can be very distressing. Combined with the grief of losing a loved one, job, or financial difficulties, these afflictions lead to stress, anxiety, sadness, loneliness, and desolation. These are traditional emotions and responses to painful trials. A new reality is dawning, and it creates anything but a cozy, comfortable feeling.

In the wake of death, agonizing grief washes over us in unwavering waves, interspersed with glimpses of happy memories shared with the deceased. The process of grieving is organic and personal, with symptoms of depression. In the face of traumatic events, individuals go through grief and emotional deprivation. Although many people equate grief with depression, being sad is not the same as having depression.

Coping with depression Both grief and depression involve deep sadness and withdrawal from traditional engagements. Depression appears in different forms, such as seasonal affective disorder (SAD) and dysthymia. SAD manifests as a type of depression that ebbs and flows with the changing seasons, typically in late fall and early winter, only to subside during spring and summer.

According to psychologist Robert Spitzer, dysthymia is a persistent depressive disorder (PDD), a disturbance in a person's mood that can persist for up to two years. People with this form of depression may experience periods of mild symptoms as well as episodes of major depression. A mood disorder constitutes the main underlying feature, exhibiting similar ruminations and physical manifestations as depression, albeit with prolonged symptoms. Depressive episodes involve repeated pendulum swings between emotional highs and lows.

Life ambushes us at the most unexpected turns. The question then becomes: How do we weather these oscillations? How do we overcome our moments of "moodyness" or despair? FYI: It's okay to feel frustrated, but it's important to put a time limit on those feelings. Carrying a heavy emotional load throughout the day is like carrying around a heavy psychological load. Loosen up, free your mind, and open your fists.

Although the exact cause of depression is still unclear, it likely arises from a confluence of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. Depression is characterized by a multitude of symptoms, including sadness, anxiety, guilt, low energy, fatigue, loss of interest, and more. Take a deep breath and remember that you are not alone if you are experiencing these feelings. According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide, affecting more than 300 million people of all ages.

Take a step today to create a more positive state of mind. Avoid saying negative words. Avoid judging yourself, your circumstances, or others. Discover the importance of growth in the little things. Enjoy the simple pleasures—indulging in a delicious breakfast or a slice of pizza. It will pave the way for expressing positivity in the great aspects and challenges that life presents. Seek help from your local mental health professionals. Rely on a confidant. If you're in the military, contact Military One Source's Military Crisis Line at 800-273-8255, then press 1, or access an online chat by texting 838255.

About the Author:

Hilary Valdez is a freelancer living in Tokyo, Japan. He is an experienced Mental Health professional and Resiliency Trainer. Valdez is a former Marine and has worked with the military most of his career and most recently worked at Camp Zama as a Master Resiliency Trainer. Valdez now has a private practice and publishes books on social and psychological issues. His books are available on Amazon and for Kindle.

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