It is not always easy to know if you are depressed or not.
Depression comes in various forms, ranging from mild to more severe. During life, 15 – 20% will experience depression and 6 – 12% will have a depression at any time.
Depression changes the way we think
It’s normal to be sad from time to time, but depression is more than feeling miserable. If your life seems dominated by emptiness and despair and these feelings do not go away, you may be depressed. Depression makes it difficult to function and enjoy life – just getting through the day can be overwhelming.
Common features of depression:
- Negative thoughts
- Feeling that life has no meaning
- Poor self-esteem
- Lack of interest in other people and common tasks
- Lack of energy
- Difficulty sleeping
- Difficulty concentrating
Depression is associated with changes in how the brain works. The brain sends signals between nerve endings using substances called neurotransmitters. If you are depressed, neurotransmitters called norepinephrine and serotonin are out of balance and do not work as they should.
The things that happen in your life are also important. Depression can be triggered by stressful events such as divorce or financial problems. A difficult childhood can make you vulnerable to episodes of depression. (Source: Health Norway)
There are many ways to treat depression. The treatment will depend on symptoms and diagnosis, among other factors.
For mild forms of depression, The Norwegian Directorate of Health recommends counseling and psychological care as the first choice, rather than medication.
Depression makes it harder to cope with everyday things like taking care of yourself. The first step is taking care of yourself by being active, among other things. Good self-esteem and regular exercise is important by preventing depression and anxiety.
Tips for what you can do yourself
We know from cognitive therapy that what you think about yourself affects how you perceive a situation. Many who become depressed experience a kind of hopelessness or develop negative thoughts about themselves and their lives.
Cognitive therapy may improve symptoms of depression and increase your chances of being completely better. The goal is to get rid of negative thoughts and beliefs, and to help you have more positive thought patterns.
The treatment for depression involves building your self-esteem up again and finding your way back to feeling the joy in life. It requires that you make an effort.
- Start small and build yourself up again, step by step.
- Try shifting your focus from bad/negative thoughts to what you have in the here and now.
- Take one step at a time and do things that are positive for you.
Research shows that physical activity is effective against depression.
“Force” yourself to be active, by doing things such as going for a little walk every day – and know that it will do you good.
- When you are depressed you lose the desire to do things. Doing something / meeting friends will be good for you because it helps you focus on something else, and gives you less time to sit at home and brood.
- Remind yourself that you are doing the best that you can – find a way to think positive thoughts, and focus on what you can do and enjoy.
- Give the process time and do not be too hard on yourself. The fact that you are actually trying is a positive thing; know that you will reach your goal.
Keep track of positive happenings
It’s easy to forget all the good things that happen during a day or a week. You can use Mindfit app to record positive things and experiences. In this way you can work to achieve a better everydaylife.
- Take note of what makes you happy, when you master something and what you like.
- As you begin to record positive events, it is common for negative thoughts and feelings to be weakened – just by virtue of keeping track. This happens because you to shift your focus from what you have not been able to achieve to what you have mastered.
- That gives you room for other thoughts, and the negative thoughts and emotions are shifted into the background.