Managing Depression: What To Do When It Takes Over

Image of an African America man that looks like he is suffering from depression symptoms. If you feel like this depression counseling can help. A therapist can help with managing depression in Atlanta, GA.

Simply put, depression is characterized by lingering sadness and a lack of interest.

We all experience depressive symptoms at some point in our lives. We’ve felt low and unmotivated at different times in our lives. However, these depressed feelings are usually fleeting and tend to lift in a few hours or days. A clinically diagnosable depression is much more severe than occasional blues. It affects your thoughts, emotions, perceptions, motivation, and behavior, making living burdensome, painful, and pointless. The despair can persist for at least two weeks and often for months without improving despite efforts or desire for change.

Strategies for Managing Depression

Stop! Before you roll your eyes. I know some of these strategies may seem a bit cliché and overused, BUT they are listed because they can have a major impact when implemented consistently. 

Stay in Touch With Friends and Loved Ones

The urge to isolate is high when you are depressed because misery does not like positive energy. Make a deliberate habit of interacting with loved ones.

      • Schedule coffee dates
      • Organize group activities like camping trips or sleepovers
      • Volunteer as a group to help in a soup kitchen or the homeless shelter
      • Call your friends and loved ones regularly

Research shows that having a sense of belonging can effectively help counter depression symptoms. It increases satisfaction in life, self-esteem, and happiness. Your friends and loved ones hold your hands when things get tough. They encourage you toward positivity and celebrate every milestone you make. Ensure you have a positive and healthy group to help you with managing depression.

Maintain a Healthy Diet

A depressive mood increases your craving for comfort foods, alcohol, drugs, or pain medication because they activate the reward pathway, which is responsible for happiness, satisfaction, sleep, and motivation. While these things provide some relief, it is always short-lived. Unfortunately, they also increase your appetite because of their addictive nature.

You end up craving bigger portions of fast food when you are anxious, agitated, hopeless, and helpless. Eventually, your weight catches up with your eating habits. Substance use always ends up becoming a disorder. Avoid eating or drinking your feelings or problems away by maintaining a healthy diet.

You can concentrate on foods that help your brain's chemicals remain balanced. Research shows that the B Vitamin complex and Vitamin D promote mental health. You can incorporate foods containing these nutritional elements into your diet.

Get Up and Move

Negativity thrives in idleness. Thoughts and emotions go on a rampage when you have nothing meaningful to do. It only worsens your desperation and distorted perceptions. Instead of giving in to the sluggishness and thoughts to stay in bed, try doing the exact opposite as a tool for managing depression. Instead, use your body to generate positive endorphins and hormones.

      • Take a shower, cook a nice meal, and enjoy the food
      • Resist the urge to stay in bed doing nothing
      • Take a walk in the park
      • Sign up for an adventure
      • Volunteer to babysit for a friend or family member
      • Sign up for a gym membership or have an exercise routine
      • Find new habits like singing, art, pottery, or sports
Image of a Black Woman in a workout uniform. Showing one of the techniques for managing depression. It is one thing that might be suggested in depression counseling from an Atlanta depression therapist.

Stick to A Routine That Helps With Managing Depression

Avoid letting days drag with inactivity. Have a working schedule complete with rewards for every accomplished target. You get points for finishing tasks in your routine. Take it one day at a time and focus on each activity as it comes. Every day make sure you are moving forward.

Be Gentle with Yourself

Depression is challenging to manage. You are not just dealing with sadness. The condition leaves you mentally and physically exhausted. It robs you of sleep and leaves you sleepy the entire day. It can diminish your appetite or skyrocket it to impossible heights.

You also become angry, ashamed, irritated, frustrated, and discontent. Negative thoughts and suicidal ideation are equally devastating. You deal with these symptoms for months.

You've come too far. The fact that you are still standing is an achievement in itself. You have even taken a step to improve your mental health by looking at ways to start managing depression. Give yourself a pat on the back. It takes a lot of courage to be at this point. Now, keep going. Every effort counts. Your mind and body are getting better because of your determination.

Seek Depression Counseling

Clinical depression is too complex to be cured by a night out with friends or a weekend getaway. It requires a multifaceted approach with an evidenced-based strategy designed for managing depression. Immediate intervention is essential to prevent the depressive mood from advancing in severity or provoking another mental disorder like substance use disorder.

According to American Psychiatric Association (APA), depressive disorder is a serious mental health condition that negatively impacts mood and daily functioning. The signs and symptoms of depression include having a sad mood, fatigue, feeling helpless and worthless, lack of concentration, and insomnia. These signs can vary from mild to severe and are treated according to their severity.

Depression counseling is the ideal solution to help you identify the source, triggers, and enabling agents of the depressive mood. You also learn techniques and behaviors to control negative thought patterns, emotional cycles, and associated behaviors. Our Atlanta depression therapists provide support and strategy to push you toward the desire to change. As well as give accountability to keep you disciplined in your journey of managing depression.

Fortunately, like other mental illnesses, depression is treatable. And chances are you will use several of these suggestions as you heal.

If your depressive symptoms last for two weeks or longer, I strongly recommend you seek the guidance of a licensed depression therapist.

Start Counseling & Get Support Managing Depression in Atlanta, GA

If you or someone you know is struggling with depression symptoms it is important to take the first step of healing. Our experienced depression therapists are dedicated to helping you start managing depression. We offer evidence-based depression counseling, which can help you develop effective coping strategies, improve your mood, and reduce the impact of depression on your daily life.

Follow these steps to get started:

      1. Contact us for a free consultation with one of our caring mental health professionals
      2. Schedule your first depression counseling appointment at Simplicity Psychotherapy
      3. Start living a life you enjoy, free of the weight of depression

Other Counseling Services Offerred at Simplicity Psychotherapy in Atlanta, GA

Our caring therapists can help with more than managing depression. We also provide support for anxiety, grief, and substance use. Additionally, we offer relationship counseling, Prepare/Enrich, and couples therapy. Our services are inclusive to Black Women, Black Men, and the LGBTQIA+ community.

Raye Chin Trans

Rayvéne is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Master Addiction Counselor in Atlanta, GA.

Empowering you to remove the mask of other people’s expectations and have the Audacity to be themselves.

Note: While the information above is intended to provide insight as you begin your journey they are not intended to replace the guidance of a trained professional. Exploring these concerns in the presence of a licensed counselor or other licensed professional may provide deeper insight and assist in managing more multifaceted concerns that may arise.

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