Tuesday, May 12, 2015

A simple fight-back against #Depression

Depression creeps up upon a person and catches him unawares.The changes are subtle and they deepen slowly.The symptoms are not as obvious or tangible as of a physical ailment.The patient is so taken up with his problems that he fails to recognize them as precursors of depression.There is also the stigma of consulting a Mental Health Practitioner.As a result a depressive mood can dig deep roots if counteractive measures are not taken in time.

There are innumerable self-help books,therapies and medicines which can help a person fight depression.One simple,basic strategy which I have found useful is,to keep up a regular routine.As depression spreads it's tentacles we slowly give up many of our essential and non-essential activities.The result is that we have much less to do in each day.This makes us lazy and dull.The body and brain both slow down.

But the mind does not.The less we have to do,the more time we have to think,and the thoughts in such a condition are not at all cheering.They intensify our depression because anything which we do repeatedly becomes a habit.Our woeful thoughts form definite pathways in our brain and then we automatically begin to think in that very manner.In neuroscience it is known as experience-dependent-neuroplsticity.But :--

Through concentrated and intentional repetition, you can change your brain. The technical word for this concept, as coined by Jeffrey Schwarz at UCLA, is self-directed neuroplasticity, and recent studies bolster the theory. The ability to rewire our brain holds enormous potential for positive therapeutic change — especially for those who suffer from depression.


It is evident that in order to beat depression we need to desist from thinking doleful thoughts.This is not possible if we are sitting idle,doing nothing.Agreed, that when depressed,we have very little energy or motivation to tackle heavy,challenging tasks.But we can start by sticking to our usual routine as far as possible.Here are some suggestions :--

As soon as you open your eyes in the morning,get up, turn around and make your bed.Go to the wash-room,freshen up and do your hair.Open the doors and windows.Make the cup which cheers you,pick up the newspaper and sit down to enjoy it.Isn't this a lot better than if you had continued to lie down in your bed?

There are many things which we do when we are fine;but tend to neglect when we are depressed.Like taking a bath,wearing fresh,ironed clothes,reading stuff we like,watching our favorite shows on T.V,conversing with family,putting away yesterday's newspaper,putting dirty clothes in the washing machine,taking out garbage,watering the plants and generally tidying up the rooms.Some of these activities are avoidable but they keep us busy,give us something to do and introduce order in our life.

These activities open new avenues for the next level of tasks which further keep us occupied.For example,when you keep yesterday's newspaper in the cupboard you may see that it is already chock-full.You decide to go to the market and dispose them off.Over there,you might meet an old friend,chat with him and come home refreshed.Or you may be tempted to buy a delicacy which you used to enjoy earlier but have been without for pretty long.Someone might accost you and ask why you have not been around for some time.Going out,meeting others,takes our mind off our travails.

As we move around in or outside our home,the blood circulation picks up,digestive system works better and the joints are exercised.Our limbs remain supple and the muscles do not slacken because of disuse.Thankfully,depression does not impose any ambulatory restrictions.The only obstacle is a psychological disinclination to do anything.It is this which has to be fought because it obstructs recovery.

Most importantly,maintaining the routine which we had before depression ensnared us, saves us from slipping into a shabby lifestyle.That in itself,is no mean achievement.At a time when we feel we are on the brink of disintegration,following the old,familiar routine gives a lot of comfort.We feel that we are in charge of our life.

Going out,finishing pending jobs gives a sense of achievement.There is a palpable surge in our confidence level.When we exit our home,narrow confines open up to wider avenues.Our ordeals are no longer the main subject of our thoughts.Imperceptibly,we have joined the mainstream.


Related posts :---
http://jeeteraho.blogspot.in/2015/03/self-help-for-major-depression.html

http://jeeteraho.blogspot.in/2013/05/treating-depression.html

http://jeeteraho.blogspot.in/2013/05/depression-ease-burden.html

Sources:--
http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2015/03/06/getting-better-by-understanding-your-depression/

http://psychcentral.com/lib/uncovering-happiness-overcoming-depression-with-mindfulness-self-compassion/00021382

16 comments :

  1. True - an idle mind IS the devil's workshop. For me, it also works the other way around. When I fail to sustain my routine, I start feeling depressed even if I did not start out feeling depressed.

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    1. Now that you say it,i too do not like to have my routine disturbed;though change too is welcome.Complex,isn't it?
      Perhaps a broad familiar structure with tiny changes.

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  2. -true Indu ji

    It is evident that in order to beat depression we need to desist from thinking doleful thoughts.This is not possible if we are sitting idle,doing nothing---and that is why even the layman has been suggesting through ages ----get up go for a walk , go to friends , go out of the house don't just keep sitting at home -mix with people --these have been age old therapies for fighting depression or not falling into it --because depression is a deadly disease and it is very difficult to find a cure unless of course the person concerned ties to fight it himself and here again the above mentioned methods are the ONLY cure

    Thanks LOve and hugs all over again ---I feel blogging is a very effective medium to fight depression

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    1. Yes Rajni it boils down to common sense and age-old wisdom but still, cases of depression are rising by the day.Those who suffer from it are too pooped out to make the required changes in their life-styles.
      Love n hugs.

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  3. Enlightening indeed! Thank you ma'am!

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    1. You are welcome Amit ji.I am so glad you liked it.

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  4. Yes this depression is a silent killer. By the time one realizes he or she is completely in its clutches. I have seen a friend of mine through this, but she came out of it successfully.

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    1. Glad your friend could come out of it Indrani,it is a big achievement.

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  5. What a lovely post filled with nuggets of wisdom. No matter we all crave routine and our own space where we do certain things out of habit.

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    1. It is always a pleasure to know your opinion Rachna and this fulsome praise has made me very happy.

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  6. I hope many read this .. I have seen it from very close quarters what depression does

    Bikram's

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    1. Yes,It can tear apart a promising life.I too hope i have been of help to someone.
      Thank you for reading Bikram.

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  7. Three people I knew, lost their battle with depression. Your post on this silent killer was reassuring. Apart from the routine to follow and various activities to take up, it is important to have support from near and dear ones who can recognize the signs and guide the vicitms. Equally important is for them to keep a vigil...You have brought out the essence so well!

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    1. It must have been very tormenting to see three people succumb to depression.It looks such a waste to the outsider but the sufferer have a very tough time.Yes family support is a great soother.
      Thanks for sharing your thoughts Ilakshee .

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  8. Having a routine even when you don't feel like doing anything, keeps many negative emotions at bay.

    Thanks for sharing this ma'am.

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  9. You are welcome Saru.Yes routine helps a lot.

    Thanks for reading.

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Thanks for reading my post.I hope you liked it :).