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What to Do During a Depressive Episode

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It can be hard when you do not know what to do during a depressive episode. This can mean losing interest in things you used to love to do, getting angry, restless, not being able to sleep, moving or talking more slowly than usual, having aches and pains for no reason, etc. By recognizing your triggers and being aware that what you are feeling now is temporary, you should be able to get through these episodes with hardly any struggle.

Keep Calm

When you feel a depressive episode occurring, this can make you feel panicked and nervous. If you give into these symptoms, it will only leave you with low moods and other extreme actions like loss of appetite or not being able to sleep. If you panic, then you will not be able to think. The best thing that you can do is try to stay calm. Remember that all of these feelings are temporary. That they have gone away in the past and will continue to do so again. Focus on how strong you are and what you have learned in the past to make these episodes go away. There are many techniques to help you stay calm like meditation and breathing exercises. Focus on your own breath and stay in the present.

Acknowledge Your Depression

Accept that you have depression and are struggling with it instead of making yourself belief that it does not exist. Do some research about depression so that you are aware of how common it is and that it is not a sign of weakness but a mental disorder that can be treated. With the awareness that depressive episodes have a tendency to occur, you will be able to better prepare for them if you know they are coming.

Depression Does Not Define You

Depression is a condition that is a part of you but that is not all that you are. You need to remind yourself that you are not defined by your depressive episodes. Chant to yourself that you may have depression, but you are not depression. That you have a name and other attributes to your personality that have nothing to do with your depression. Think of who you are to other people whether it is a parent, a brother, a sister, a friend, a neighbor, etc. You should write down a list of the strengths, abilities, and other qualities that separate you from other people. Look at this list when you feel a depressive episode coming on and remind yourself who you are.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is a form of therapy that changes the negative thought patterns of a person into positive ones as a person’s thoughts shape who they are. While there are therapists that specialize in this form of therapy that can offer you tactics, you can also do this at home. Think of how often these negative thoughts come to you and what is being said in your thoughts. You may think that you are not good enough or feel like a failure. Instead of letting these thoughts stay with you, change them to positive thoughts. For example, if you feel like a failure, remind yourself of everything that you have accomplished up to today that may be hard for other people to do. Know your worth and live by it.

Nighttime Routine

Not getting enough sleep can lead to more depressive symptoms coming your way and depression can be the reason why you are not getting enough sleep. Try to make a nighttime routine every night so that your length of sleep is always the same. For example, this can mean that you have decided that the night is over for you around nine p.m. You have decided to cozy up to a nice book with a cup of tea by your bedside. Try not to watch television or go on your computer or smartphone as this will keep you more awaken when the goal is to unwind. If your thoughts are still racing and you are having trouble going to sleep, write your thoughts down in a journal as a way of telling yourself that tomorrow is another day and it is time to wipe your mind clean of today’s problems. Remember that it takes about fifteen minutes to fall asleep so plan when it is time to sleep accordingly.

Be Aware of Your Depressive Triggers

These depressive triggers do not come out of nowhere. Something in your life causes these episodes to occur. One red flag can be when you hear others around you talking about their successes. You may be thinking that everyone has it easier than you and that your friends will all be a success while you remain a failure. Another red flag can be that you have not been exercising lately which is causing you not to have a lot of energy to do things you were able to do before.

Your friends may not be able to help bragging about their successes. If you are aware that these episodes occur in moments of hearing the success of others, speak to a therapist or a parent about how you are feeling. Instead of ignoring these red flags, acknowledge them. Alternately, you should prevent letting these depressive episodes define you. Choose to overcome them by planning out what to do and tackle these episodes head on.

Located on the shore of Southern New Jersey, Enlightened Solutions is a recovery center that uses evidence-based therapies and holistic healing to treat addiction and mental illness. With the opportunity to learn about therapies that are keyed in to healing the human spirit and learning about new stress reducing techniques centered around a 12 step network, you will be ensure a lasting recovery. For more information, please call us at 833-801-LIVE as we are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

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