Thursday, 11 September 2014

Loneliness, Depression...How Do We Keep Afloat?

I had a chat with someone very dear to me, and it reminded me why I loved writing as a kid. It was my outlet. I have never been a moody person, maybe very conservative about certain ideologies, but never one to crawl under the rug and be bullied or intimidated. Still,as a kid I needed an outlet, and writing was it for too.
I have had to be around some depressed people and some lonely people too, and it is overwhelming how lonely one can sometimes be even in a crowded place .
Loneliness is a thing of the mind, psychological/mental not physical.
I think of people like Robin Williams, successful actor, loving father, great friend...these were people's testimonies after his demise. Makes you wonder if he knew how much he meant to these people, and how alone he must have felt inside, how hopeless he must have felt about whatever he was dealing with to have taken such drastic measures.
I do not think suicide is the right way to go, as a Christian I would not support it, but as a Christian I would also not judge anyone.
Depression has a way of eating so deep into people that it messes their chances of being happy or productive, which brings me to the question 'HOW DO WE KEEP AFLOAT?' 

People handle these situations in different ways, some take the religious route and ask God for guidance and help, others take the medical route. I would say the first or a combination of both.
However, whatever your decision might be, you should consider the under listed tips:

  • Learn as much as you can about your depression. 
  • It takes time to find the right treatment
  • Don’t rely on medications alone
  • Get social support
  • Treatment takes time and commitment

Lifestyle changes that can treat depression

  • Exercise. Regular exercise can be as effective at treating depression as medication. Not only does exercise boost serotonin, endorphins, and other feel-good brain chemicals, it triggers the growth of new brain cells and connections, just like antidepressants do. Best of all, you don’t have to train for a marathon in order to reap the benefits. Even a half-hour daily walk can make a big difference. For maximum results, aim for 30 to 60 minutes of aerobic activity on most days.
  • Nutrition. Eating well is important for both your physical and mental health. Eating small, well-balanced meals throughout the day will help you keep your energy up and minimize mood swings. While you may be drawn to sugary foods for the quick boost they provide, complex carbohydrates are a better choice. They'll get you going without the all-too-soon sugar crash.
  • Sleep. Sleep has a strong effect on mood. When you don't get enough sleep, your depression symptoms will be worse. Sleep deprivation exacerbates irritability, moodiness, sadness, and fatigue. Make sure you're getting enough sleep each night. Very few people do well on less than 7 hours a night. Aim for somewhere between 7 to 9 hours each night.
  • Social support. Strong social networks reduce isolation, a key risk factor for depression. Keep in regular contact with friends and family, or consider joining a class or group. Volunteering is a wonderful way to get social support and help others while also helping yourself.
  • Stress reduction. Make changes in your life to help manage and reduce stress. Too much stress exacerbates depression and puts you at risk for future depression. Take the aspects of your life that stress you out, such as work overload or unsupportive relationships, and find ways to minimize their impact.

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