The Most Important Skills
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In Order to Live a Happy, Healthy, and Productive Life
Learn how to overcome depression using 12 simple steps
Everyone will suffer from depression at one point in his or her lives. A common illness can occur at any point in your lives. Any traumatic event or unpleasant experience can trigger it. Depression does not have to occur genetically.
In my opinion, depression is one of the most terrible mental illnesses one can experience. I say this because I went through it when I experienced post partum depression after the birth of my second child Alexis. I never realized how terrible it was until I went through it myself. I woke up each morning with an overwhelming feeling of sadness that filtered throughout my body. I cried for no reason and my life felt meaningless. I knew something was wrong. I have always been a happy and optimistic person that always looked the brighter side of life even when life was hard I refused to let any obstacle that blocked my path get the best of me.
My mother even suffered from depression. All her life I never could understand why she acted the way she did. The outbursts, the seclusion, low self-esteem, the negativity, the sadness that filled her soul and the unwilling to want to get out of bed on a sunny day as the birds sang and the voices of laughter were heard from the streets outside our home.
I did not realize how depression could take control of someone’s life and turn it upside down in a matter of minutes until I experienced it and then it all made sense and I could relate and sympathized with my mother. Mine only lasted a few months, but my mother has lasted a lifetime. To have to experience that every day of my life would have been a nightmare.
Using my own experience, living with someone who had depression and working with many of individuals who suffer from depression I created 12 simple steps to help you manage and overcome your depression. All the signs I mentioned above are signs of depression, but not the only symptoms of depression there are many others.
Depression can make someone to wander aimlessly, become completely lost, not knowing which direction to go or what voices to follow, listening to everyone's suggestions but their own. Below are exercises that can help you get back on track and live a healthy, happy and production life. A life that you deserve. The reason I wrote in the first place is that I realize that any traumatic event in the military can trigger depression to enter your life so I want to make sure you understand what it is and what you can do to overcome it.
Below are 12 steps to help you overcome depression.
1. Step One - Finding the right medical doctor - Some people suffering from depression are fortunate to find a good psychiatrist. If they decide to go to a psychiatrist. My people let their pride get in the way or they are just too embarrassed to ask for help. Do not procrastinate– Depression can lead to suicide – do not wait until it is too late. It is better to be safe than sorry. When you suffer, your loved ones suffer. You are not the only one who gets affected. Find a doctor who is well informed on the new developments of treatment. You could even talk to your MD. They could help you too. Everything you tell then is confidential.
2. Step Two- Medicine- I am not a big fan of medicine, but some people need to be on medicine. It is not a bad thing. If you have a hormonal imbalance and it is causing your depression then you may need to be on medicine temporary or permanently. Some people may need to talk to someone and learn how to overcome the causes of your depression. Every person is different and needs to be treated according to their own situation. Remember also that if you need to be on medication the first one you try may not be the right one. So be aware of your body and speak your mind to you doctors. The more questions the better. Doctors are not Gods they do not know everything.
3. Step Three: Exercising – Exercising is a great tool it makes you feel good mentally, and when you see positive physical changes in your body you feel good about yourself. Beginning is the hard part, but once you start and stay with it, you will notice a big difference in your mentality and outlook on life. Exercising clears the mind, and soothes the soul. Any exercise is great. Even a workout for 15 minutes is great! You do not have to be Richard Simmons or Jane Fonda – just 15 minutes and you will see a difference. Some researchers say that exercise acts like antidepressants in increasing the activity of serotonin and/or norepinephrine in your brain; working out releases endorphins and other hormones that reduce pain, induce euphoria, have a calming effect, and combat stress. Bet you did not know that little piece of information!
4. Step Four: Eat the right foods – Throw out the McDonalds I see you eating those fries!The more I investigate--through both research and nonscientific experiments with body--the more I realize how diet affects a person’s mood.
For example caffeine a drug, I should know I am addicted to my Dunkin Donuts Coffee! Seriously try to stay away from the white flour, sugar and processed foods. Those foods do more harm to your body and mind than you can imagine.
The foods you should eat are protein such as eggs, milk, cheese, yogurt, meat, fish, chicken, seeds, nuts); complex starches like whole grains, beans, potatoes; vegetables (broccoli, spinach, squash); vitamins (vitamin B-complex, vitamins E and C, and a multivitamin); minerals (magnesium, calcium, and zinc); omega – 3 fatty acids.
5. Step Five: Sleep! You need to catch some Zzzzzzzzzzzzz’s! Obtaining a good night’s sleep is crucial to an effective treatment of depression and a must for maintaining a stable mood. Keep a mood/sleep journal to track how many hours of sleep you are getting and what your mood was for that day. Keep track of your thoughts and anything that day that could have altered your mood or thoughts. Sometimes we need to change our lifestyle a little or the people we hang around with – this could trigger your depression and cause you to prolong your recovery. If one apple is rotten, it will eventually cause the rest to become rotten too! Getting back to the sleep issue- alterations in sleep affect circadian rhythms, our internal biological clocks, which govern fluctuations in body temperature and the secretion of several hormones. This is why sleep is important.
6. Step Six: The importance of sunlight - Changes in the amounts of sunlight a person gets also alter circadian rhythms, which is why light treatment is so effective, especially for those who suffer from SAD (seasonal affective disorder). The sun can help your depression, so get your sun tan lotion on and get outside!
7. Step Seven: Support and Friendships – Talking to your friends and family members is a big plus. Support from each other and even a hug or a pat on the back can do a lot for someone. We all need love. Love makes the world goes round and helps rid depression too.
8. Step Eight: Being Involved with the Community – Many Doctorsbelieve a sense of purpose--committing oneself to a noble mission--and acts of altruism are strong antidotes to curing depression. Finding a way to feel a sense of accomplishment or achievement can save you from further depression and help you recover from your depression.
9. Step Nine: A Gratitude Journal - Based on research the University of California psychologist Sonja Lyumbomirsky believes that keeping a gratitude journal--taking the time to consciously count your blessings--is one of the most effective happiness boosters. According to psychologist Robert Emmons at the University of California at Davis, gratitude exercises improve physical health, as well--including raising energy levels and relieving pain.
10. Step Ten: Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Personal Therapy - Cognitive-behavioral therapy can help you overcome depression Ten Days to Self- Esteem” “by David D. Burns, M.D is a good book to read. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy and Personal Therapyis learning toescape the negative thought patterns and dysfunctional behaviors, the feelings of depression may be relieved over time. Through this therapy, you become more active, succeeding and responding positively; learning to cope with your issues and reducing your negative feelings.
11. Step Eleven: Prayer and Meditation – Mediation, having a standard quiet time to yourself is very important. Take time out to rejuvenate and clear your thoughts. There are many types of meditations you can choose. Some people resort to religion, some focus on a particular type of mediation exercise and some people use bubble baths, walking or reading as a form of mediation. Whatever works for you.
12.Step Twelve: Rome was not built in a day – Healing takes time. Be patient and you will overcome you depression. Remember, reach out to others; you cannot do it by yourself. Rome was not built in a day and it took more than one person to build it. People need people and you need others so pick up the phone, go support group, call a doctor- lose that pride and get the help you need. All wounds will heal in time with the right medicine, but if you leave it untreated, there is a chance it will become infected. Something to think about-remember you cannot fight a country by yourself you need the help of your unit.