Do you or someone you know suffer from depression? It's actually quite common these days, especially for women. Of the 16% of the people that have been diagnosed with depression, there are twice as many women as there are men. This problem was swept under the rug for many years, but has now come to the attention of medical research as a potentially crippling disease. In fact, now there are many individuals that have been diagnosed with depression that qualify for social security benefits because of their inability to maintain employment.
Below I've listed a few "do's and dont's" for those having depressive symptoms.
Things that you should do:
#1. DO Be good to yourself - Take care of your body by getting plenty of exercise. If you have a physical disability then consider working on the parts of your body that you're capable of. If you don't have any physical disabilities, then you need to get off of your rear end and get with the program. Several fitness experts agree that if you start and maintain an exercise program for twenty eight straight days that it will become a habit. You have to take the first steps to get there though.
Also, you need to watch what you eat. To many processed foods are known to have depressing effects, especially candy which gives you a temporary sugar "high" and then brings you crashing down a little while later. Leave it alone and eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.
#2. DO Get out of the house regularly - This is especially important for people that stay at home all day. You need fresh air, different scenery and some type of activity that not only keeps you busy, but also, something that you can look forward to on a regular basis. I know that it's tough some days and you really don't want to be around others, but isolating yourself is the worst thing you can do. Take a moment and put on your game face and then get out the door.
#3. Don't drink alcohol - Take it from a recovering alcoholic and leave it alone. You see, alcohol is a terrible depressant. Even people that don't normally have problems with depression can have issues when they drink. If you have problems with any form of depression then alcohol is poison for your mind. Think about it. You're pouring a depressant into an already depressed person. It doesn't make a bit of sense does it? The worst of it is that alcohol is also addictive. If you have anyone in your family that's an alcoholic then there's a possibility that you could have those tendencies too. Leave it alone for yours and your families sake.
#4. Don't do drugs - See #4. Enough said.
#5. DO Pray - Whether you believe in the man upstairs or not (I highly recommend that you do), prayer is very stress relieving. That's one thing that I do on a daily basis. It helps me to get my feelings out in the open and I always feel as if I've "given up" my burden to someone much more able to handle it than I can. I know that God will never betray me or leave me and I never have to worry about waking him up in the middle of the night when I need to talk, for he's always with me. Think what you will, but I'm telling you that it works.
#6. Stay away from the news - Years ago when I was in the military, keeping up with current events was very important, especially if you wanted to be promoted. I didn't really realize it at the time, but I hear the news now and think to myself "what an extraordinary amount of sadness there is in the world". Don't get me wrong, I'm not without compassion, but there are only so many things that we as individuals can do. Find a charity that appeals to your heart and donate time or money, hep the people in your neighborhood in some way, sponsor a child overseas, but don't watch that stuff every day or it will really get to you. I buy the newspaper for the sports section and throw the rest away. Enough said.
Lastly - Try to keep smiling. Good Luck!