Written by Pliro
Jul 31, 2019 Last updated: Aug 1, 2019

Depression or Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) is a serious medical condition with symptoms that have a negative effect over a person’s emotions, thoughts and actions. The main characteristics of depression are: Feelings of sadness, low self esteem and/or difficulty enjoying activities that used to bring pleasure.Dealing with all these symptoms is really difficult but not impossible.

MDD or depression affects nearly 300 million people around the world and is one of the first causes for disability. This condition can be treated with psychotherapy and pharmaceuticals; however, there are no quick cures for it. Any treatment for MDD requires long-term care.

Many people confuse depression with sadness or grief. The fact is that these concepts share things in common but are different. For example, In grief, sadness related to memories of a loved one usually are mixed with positive feelings. These are manifested within several periods inferior to 2 weeks. In depression, positive emotions decrease significantly and feelings of sadness related to memories last longer than 2 weeks.   In this article we’ll provide a list of 10 tips and strategies used by people to deal with MDD.

Conventional Medical Treatment: This is the main strategy used by clinical psychologists to treat depression. Usually, doctors recommend a combination of pharmaceuticals (Zoloft, Effexor XR, Nefazodone, Pamelor, Parnate, among others). This is accompanied by psychotherapy (talk therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy).

So far, conventional treatment has been very successful for many patients and is important to mention that in our list, however, the following 10 tips on to deal with depression have a more personal perspective.

  1. Socialize: Having a strong support network is important, this means having friends and other loved ones near. Having people to talk to can make things easier.
  2. Exercise: Is well-known that exercise can have a positive effect on depressed individuals. You don’t have to follow a heavy routine, 10 to 20 minutes of exercise each day is sufficient.
  3. Avoid isolation: Depression promotes an aversion to socialization and going outside, finally causing a negative effect on the individual. Finding the will to go outside, having new experiences and being around people is very important.
  4. Avoid alcohol and other depressants: Depressants are a group of substances which reduces nervous activity, some, like alcohol can promote depression if they are consumed in excess.
  5. Follow a healthy diet: Depression and poor diets are very related, often people struggling with MDD experience an almost total loss of appetite which leads to dramatic and unhealthy weight loss. A healthy diet will prevent this situation.   
  6. Work on a routine: Creating routines based on healthy or helpful behaviors is a good way to avoid many of the problems mentioned above. When something becomes a habit is much easier to take care of it.
  7. Vitamins: Vitamin deficiencies can sometimes increase the risk for depression. Keeping track of your vitamin levels and taking the appropriate supplements.
  8. Avoid making rash decisions: At the end of the day, being depressed is being in an altered state of mind, cognitive impairment among depressed people is a well documented phenomenon. Making important decisions with long-term consequences is not recommended and the act itself should be avoided.    
  9. Make the little victories count: Depression can make each day very challenging. Take advantage of having a strong support network with a group of people you can express your difficulties to and ask for encouragement.
  10. Divide difficult tasks into many easy steps: Some tasks can seem impossible to achieve when depressed, however, is entirely possible to get everything done if you sit down. And stop thinking about the many things you need to do and only focus on one step each time. Make a simple list with all the things needed and work with only one, don’t even think about the rest until the first one is done.

Depression is a real medical condition which millions of people all over the world have to deal with. It is not easy and there are no quick fixes for it, but living a happy life is possible. These 10 tips have helped many and can help you. Healthy routines and having a good support network can get people though the most difficult times. Furthermore, one should never hesitate in booking an appointment for counseling sessions with a psychologist.