Self help for depression

Self help for depression

ALISON RALPH

Do you want to know more about self help techniques for depression? Are you trying to avoid medication or help yourself alongside medication? Read on to find out more about how you can help yourself when experiencing depression. 

Considering it is a very common mental health condition, ranging from mild symptoms to very severe, depression is misunderstood by many. Many people suffer in silence or with very little support from those around them. When depression is mild, lifestyle choices may be able to help you and it can sometimes be the small changes which make the big difference! 

Exercise

When we exercise, serotonin and endorphins are released in the brain and this triggers the growth of new brain cells and connections. Exercise also helps us to feel achievement, may get us outdoors and activates a different part of the brain to what we may have been using all day. Any form of exercise can be useful so if its just taking a stroll around the block or a spin class at the gym, it all makes a difference. 

Sleep

Sleep has a huge affect on mood and if you are not getting enough, it can worsen depression. To ensure good sleep, take a look at information about sleep hygiene using this link: 

https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/sleep-and-tiredness/10-tips-to-beat-insomnia/

Social support

People who are experiencing depression often cut off from social contact as they find it hard to be around others and exhausting to communicate, however it is important to have contact with others for support and company. Surround yourself with people who are understanding and supportive as this can really help to improve your condition. 

Stress reduction

Stress only makes depression worse and so it is important to look at the factors in your life which are causing you stress. Can you make changes to lessen this stress? This could be relationships, work or anything in daily life. You may not be successful in eliminating all stress but reducing it is equally useful!

Each of these suggestions may not help each and every person but you may find, as some of my clients have, that just one change can make a huge difference. 

If you are reading this blog and feel you need some immediate support the below phone numbers are useful.

  • Samaritans (08457 90 90 90) operates a 24-hour service available every day of
    the year. If you prefer to write down how you are feeling, or if you are worried
    about being overheard on the phone, you can email Samaritans at
    jo@samaritans.org.
  • Childline (0800 1111) runs a helpline for children and young people in the UK.
    Calls are free and the number will not show up on your phone bill.
  • PAPYRUS (0800 068 41 41) is a voluntary organisation that supports teenagers
    and young adults who are feeling suicidal.

Written by Alison Ralph

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