Depression treatment by self-management: overcome your loneliness of childlessness.
Depression is a common and serious mental illness that negatively affects how a person thinks, feels, and behaves. We are inclined to believe that depression is just a feeling of sadness, but it is more than that. Depressed individuals experience social withdrawal, persistent sadness, helplessness, worthlessness, and a number of other mental and physical symptoms. Even though it is a serious mental illness, it is possible to overcome depression. Depression treatment consists of intake of antidepressants and regular therapy sessions in most cases, but self-management options can also help you. Here are 10 unique ways to manage depression.
- Video games
Video games are considered harmful because most of them are based on wars and violence, but numerous studies discovered they can be good for us. For example, video games can help us manage depression and the chances are high you’ve never thought of playing a game to treat this mental illness.
A study from the Depression and Anxiety journal discovered that a specifically designed game, named EVO, improved measures of depression in participants. The game also targets underlying cognitive control problems associated with depression like memory and difficulty paying attention.
You can try playing multiplayer video games, which require interaction with others and improve your memory, attention, and problem-solving skills according to the latest study from the PLoS One.
Bouldering is a type of rock climbing, but it is practiced low to the ground so that ropes aren’t necessary. At the same time, bouldering is a great physical exercise and an effective depression treatment. The activity requires precision, strength, and concentration. A group of researchers from the University of Arizona and University of Erlangen-Nuremberg enrolled 100 participants who took part in bouldering as a part of their therapeutic treatment for depression. Patients who bouldered for three hours a week over eight weeks improved one full severity grade; their depression intensity reduced from moderate to mild.
Why is bouldering beneficial? It could be down to its ability to boost self-efficacy and social interactions, both of which are important factors for depression management. When you’re bouldering, you have to focus on the task at hand (climbing) thus paying less attention to negative thoughts and emotions.
- Adopt a pet
It’s impossible to look your pet into those big, round eyes and feel sad, upset, or anything negative. Pet is like a furry ball of love that just wants to make you happy (and eat all your food). You can buy or adopt a pet, but for depression sufferers, the latter option is more convenient because it gives you the sense of purpose and accomplishment. The thought that you saved an animal shows you’re not hopeless or worthless (common depressive thoughts).
Studies show that spending some time with an animal (even cuddling someone else’s pet) improves your mental health due to exposure to oxytocin, but pet ownership is even more favorable due to long-term oxytocin influence. Oxytocin is a neurotransmitter involved in emotions.
- Take up gardening
Gardening is a simple way to combat negative thoughts and you get fresh vegetables or beautiful flowers in return. A study from the Preventive Medicine Reports found that gardening provides substantial human health benefits. Some of these benefits include reductions in anxiety, depression, and BMI. In addition, gardening increases the quality of life, overall life satisfaction, and sense of community. If you’re living in an apartment building and don’t have a yard of your own, give community gardening a chance.
Volunteering is an effective depression treatment and a great way to get more involved in the community. The BMC Public Health published a research which discovered that volunteering was strongly associated with better health outcomes. Other-oriented, but not self-oriented, volunteering also helps decrease the severity of depression. Now you just have to choose the organization or cause you support and start volunteering.
For individuals with mild depression, reading a book is a great way to alleviate symptoms they experience. You have the freedom to choose what book to read ranging from your favorite genre to self-help and motivational works. A study from the Clinical Psychology and Psychotherapy revealed that reading self-help and motivational books resulted in dramatic improvement in depressive symptoms. Again, you can read whatever you want or find pleasurable.
- Spend some time in nature
Fresh air, trees, grass, birds singing, breathtaking landscapes, what’s there not to like? Nature is truly amazing and it’s not such a surprise it can also be an easy way to manage depression. Scientists at the University of Essex found that taking a walk in nature reduced depression scores in 71% of participants. On the other hand, only 45% of people who walked in a shopping mall experienced the same effect. Take a walk in the nearby park, go hiking or camping, being in nature will help you manage depression with ease.
- Listen to music
Everybody loves music and you probably have multiple playlists for different situations. Listening to your favorite songs helps you relax and decreases the severity of depressive symptoms. This usually happens because we emotionally relate to the songs we listen to and their lyrics. That way, you don’t feel all alone and it becomes easier to feel in different negative situations.
Probiotics are microorganisms that are important for gut health. What most people don’t know is that gut health influences your emotional health too, and basically everything else. One study found that supplementation with probiotics has the amazing potential to relieve symptoms of depression, particularly in people with irritable bowel syndrome.
Adult coloring books have been around for decades and they’re incredibly useful for you. First, complicated patterns improve your cognitive abilities such as attention, memory, and problem-solving skills. Second, adult coloring books decrease symptoms of depression and anxiety effectively according to a study from the Creativity Research Journal. If you don’t want to purchase an adult coloring book, you can simply download and print patterns from the internet.
Despite the fact depression is a severe problem, there are numerous management techniques that help you feel better. Throughout this post, you’ve seen 10 amazing depression treatment options that you can do easily, without even having to spend money. Choose self-management techniques that appeal to you the most and try them out.
Vaileria Dennis is a Health Advisor. She focuses on helping patients self-manage long-term conditions due to Health Issues. She possesses the necessary expertise and capacity to provide this advice. She has given a number of important positive outcomes. She also finds her interest in some indoor games. She possesses fabulous communication and interpersonal skills. You can connect with her on Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, and Pinterest.