Managing Sadness and Depression

Everyone has felt sad or down at some time in their life as a result of life events such as a move to another city, loss of a job, medical reasons, etc. This is a normal part of life and it happens to all of us. Everyone has felt sad or down at some time in their life as a result of life events such as a move to another city, loss of a job, medical reasons, etc. This is a normal part of life and it happens to all of us.

More extreme cases of sadness, that lasts at least two consecutive weeks, is known as a depressive disorder. Depression is an episode of sadness and is severe enough to interrupt daily activities. Depression usually impacts ones function in their everyday life and ones family, friends or peers. Some physical and emotional symptoms of depression are as follows: · inability to concentrate and make decisions · overeating or loss of appetite · irritability and restlessness · Insomnia or excessive sleeping · feelings of persistent sadness · not interested in enjoyable activities including sex · sense of guilt or worthlessness · persistent pains such as headaches or digestive problems and · thoughts of death or suicide

Anyone can experience depression. The known causes of depression can range from a family history of depression, a recent experience of a traumatic event, taking medications, substance/alcohol abuse or maybe even changes in the weather.

How Men and Women React to Depression? Women are more likely to experience depression than men as a result of biological, hormonal and psychosocial factors. For example some women are vulnerable to postpartum depression as a result of giving birth and experience the pressures of their new responsibility. They are more likely to suffer from premenstrual syndrome (pms) and more likely to experience stress as a result of their caretaker responsibilities by caring for their children and aging parents.

Men and women experience depression differently. Women are more likely to say or express that they are experiencing sadness and feelings of worthiness, whereas men are more likely to acknowledge having fatigue, irritability and restlessness.

Nevertheless, men are more likely than women to turn to alcohol or drugs and sometimes abusive situations as a result of depression.

Coping Mechanism to Help You Manage Sadness

Here are some coping mechanisms that I want to share with you to help you manage feelings of sadness. Examine the root cause of your sadness (is it medications, environment, a traumatic event, changes in weather, etc.) In a moment of stress or sadness, stop and express gratitude for what you have and have accomplished in your life. Focus on all of your blessings. This can help you quickly get back on track Know yourself and know your trigger points. Know what excites or angers you. Know and practice how to deal with and manage people who are simply different from you Be cognizant of your surroundings; try to handle situations at a discomfort level before it becomes a crisis Speak out of love. Make sure you are acting out in a space of self love and send loving energies to those you see or meet (even if you choose not to like them) Say daily affirmative affirmations. Every word you say, speak or sing is an affirmation. Be careful of the words that you speak in to your life Surround yourself with positive people. Often times, surrounding yourself with negative people can dampen your spirit or increase your anger Accept your current path. Accept yourself as you are. You may have to go through a process of forgiving yourself or other for past indiscretions Engage in regular exercise 20 to 30 minutes a day at least four to five times a week Play with a pet. Pets have been shown to decrease symptoms with people with mild to moderate depression

Ways To Manage Depression

If you feel you are suffering with depression, it is important for you to get appropriate treatment from a Mental Health Professional. Often times, when you are experiencing depression, it is difficult for you to take action to help yourself. Here are some ways you can manage depression. Postpone important decisions for a later date Set realistic goals for yourself. Break up large tasks into small tasks. Don’t put a lot of pressure on yourself Do something fun or exciting; engage in an activity that you enjoy to get your mind off of the situation Be patient with yourself. Expect your mood to change slowly Spend time with people who can potentially boost your energy Seek a Mental Health Professional who can determine if you are suffering from depression Do not read the newspaper or watch television. Keep your environment as positive as you can Exercise your physical body to bring back flexibility in your muscles

Moreover, without treatment, the physical and emotional effects of depression can reduce ones quality of life significantly. In severe cases, depression can be life threatening.

If you or someone you know is in a crisis, tell someone immediately who can help, call your doctor or go to an emergency room. If you are someone you know is at risk of suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. Some warning signs may include talking about suicide or death, engaging in risky behavior or threatening to hurt others or themselves.

Sources: National Institution of Mental Health American Psychological Association © Dr. Jessica, 2010

Dr. Jessica is a Psychologist and Empowerment Coach with the Center for Discovery. She helps women experiencing a personal or career transition discover their highest potential, using proven principles and practices of mind, body, and spiritual development.
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