COVID-19: How to Overcome Depression?
Depression is a state of mind where individuals are apprehensive due to several reasons. In this state, people brood over the problems constantly that may not be real. It is a sinking feeling leading to the abyss. Depression must not be misunderstood with sadness. When people are let down by their loved ones, they are depressed.
When people don’t accomplish their cherished goals and objectives, they are depressed. In ancient days, people approached the religious and spiritual leaders whenever they had depression. They diagnosed the problem through traditional methods and boosted the confidence of the distressed people.
Causes of Depression
There are several causes of depression. Here are some of them. Repeatedly thinking about the negative events about the past may lead to depression. We all make mistakes. There is nothing wrong with making mistakes. But what is wrong is brooding over mistakes without learning lessons and exploring solutions.
Genetic and biological factors are also responsible for depression. Successive failures may result in depression assuming that there is something wrong with their approach. The problem lies in rectifying the approach rather than excessively worrying about their approach. At times, workplace conflicts lead to depression. When people are misunderstood, they get depressed. So, they must communicate with others openly to clarify things. Lack of love and affection from family and friends, feeling loneliness, early childhood abuse, financial problems, substance abuse, and alcoholism are some of the reasons for depression.
When people do something guilty or something is done against their wishes, they get depressed. The bad memories will haunt them forever. Usually neurotransmitters occurring in the brain and hormonal imbalances are responsible for depression. When people are in deep water and debts they get into depression.
When divorced people don’t find compatible partners to share their feelings and enjoy sex, they get depressed. When the sexual desires are not fulfilled due to the lack of chemistry between wife and husband, it results in depression. Some people want success overnight and set unrealistic objectives resulting in depression.
Technology and Depression
Although technology has brought innumerable advantages to humankind it has also brought several disadvantages. Some of the demerits include increased mental illness, anxiety, and depression leading to suicidal thoughts. Depression is closely connected with excessive usage of technology. People especially young are glued to smartphones and social media. Social media has made people lonely and isolated. Currently, people enjoy the virtual world rather than in the physical world. They speak less but text more. The digital news replaced the print news. People have unbridled access to information instantly. They are updated regularly. There is less secrecy and more openness. There is no scarcity of information due to information overload thus throwing many challenges. Technology is both a boon and a bane. Instead of throwing away technology outrightly, it is essential to harness technology for social peace and human prosperity.
Effects of Depression
There are several adverse effects due to depression. Here are some of them. When people are depressed the entire world appears to be gloomy and the people around them appear to be bad. They all feel bad about themselves. The afflicted people may sleep for a lesser time which is known as insomnia (sleeplessness) or for a longer time which is known as hypersomnia (oversleeping). People develop anxiety and unfounded apprehensions and phobias leading to dysentery. It may also lead to a lack of concentration and appetite, and irritability leading to suicidal thoughts.
Tools and Techniques to Overcome Depression
Depression is a mental illness that is against your strong emotions and thoughts. In fact, most illness in this world is self-created. Hence, it is easy to overcome it if you push your boundaries in a positive direction. It is essential to identify the underlying causes of depression to address them through the right medication and psychotherapy. Psychotherapy plays a crucial role in overcoming depression. Psychotherapy is the process of treating the afflicted people through conversation. It helps identify what is bugging them and explore the appropriate solutions accordingly. It is essential to rewire the brain, mind, psyche, and spirit to handle challenges. Here are some tools to overcome your depression.
- Love yourself. Unless you love yourself, you cannot love others.
- View the world with optimism.
- Follow your passions. Set goals to engage your mind productively to provide meaning to your life. Remember that an empty mind is like a devil’s workshop.
- Take up one idea as your lifetime goal and engage effectively, consistently, and relentlessly. You get up every day with some purpose and enjoy doing it rather than wasting your time on negative aspects.
- Avoid setting unrealistic goals and objectives. Avoid expecting from others. Avoid comparing and competing with others. Instead, compete with yourself and raise your bar constantly.
- Look at the positive aspects of life, not the negative aspects. Look at the rising sun, not the setting sun.
- Learn lessons from failures. To fail is not bad but not to learn lessons from failures is bad.
- Eat healthy and nutritious food. Include Omega 3 fatty acids in your diet. Take a gram of fish oil each day. It decreases symptoms such as anxiety, sleep disorders, unexplained feelings of sadness, suicidal thoughts, and decreased sex drive.
- Exercise regularly and enjoy sex regularly.
- Socialize with others. If you have the habit of sitting with your computer system regularly, go to the gym or walk or talk to people to communicate your ideas and insights. Enjoy the humor and crack jokes.
- Build a strong team of a network to support them and seek their support.
- Avoid multitasking.
- Listen to melodious music to lift your moods. View motivational videos.
- Do yoga, breathing exercises, or meditation regularly.
- Slow down to speed up. Allow yourself to reflect on your thoughts. Enjoy solitude. Ensure that your head rules your heart, not your heart rules your head.
- Journal your observations, emotions, and feelings to identify what is bugging you. Practice self-hypnotism to overcome them.
- Avoid alcohol and drug if you have suicidal thoughts as they aggravate further.
- Follow neglected hobbies that you wanted to pursue in the past to engage yourself meaningfully. Remember that age is just a number. You can pursue your hobbies at any age and stage of your life.
- Travel to unwind yourself because traveling teaches tolerance; enhances empathy; and broadens your mind.
- Recall your past achievements.
- Remember that everything happens for a reason and all that happens for good.
- Minimize virtual connections and maximize physical connections. Use technology judiciously and harness it effectively to achieve happiness, peace, and prosperity.
- Connect with your family and friends. Spend some time regularly with them. Nothing is more important than your family and friends. It is above everything including money.
- Go to bed at a consistent time to enjoy a sound sleep. If you don’t get sleep for 30 minutes, get up, and do something productive. In this way, you can avoid negative thoughts and depression.
- Expose to adequate sunlight every day.
- Have an attitude of gratitude and express your gratitude regularly. Behind the success of every person there is someone who laid the ladder for success. Hence, expressing gratitude reflects your personality and encourages others to contribute more.
- Build bridges, not barriers.
- Volunteer to serve others to make a difference.
- Be a giver, not a taker because there is joy in giving something to others than getting.
- Consult a therapist/psychiatrist, if you get suicidal thoughts frequently.
- Take a short course on psychosocial therapy under the guidance of experts.
Be Part of the Solution, Not the Problem
Be part of the solution, not the problem. When encountered with frequent failures, explore the issues objectively to identify the reasons for failures to ensure that you don’t repeat them. Life is full of lessons in learning. At times, problems come in battalions. Learn to cope up with them. Remember that when going gets tough, tough gets going. As there is a key to every lock, there is a solution to every problem. It is often the last key in the bunch that will open the lock. Hence, be patient and persistent to open the lock. Similarly, engage your mind effectively to explore multiple solutions to overcome your problems. God gifted us life and onus lies with us to live fully to make it memorable and great. We must leave our legacy to the next generation. Hence, engage productively to accomplish your goals to provide meaning to your life.
The line between sanity and insanity is very thin. Depression is not a disease. It is a mental illness preventing positive thoughts in the human mind due to severe pain and suffering. Everyone is born for a reason and is alive for a reason. If they understand it most suicides in the world can be averted. Every successful person undergoes pain and suffering.
It is a fact that diamond is created under pressure from the dirty coal; lotus comes from the mud and butterfly comes from the caterpillar through pain and suffering. It is obvious that nothing comes easy and nothing great was ever achieved without pain, sufferings, struggles, and sacrifices. Every challenge converts you into a better human being and leader. Life is like a rising lotus from the mud. Enjoy the process to provide meaning to your life. To conclude, the past cannot be changed and the future cannot be predicted. Hence, learn to live in the present to avoid depression.
Commentary by Professor M.S. Rao. Here’s what you’ve missed?
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