When Depression Returns

Many individuals suffer from small bouts of depression.  Life gets us down with bad news or a struggle and we feel sad and out of sorts for some time.  Working closely with a therapist you can pick yourself up out of that time and move forward building your life.  You are then more able to go about your life as you feel a bit more like yourself.

Then all of a sudden you just do not feel ok once again – the depression is starting to return. You may start to feel worn out, confused about life, overwhelmed, and generally tired.  You recognize these symptoms. We fear having those negative feelings and dread what is coming.  You already know the pain you experienced during your last bout.  The helplessness you feel contributes to further sadness.

Remember, you are not alone.  In fact, we can work together to get you through this.

So, what do you do?

  1. Be honest with yourself about the signs of depression.  Do not ignore how you are feeling in hopes that it will go away and resolve itself on its own.
  2. Commit to getting better.  You were able to overcome this hurdle the last time you were down.  Use that knowledge and strength to understand you can also get through it this time as well.
  3. Get help even if it is just a check-in.  Working with a therapist, even just over a few sessions can help you rebuild and remember important skills.  These skills, such as monitoring your internal self-talk, can help you start to build the strength to overcome your feelings of depression.
  4. Start to write everything down.  Have you ever taken the time to sit with your thoughts and record them?  It can be a very powerful experience.
  5. Get enough sleep.  Interestingly enough, depression goes hand in hand with sleep deprivation and getting a good night’s sleep can actually help you deal with depression.
  6. Start moving. Even if you just walk around the block, doing something physical starts the process of healing. Powerful, anti-depressant hormones get activated when your body is in motion.

I have worked with many patients and I completely understand that this is all so much easier said than done.  Any episode of depression takes time to work through to rebuild your strength and vitality.

Of course, when you move through it there is always a fear of it returning once again.  I understand this.  The best way to prevent depression is by practicing regular maintenance techniques.  Visit with your therapist often to strengthen your emotional state.  Journal, exercise, eat right, and live a life full with family and friends.

For many individuals, depression, or the tendency toward depression can be a lifelong struggle.  Add to that the findings which indicate that depression can resurface in people who have previously experienced depression.  Know when to catch yourself before you start to fall by reaching out to a therapist and getting the help you need.

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