Friday, March 22, 2013

8 Self-Help Questions for Depression Patients

If you suffer from chronic depression, you may be so caught up in your gloomy feelings that most of the time you barely have energy or inclination to consider anything. However, in those brief moments of respite when you feel more in control, there are some key questions you should meditate on.

Just considering these questions will put you in the right frame of mind to find a suitable treatment, so we'd like to invite you to take a moment to reflect on each one of the following:

Am I ready to admit I have a problem?

It doesn't matter if you suffer from Depression or any other psychological issue: the first step to recovery is to admit you have a problem, and to resolve dealing with it. If you aren't quite ready to come out to the world and admit you have a problem with depression, that will make it so much harder to deal with it.

Can I look at my condition objectively?

When you suffer from chronic depression, you will get caught up in a spiral of negative feelings that rob all your energy and willingness to live. This situation will make it really hard to look at your situation objectively; feeling depressed, you seldom have the mental clarity to realize you are depressed - i.e., subject to an ailment that is interfering with your normal functioning. Being able to look at your feelings of depression in perspective is most important, since only then will you manage to start looking for a solution.

Am I prepared to go see a therapist?

Having decided to find a solution for your depression related problems, you should prepare yourself to go and see a therapist. Many people still feel awkward about seeking help for dealing with mental problems, even though it it just as natural as seeking help from a doctor when you have a physical sickness. If you don't feel you are "ready" to see a therapist, you need to realize that dealing with depression on your own is needlessly troubling and challenging, because depression will hinder your judgment and coping abilities.

Do I have an action plan for recovery?

This is something you should work out in collaboration with your therapist: a blueprint for recovery, which will usually involve adjusting multiple lifestyle habits as well a committing to different treatments and complimentary therapies. Dealing with depression is not all that different from going on a diet or striving towards a personal accomplishment; it will take time, effort and thorough planning, to increase your odds of success.

Am I aware of which habits worsen depression?

From compulsive negative thinking to chronic self-doubt, from unbalanced relationships to diet choices and beyond... there are many habits you have picked up along the years, which are working together to fuel your depression. As part of your treatment, you'll have to realize which habits are harmful towards  your mental stability, so you will be able to change them - and thus change how your feel.

Do I know any tricks to manage my depression?

There are some key tactics that you can rely on to help appease your mood, whenever depression seems to take hold over your being. Something as simple as getting out in the sun or getting some physical exercise can   work wonders to improve your mental state. There are many other tips and tricks for you to consider adopting, which shall be covered in subsequent posts in this blog.

Am I ready to commit to treatment?

Just seeking professional help and learning all the do's and don'ts of depression treatment is not enough. You have to be able to commit yourself fully to treatment, since it will be a journey of months, with many ups and downs along the way. Unless you are really serious about following through on your treatment, you may stumble along the way.

Do I have someone I can rely on for support?

While you should ideally learn to rely on yourself for managing your own mental stability, it will be much easier if you have a close someone whom you can lean on for support. It can be an intimate friend, a lover or a family member, or even a support group for depression. Just remember that your ultimate goal is to be able to stand alone proudly as an adjusted and self-sufficient individual, so at some stage of your treatment you must learn how to rely on yourself for support.

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