When you are dealing with depression or anxiety, it might seem like the world is against you and you have to handle oppressive thoughts on your own. Here at Inositol Australia, we get that! You might want to tackle the world on your own. But that doesn’t have to be the case.
Dealing with depression and anxiety is no easy feat, but knowing that you have a support team alongside you can make the process far more manageable.
Understanding your feelings
Not everyone has anxiety and depression together. They can exist in combination with each other or experienced on their own. The first step in dealing with your depression or anxiety is understanding what it is that you are feeling.
It can be difficult to pinpoint the exact emotions or physiological responses that are happening inside the body, but this step is crucial to understanding the type of treatment that works best for you.
Begin by writing in a journal. Document the aspects of your emotions that stick with you – did you wake up with your feelings, or did some social or personal experience make you feel a certain way? What do you think is going to happen at the moment? Do you feel scared, alone, confused?
Other times it can be hard to think through something like this. If you are going through a depressive episode, you might only recognize that the episode occurred until after it has passed. This is completely understandable. As soon as you can, write down the episode details, such as how long it lasted, the relationships it affected, your general mood throughout the episode, and common thoughts that were pervasive.
Speak with a medical professional
Speak with a medical professional about what you are going through. This is extremely important because only a medical professional can give you accurate insight into what is going on.
When it comes to mental health, you’ll want to speak with a psychiatrist, psychiatric nurse practitioner, psychotherapist, psychologist, or social worker. Note that if you speak with a psychiatrist, they are listed to prescribe medication. If you are comfortable with this, or you think that you need medication as a way of stemming your anxiety or depression, a psychiatrist can prescribe medication in tandem with other treatment options.
You might also want to speak with your primary care physician, who would be able to determine if any of your symptoms are being affected by an underlying cause. Symptoms of anxiety, for example, can be caused by medication side effects, hormonal imbalances, other illnesses, and other medical causes.
It is okay to speak with friends and family and try to diagnose yourself, but speaking with a medical professional will provide more evidence as to what you’re going through. They will have professional insight that will more effectively guide you to help.
Take a step back
As you move through your journey of reconnecting with your mental health and improving your anxiety and/or depression, you want to remember to take it slow. Recovery doesn’t happen overnight, and there may be a lot of ups and downs throughout the process. Taking a step back doesn’t mean giving up, but it does mean taking a break when you need it.
Remember to try to look at your progress, the process, and how you feel objectively. Write things down, think about something else for a while, or get it off your chest by speaking with a practitioner or your friends and family.
The journey on the road to recovery happens every day, and you will have to continue to be okay with what your recovery looks like.
Natural treatments for dealing with depression
As you move through your recovery, you’ll most likely want to do everything you can (or maybe nothing at all) in order to feel better. Know that you deserve to feel better and that you can feel better.
There are “natural treatments” that you can consider. Natural treatments do not have to include some type of medication. You can do any number of these things throughout your day:
A medical professional again should be the one recommending coping methods depending on what you need.
Coping methods might be something short-term, like practising breathing techniques and going for a walk, but it might also be long term, like identifying your triggers and adopting cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT).
Short term coping methods:
- Question your thought pattern
- Practice deep breathing and focusing on breath work
- Walk for 15 minutes a day
- Do a small yoga practice
- Journaling your thoughts
Long term coping methods:
- Identify your triggers through reflection, journaling, and talking it through
- Daily meditation routine
- Natural supplements
- Change your diet
- Exercise regularly
You should consider one, if not more, of these coping strategies. Consider your daily routine and see what you can add-in. It is likely that a 3-minute meditation can fit into your schedule, and you might be surprised as to how much 3 minutes of meditation can improve your overall outlook.
Meditation and relaxation techniques
Your medical professional should be able to guide you through a meditation that calms you down from an anxiety episode, or further moves you away from a depressive episode. Meditation is a simple mental practice that anyone can do any time of the day.
Meditation, relaxation techniques, and breathing exercises should be in your wheelhouse and incorporated throughout your daily routine. Consider breathing and meditation apps, which will send you reminders to stop and breathe or meditate throughout the day.
Lifestyle changes are one of the most effective ways to get your body healthier and feeling better. Consider exercising regularly, eating more leafy greens and vegetables, and drinking more water.
Lifestyle changes like exercising more and a healthier diet will lead to improved sleep patterns, better circulation and physiology, and better mental health. You will also find your daily interactions and overall outlook improved.
Make sure to be considerate of how much your lifestyle changes affect your daily life, and try not to do too “too much” in terms of what you can handle. Lifestyle changes should not form a type of addiction and they should only improve your health rather than stress you out.
Natural supplements can improve your overall health and wellbeing. Vitamins, like Vitamin C, D, and fish oil will improve your immune system, bone health, and joint health, allowing you to feel better as you move throughout your day.
In addition to daily supplements, your medical practitioner might recommend something to balance out your hormonal system or a metabolic regulator, depending on whether or not you have any underlying conditions or illnesses.
You’re Not Alone!
While depression and anxiety can be isolating and often debilitating, remember that you are not alone. In fact, around 264 million people globally suffer from depression, and an estimated 970 million people worldwide have some type of mental disorder. Approximately four percent of the population has an anxiety disorder!
It is clear that mental health is a fairly normal occurrence, so you should never feel like you have no one to talk to. In many cases, anxiety and/or depression might be something that you can’t control, and by taking a meditation or a natural supplement, you can re-regulate your body’s processes so that you can better understand your daily emotions.
Work with a medical practitioner, friends, and family to come up with a plan for your recovery. This might involve implementing coping strategies into your daily life and asking for outside help to keep you accountable. Never give up, and keep trying until you find something that fits!
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