Learning how to get out of a depressive episode can greatly assist in dealing with this mental disorder’s debilitating symptoms.
Commonly attributed to a loss of interest in activities and isolation, depression can considerably change how you live.
Let’s explore several coping mechanisms and treatment options to consider.
- What Is a Depressive Episode?
- How to Get Out of a Depressive Episode: Top Clinical Recommendations
- Successfully Getting Out of a Depressive Episode
What Is a Depressive Episode?
Depressive episodes are often characterized as more than feeling like you’re in a rut.
You’ll find your feelings of low mood will be considerable, with many patients unable to get out of bed.
There are some sufferers with “high functioning depression,” allowing you to do daily activities.
Depressive episodes typically last two or more weeks and come with various symptoms.
Some of the most commonly experienced effects include:
- Low mood and irritability
- Loss of interest in regular activities
- Periods of isolation
- Changes in weight and appetite
- Thoughts of suicide and death
- Disinterest in socialization
It’s important to remember that although the symptoms of a depressive episode can be overwhelming, you’re not alone.
Depression is the fourth leading cause of death in individuals between 15 and 29.
With proper treatment and care, you can work towards a higher quality of life while managing your symptoms.
How to Get Out of a Depressive Episode: Top Clinical Recommendations
Let’s jump into the list of the various ways you can work towards finding the light at the end of the tunnel.
With the help of a professional psychotherapist and these lifestyle changes, you can manage depression effectively.
Seek Medical Counsel
Above all else, the most important thing you can do for yourself when managing depression is to get medical help.
Psychologists and psychiatrists are highly trained professionals who know the steps to manage mood disorders.
Whether you’re dealing with postpartum depression or clinical depression, they have treatment steps to consider.
When you visit a psychoanalyst for assistance, you’ll often be given the option to attend psychotherapy.
This treatment method helps determine the root causes and triggers of the mood disorder.
You’ll also find it can assist with any comorbid mental health conditions you’re suffering from.
On top of psychotherapy, trained therapists can provide you with necessary medications.
A depressive disorder often occurs due to chemical imbalances in the brain, most often controlled using antidepressants.
Alongside your mental health practitioner, you can find the ideal medications to help manage your brain’s chemistry.
Fight Social Isolation
One of the most challenging symptoms of depressive disorder is the disinterest in socializing.
You might find you don’t have the energy or interest to talk to those closest to you. However, reaching out is one of the best things you can do when in a depressive episode.
Knowing that you have a significant social structure to assist your healing can alleviate emotional burdens.
It can also help to fight against feelings of low self-worth and helplessness.
There are likely several people in your life willing to assist you through your depressive episodes.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the case for everyone, as many patients with a depressive disorder don’t have social support.
Attending group therapy sessions and working with a psychotherapist can greatly help in these instances.
You must push through the desire for social isolation, allowing yourself to reach out to get help when it’s most needed.
It can be tempting to stay in bed for weeks, avoiding the things that would otherwise make you happy when in a depressive episode.
Instead of falling into a plateau of felt helplessness and worthlessness, indulging yourself can help.
Make a list of all the things that generally make you happy, and push yourself to try them out.
Indulging in your favorite activities might not be a cure-all for your depression, but it can help to alleviate some of the burdens.
Whether watching a funny TV show or taking a self-care day to treat yourself to a face mask and bath, the options are endless.
It’s important to remind yourself there are activities you can still enjoy, even when dealing with depression.
Begin Implementing Exercise
For many dealing with depression, the idea of getting out of bed in the morning is hard enough.
However, pushing yourself to engage in some exercise is a fantastic way to help alleviate the symptoms of depression.
Exercise is a serotonin booster and has been proven to be as effective as antidepressants in many instances.
Not only does exercise help to better your mental health, but it can also assist with your physical health.
Over time, you’ll find that positive changes in your physical appearance can help lessen your feelings of low self-worth.
There are many different ways to begin exercising, even when in the middle of a depressive episode.
One of the top recommendations is to start spending some time outside. You can go for a brisk walk around your neighborhood or head out on a run.
These activities give you time for self-reflection, giving you access to Vitamin D from the sun.
Vitamin D is one of the top nutrients your body could need to help fight depression.
According to studies, it has been shown to offer significant health benefits and depression-related prevention.
Get More Sunlight
Managing depression isn’t a one-size-fits-all approach. If you’re not in a position to start exercising to get your hands on vital Vitamin D, there are alternatives.
One of the top tips is getting more sunlight in your day-to-day life whenever possible.
You don’t necessarily need to spend any time outside, but you can start with opening your curtains in the morning.
Even if you sit on the floor inside, you can allow your body to soak up some Vitamin D.
Once you feel more comfortable going outside, slowly transition to your backyard or balcony.
By taking baby steps, you can at least reap all of the benefits of semi-outdoor events.
As your symptoms begin to lessen, you can consider implementing exercise or spending more time outside your home.
Avoid Your Irrational Voice
Negative self-talk is an incredibly annoying and challenging aspect of depression.
Most patients express having a hypothetical voice in their head that talks negatively about themselves.
As a result, they feel helpless and worthless, worsening their depressive symptoms.
The best thing you can do for yourself is ignore the irrational voice. It’s important to remember that self-help is the key to success when dealing with depression.
As soon as the negative self-talk begins, use it as a weapon to better understand your brain’s chemistry.
You can identify that your brain is lying to you and that these feelings will soon pass.
You can then transform your feelings of self-loathing into constructive ways to better your everyday life.
When your depressive episode ends, you’ll feel better equipped to manage your symptoms when your next attack occurs.
Practice Future Goal Setting
If you find it particularly challenging to do anything during your depressive episode, goal setting can help.
It’s a fantastic way to look forward to the future without doing much work in the present.
All you need is a journal, a pen, and a good idea of some things you want to accomplish at a later date.
Your goals can be as small as starting a new diet or as large as working towards owning your own home.
Regardless of what you want to achieve, write it down in a book for future reference.
You can even go as far as to consider the smaller steps you need to take to achieve your dreams.
Aside from indulging in the activities you may enjoy, rewarding yourself when dealing with depression is essential.
Again, this tip is a fantastic way to improve your feelings of self-worth and accomplishment.
When dealing with a depressive episode, even the smallest activities are big victories.
You should consider treating yourself when you do regular everyday tasks, like laundry. The harder you try, the bigger your reward should be.
Eventually, this can help your brain form associations between successful behavior and positive emotions.
Try NLP Therapy
Along with standard therapy, Neuro-Linguistic Programming has been a unique way to manage depressive symptoms.
As a relatively new theory in psychology, this treatment method takes a new approach.
By analyzing your life from an outside perspective, NLP provides individuals with the opportunity to work on depressive symptoms from their foundation.
It’s an all-inclusive approach to depression treatment, focusing on the disorder’s visual, auditory, and kinesthetic components.
It can also assist with managing the unconscious responses to your mental disorder.
Although it’s not a cure for depression, it can undoubtedly help considerably in depressive recovery.
To learn more about NLP therapy and how some practitioners use it to assist with managing depression, consider these great resources:
- Get Out Of Your Own Way: Overcoming Self-Defeating Behavior – Mark Goulston, Philip Goldberg
- NLP: The Essential Guide to Neuro-Linguistic Programming – Tom Dotz, Susan Sanders, Tom Hoobyar
- The Ultimate Introduction to NLP: How to Build a Successful Life – Richard Bandler, Alessio Roberti, Owen Fitzpatrick
Successfully Getting Out of a Depressive Episode
Learning how to get out of a depressive episode can be challenging, especially in the middle of one.
Using these key steps, you can start to build a strong weapon against your mental disorder, tackling it head-on.
As someone dealing with symptoms of depression, seeking mental health guidance is the best thing to consider.