Depression is one of the most commonly overlooked conditions in the world. Approximately 50% of people with depression who have had proper treatment end up relapsing. Struggling with depression can be especially hard in college when dealing with the harsh realities of growing up, the stress of schoolwork, maintaining relationships, and everything else life throws at you. Sometimes, it may be inevitable for a person to relapse, but there are several ways in helping to keep depression from relapsing.
Keep Your Stress Level Down
One of the worst things a person can do to trigger their depression is become stressed. Taking over too many projects or positions at a time can lead to a remarkable amount of stress. Take this time to focus on the things that most importantly need to be done, and plan a stress-free strategy for any work that may be extensive.
Create an Exercise Routine
Exercise can act as its own anti-depressant. It boosts your self-confidence, acts as an outlet to release your emotions to, and keeps your mind off of things that may be bothering you. Change up your routine by doing cardio, yoga, and lifting weights to keep you motivated.
Stay With Your Treatment
Even if you’re symptoms are lightened, it is important to stay on a treatment plan. For example, if you immediately stop taking medications as soon as you begin to feel better, it can send your brain signals haywire. Since your body is so used to the elements in medication, it can send you into a relapse rather quickly. If you feel ready enough to eventually stop treatment, plan a care strategy with a doctor to slowly wean yourself off of medication or any treatment.
Try to Think Positively
This concept is easier said than done, but it isn’t impossible. If you spend enough time thinking positively, it will eventually become like second nature again. Look in the mirror and tell your reflection what you like about yourself. Set a positive career goal. Think about how far you’ve come in life, and everything you will accomplish in the future.
Talk it Out
Probably one of the most important ways to keep your depression from relapsing is to find someone you trust and talk to them about what you are feeling. This becomes a huge step in the recovery process, because with depression, it often feels that there is no one to turn to and you are completely isolated from everyone else. Find anyone you trust; a parent, friend, significant other, or counselor that you feel understands you the most and confide in them about good feelings, and bad feelings. Especially, DO NOT be afraid to talk to someone if you know your depression has relapsed and you need help. Finding help when dealing with something as serious as depression is not something to be embarrassed about.
Not many people realize how serious struggling with depression can be. It takes a toll on a person mentally, emotionally, and physically. If you are struggling with depression, do things that make you happy, surround yourself around love and acceptance, and stay with a treatment plan. If you know someone who has or is struggling with depression, keep your eyes and ears open; your friend and loved one could need some help. Offer a shoulder when needed, and take everything with an open mind. There is no shame in getting the care needed to live a happy and full life.