According to the World Health Organization (WHO), more than 260 million people (more than 3%) out of a global population of 7,846,000,000 suffer from depression worldwide. Depression is a leading cause of disability and a major contributor to disease. The sad truth is that depression sometimes leads to suicide.
Healthline.com lists the following types of depression: major depressive disorder (depression felt most of the time); persistent depressive disorder (when depression lasts longer than two years, also known as dysthymia); bipolar disorder (formerly called manic depression, characterized by extreme mood changes); seasonal depression (referred to as SAD, Seasonal Affective Disorder, which generally occurs during the winter months due to lack of sunlight); postpartum depression (a type of depression that occurs following childbirth); and psychotic depression (represented by hallucinations, paranoia, and delusions).
Suicide rates continue to rise among all ages, according to the Suicide Prevention Resource Center. And while many websites offer a variety of coping skills to manage depression, those who actually suffer from depression find advice like, watch cute videos and learn how to be grateful for things and people in your life is not really helpful because we've tried those methods and they haven't worked.
So what works? What besides therapy, which many of us cannot afford, can help us climb out of our depressive states and learn to find joy in our lives? The first thing we depressed people need to realize is that the choices we make are the most important factors in changing our lives and allowing us to find joy despite our depression. The motivation to make that change, when we feel that nothing matters anymore, is difficult and sometimes impossible. We feel overwhelmed and scattered.
Nobody wants to feel depressed, and everybody who suffers from depression wants to learn how to cope with it, but how? The prospect of handling our depression by ourselves is overwhelming. So let's break it down.
How about making just one decision? If we find ourselves lying in bed day after day, for example, let's choose to put one foot on the floor. Then choose to put our other foot on the floor. One step at a time. Lie back down if we feel we have to and congratulate ourselves for taking that first step. But don't give up. We have to take one more step and one more step and then we have to choose to DO something – anything.
One exercise that might help us, and we don't even have to get out of bed to do it, is to record our moods in a depression journal that comes with a mood tracking calendar. Keep it, along with a pen, next to our beds. Who knows us better than we do? And by recording our daily – or sometimes hourly moods – in the journal, we might discover a pattern and learn what triggers us each day.
The above journal gives a short background story about the author's experiences with depression and includes a mood tracking calendar, along with notes pages for you to record such information as YouTube videos you want to watch, books you want to read, advice you found helpful, and things you want to remember. The video below discusses a particular type of depression that affects many people, persistent depressive disorder (dysthymia), mentioned above.
The 6 Signs of High Functioning Depression
If you live in North America, and you are suicidal, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255. Go to Suicide.org for more information, and if you are in immediate danger, no matter where you live, call your local emergency number.
When you have learned how to cope with your depression successfully, find a little joy and sprinkle it everywhere. We all need more joy in our lives.
As always thank you for visiting!