Diagnosed with Depression: What should I do?
How do you deal with depression diagnosis?
A condition as complex as depression can sometimes appear difficult to diagnose. When you’re in the midst of it and unaware of the medical aspect of it, it can seem like a character flaw or weakness. The reality of depression is, it can create a feedback loop in your brain that causes a downward spiral of irrational and negative thought processes.
The first thing to remember is that this diagnosis is not your fault. The good thing is, with a diagnosis, we can address it as the medical condition it is, and get you on the path towards the medical treatment you deserve. Hopefully, this can mark the beginning of your journey to recovery.
What should I do if I have depression?
Sometimes a diagnosis such as depression can come as a relief. At least now you have a tangible explanation as to what’s been going on and we can discover the best possible way to treat it. While a diagnosis may be challenging, it’s important to remember that recovery is possible, and there is hope for a better future. With the right support and treatment, many people diagnosed with depression can lead fulfilling lives.
If you have received a depression diagnosis, seeking professional help is crucial. Your recovery team can be made up of a psychiatrist and/or a therapist as well as a support worker. Together they can work with you to create a treatment plan that is tailored to your unique needs. They may recommend certain types of therapy or medication or a combination of both.
Challenges of a Depression Diagnosis
A depression diagnosis comes with a lot of challenges and the road to recovery is not going to be straight-forward. It’s important to address these challenges so we can recognise them better and face them head on.
Physical and emotional symptoms such as persistent sadness, fatigue, changes in sleep and appetite patterns, and loss of interest in activities we used to enjoy can make even the simplest of daily tasks seem overwhelming.
Lack of energy and motivation can make it difficult to engage or even take steps towards recovery. Getting out of bed in the morning can be a major effort.
Depression can lead to social withdrawal. When we isolate ourselves from friends and loved ones this can intensify feelings of loneliness and despair.
Despite growing awareness and understanding of mental health, we still encounter stigma associated with depression. This can hinder the ability of some people to seek help or open up about their experiences.
Treatment for unique circumstances can be complex, and what might work for some might not work for others. Discovering the most effective treatment process can take time and might include some trial and error.
Relapse is likely for many people with depression. Even after successful treatment, a risk of relapse can be disheartening and challenging to manage.
If left untreated or inadequately managed, depression can have long-term consequences on your physical health, relationships and your overall quality of life
Ways to cope with anxiety and depression
There’s no doubt about it, dealing with a diagnosis such as depression can be challenging. Here are some steps you can consider taking to help you with your recovery:
- Accept your diagnosis – accepting it can be challenging, but it is the first step towards managing it.
- Educate yourself – Learning more about your diagnosis and your symptoms can enable you to have more control and a better understanding of how to manage it.
- Build a support system – Reach out to friends and family about your diagnosis. A strong support system can be integral to your recovery. They can offer emotional support and help you to stay on track with your treatment plan.
- Make lifestyle changes – Healthy habits such as regular exercise, a balanced diet and enough sleep will complement your treatment. As well as avoiding alcohol and recreational drugs which can exacerbate your symptoms.
- Challenge negative thoughts – Cognitive-behavioural therapy (CBT) can help you identify and change negative thought patterns from spiralling.
- Practice self-care – Engage in activities that make you feel good. This could include hobbies, mindfulness and meditation, spending time in nature or with friends.
- Stay connected – Isolation can exacerbate depressive symptoms. Try to maintain socially connected and engage in activities you used to enjoy, even if you don’t feel like it.
- Be patient and consistent – Follow your treatment plan and stick to any prescribed medication and therapy sessions. Your recovery is a process, there may be ups and downs and it can take time.
Create an emergency plan – You can work with your mental health professional to develop a crisis plan so you know what to do if you experience severe symptoms or suicidal thoughts.
How can a support worker help with depression?
Support workers can play a vital role in helping people living with depression by providing assistance and guidance. We can:
- Work with you to assess your needs and regularly monitor your condition.
- Assist you in developing and maintaining self-care routines as well as exercise, proper nutrition and sleep hygiene.
- Accompany you to your medical appointments and encourage social engagement.
- Help you to set goals, take your medication and monitor your progress.
- Provide you with much needed emotional support.
Reach out to us at Maple Community Services today to find the best Support Workers in your area.
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