If you are suffering from depression, hopefully you know that it is a treatable disease and you are seeking help. However, it is important to keep in mind that even if you are beginning to feel better, depression is cyclical and you can fall back in to a depressive state without careful monitoring.
Health.com reports on common situations that can trigger a depressive episode, which include:
- Interpersonal friction
- High levels of stress
- Physical illness
- A loss or ending a relationship
In addition, the helpful site mentions ways that you can prevent a relapse with 17 healthy tips such as managing stress and maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Stress is a fact of life. Sometimes we can avoid stressful events, but other times we need to rely on problem solving skills or coping strategies to deal with the issues we face. Ask yourself these simple questions to distinguish when stressful situations may just require a little problem solving or how to manage those experiences that are out of our control.
- Is there a problem? If yes, ask yourself, can I fix it? If yes, what are you waiting for? Start problem solving!
- Is there a problem? If yes, ask yourself, can I fix it? If no, take steps to feel better and move on. Talk to someone you trust, do something you enjoy to take your mind off the problem for a bit and start using relaxation techniques to regulate your anxiety.
Staying healthy involves several components and Depression Connect offers some advice about what staying mentally healthy entails.
- Sleep. Getting an appropriate amount of sleep for your age and lifestyle allows the body to recharge, maintain focus and
energy throughout the day, and regulate your mood.
- Exercise. Staying active allows your brain to produce endorphins and neurotransmitters that help alleviate and fend off depression. Current research reports that staying active may be just as effective as anti-depressants in terms of alleviating symptoms.
- Eating nutritious foods. Although junk food might feel good at the time, it is short lived and can lead to feeling sluggish or crashing later in the day. Eating healthy gives you the vitamins and minerals you need to keep energy levels balanced which will improve the ability to concentrate and think clearly.
One of the most important things that you can do for yourself to prevent a relapse is maintaining proper use of prescribed psychotropic medication. It is a common misconception to think that the medication is no longer needed when you begin to feel better. Be sure to talk with your doctor about whether or not going off the medication is right for you. This should always be done with consent and supervision of a medical professional.
A depression relapse is not always in your control, but understanding your triggers and staying healthy may limit the chance of falling back into depression.