Being diagnosed with depression means different things to each person. Sometimes it can make you feel ashamed or scared, while other times it is a relief to simply finally know what’s wrong with you.

With millions of people battling depression every day, knowing you have this condition is not something that should make you feel worse. Instead, like being diagnosed with any other medical condition, it’s an opportunity to learn about what’s going on in your body and find out how to treat and control the symptoms.

Here are 5 essential tips that anyone living with depression should know.

5 Ways to Help You Deal With Your Depression

  1. Understand that your diagnosis is a serious thing. Anyone who doesn’t live with depression regularly or has grown up in an environment where mental issues are downplayed as a weakness may not understand that a depression diagnosis is a medical issue.

Something is going on in your body that can result in serious side effects. Depression requires attention and regular maintenance to control before it spirals into something even more dangerous.

  1.  Find a support group or other form of help. Being diagnosed with depression is not something you should sweep under the rug. You don’t have to tell everyone, but you should tell those who care about you and will be able to help you fight your battle.

There are support groups out there for those with depression. You may also benefit from one-on-one or small group counseling to work through the underlying reason behind your depression and learn coping techniques.

  1. Take some time off for your mental health. Sometimes a simple change of scenery is enough to shake you out of your depression for a little while. If you can’t get away, for whatever reason, try to get around people who can distract you. Secluding yourself for too long will only make your symptoms worse.

However, if your depression becomes chronic and long-term, keeping you from being able to work, you might want to look into filing a long-term disability claim.

  1. Exercise. When you least feel like it is when you most need it. Even a short walk around the block can be enough to get your endorphins, or happy hormones, moving in your brain. Research has shown that people with chronic depression who exercise at least 30 minutes every day are more able to control their symptoms and live a somewhat normal life.
  2. Look into treatment. Self-care is absolutely a necessity, but sometimes fighting depression goes beyond what you can do alone. In addition to being gentle with yourself, getting exercise, and taking time for your mental health, talk to your doctor.

Treatment for depression doesn’t always have to be in the form of medication. There are many supplements that you can take that cause the brain to respond similarly to the way it does with prescription controlled meds, without the side effects.

Take the Control Back in Your Life

For too long, it has probably seemed like depression has been ruling your life and controlling your day. It’s time to take that control back. With these 5 tips, you may be able to alleviate your symptoms and find yourself again.

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