B. Talk to a Friend or Clergy about Breaking the Vicious Cycle
You’ve made the right decision. Depression can drain your energy, hope, and drive, but reaching out and staying connected to supportive people is a great first step in getting a handle on it. The key is to start small and build from there. But you can get there by continuing to make positive choices for yourself each day.
Let's learn more about Depression below:
Give you back your life and rid you of feelings of hopelessness. It's difficult to overcome the Vicious Cycle if you're depressed. Therefore, it's important to recognize and challenge the critical inner voice that often comes with depression.
Energize you to start moving and start living. It's important for your friends and relatives to understand that if you're depressed, it's more than just a bad mood. Just like any major illness, once you start to feel better, you'll be better equipped to deal with the Vicious Cycle.
Help you start getting more involved in life and the activities that you once enjoyed. If you're depressed, it's often difficult to be around people. You may feel anger at yourself and others; or you may have a critical inner voice holding you back. Take the steps now to free yourself of depression:
- Stay connected
- Get moving
- Do things that make you feel good
- Eat a healthy, mood-boosting diet
- Challenge negative thinking
Recording your "wins" and list of accomplishments is good therapy. By thinking about those moments that give you joy throughout your day, you can begin to appreciate the positive steps you're taking that can help you break the Vicious Cycle.
Laugh each day. There is a hidden message within a giggle that reminds you that you will get through this. Laughter is very good medicine, especially in keeping depression away. Seek out and spend time with those family members and friends who make you laugh.
Consider meditation. Research suggests that formal practices of meditation and mindfulness can halve your risk for depression.
Make preventing and/or managing depression a priority. Take these steps to ensure your mental health:
- Talk to a friend, your family, or clergy
- Get regular physical activity, eat healthy, and think positively
- Be kind and good to yourself
- Seek professional help if you need it (physician or counselor)
Goals should be Specific.
A good goal includes specific details. For example, a goal to exercise more is not specific, but a goal to walk 30 minutes after work every day is specific. You're declaring what you will do, how long you will do it, and when you will do it.
Goals should be Measurable.
If you can measure a goal, then you can objectively determine how successful you are at meeting the goal. A goal of eating better is not easily measured, but a goal of eating 1,200 calories a day can be measured. A goal of riding your bike is not measurable. A goal of riding your bike for 30 minutes three days a week is measurable.
Goals should be Attainable.
When you identify goals that are most important to you, you begin to figure out ways you can make them come true. You develop the attitude and motivation to reach them. For example, if a particular type of exercise, like running, is physically too difficult for you, then running is not an attainable goal. Walking a furthur distance might be.
Goals should be Realistic.
You are the only one who can decide just how high your goal should be. Your goal is probably realistic if you truly believe that it can be accomplished. For most people, a realistic goal is losing 5 to 10% of their current weight. A doctor can help you determine a daily calorie goal based on your current weight and health. Setting an unrealistic goal may result in disappointment or the temptation to give up altogether.
Goals should be Trackable.
Goals are best achieved if you keep a record of your progress. If you have an outcome goal of losing 15 lbs., record your weight each week. If your goal is to eat 1,400 calories a day, keep a food diary. Keeping track can help you evaluate your progress and stay motivated. A goal that's set too close is not only unrealistic, it's discouraging.
Perhaps strength is a virtue held in the highest regard within your community. You may have learned from a very young age that you should be able to effortlessly handle work, family, and other demands. Or, you may have learned to "take your troubles to Jesus." While spiritual support can be an important part of healing, a qualified mental health provider is often needed to heal depression.
You may feel weak admitting that you're depressed. It can be difficult to embrace depression as a common, yet serious, medical illness that can affect mood, thoughts, body, and behavior—something that without treatment can worsen over time. You don't have to be "crazy" or on the brink of a nervous breakdown to suffer from depression that can keep you locked in the Vicious Cycle.
In the treatment of depression, Hispanic/Latina women fare better and are more open to psychotherapy with medication. In fact, according to a 2011 study by Health and Human Services, Hispanics prefer counseling and medication over medication alone.
You may have seen a doctor or nurse while depressed and perhaps because there was not enough time during your medical visit, it was not discussed. Perhaps you talked about your depression as "nerves," and the doctor didn't seem to understand what you meant, which is why it was not discussed or treated. You may not understand your healthcare provider or he/she may not fully understand you. It's true that Hispanic/Latina women often don't get a medical diagnosis for a condition they have due to communication and time barriers. If possible, take someone with you to your medical visit who can speak English and can help you communicate better with your health care provider.
You may not want to take any antidepressant medication. You may be afraid to talk to a behavioral specialist. You should remember that you are a strong person who is suffering from a physical condition. Talking to someone about your depression can be a great first step toward recovery for you. Many health clinics have psychologists, or licensed professional counselors, individuals who can help you. Taking that first step can make a big difference for you and your family.
Moving more can also help with your depression. However, if you don't feel safe walking around your neighborhood, put on music and walk or dance around the house. Learn and practice some new dance moves. Make movement a part of your life.