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Babylon Health

Depressed About Depression? Develop Skills To Help Manage Living With Your Depression

Living with depression is a daily challenge for many people globally and yet can make a person feel very isolated. Mental health wellbeing can be impacted by severe and long term depression occurrences that may require medical treatment to improve symptoms.

This article discusses how to live with a mental illness such as depression and provides tips for developing coping skills to manage your own depression.

Depression - More Than Just Having A Rough Day

Everyone encounters life experiences where sadness is truly felt. Those life experiences can affect us in the moment and then heal with time and by using various coping skills.

There are times where the experience can be life changing and the depression that follows doesn’t go away. This depression affects your entire life and those living around you, especially those who depend on you which can be an added pressure. Some resort to self harm as a coping method, as well as other addictive and harmful behaviors.

Some life changing experiences that can lead to long term depression include:

Death of a loved one

This can be devastating to the living spouse or family left behind. Losing a spouse after a long marriage, severe health condition or unexpectedly can feel like losing a body part. Losing a family member (pets included) affects the rest of the family and their personal connection to that member is now gone. A person can feel shocked and empty without that special someone there and experience loneliness.

Health changes

A new medical diagnosis or sudden health decline can have both physical and mental impacts. The reasons for this life change can be due to disease, age, environment or injury. Depression may arise from a serious diagnosis, an injury or aging that restricts a person’s lifestyle or deteriorating living conditions due to an inability to take care of their health activities of daily living.

End of an era

Life changes such as losing a job, retirement or divorce can cause a sense of depression. For example, a person who has worked at the same company for years suddenly finds themselves experiencing difficulties in readjusting to a change in their daily routine after their departure. Another example is divorce. A relationship dissolved by a divorce means many lifestyle changes.

Family drama

Every family has their own challenges to deal with. Parents can be worried over a son or daughter who has made life choices they don’t agree with. Families with members that have no contact with each other, have relatives that may live a long distance apart, or who are caring for sick relatives often face loneliness and depression. These situations can affect several family members on a long term basis.


Financial worries that seem never ending bring stress and depression. Trying to pay all the bills every month can be a daunting life task for some people. Stress often affects sleeping patterns, eating habits, use of medications and moods. Job related stress may be due to working too many hours, not having adequate time to rest or dealing with difficult coworkers and clients.

Tips For Coping With Your Depression

It is important to recognize everyone has different ways of coping when life happens and some people handle situations better than others. You need to know how to spot the symptoms of depression and identify if it is something that will pass with time or if you need to consider professional help. Mental health wellness has become more of a conversation topic in today’s world and health care providers are expanding their services to provide more treatment.

Some self care tips and treatment options to try on the tough days include:

Talk to someone

Reach out to a close family member, good friend or trusted colleague. It can be difficult to admit how depressed you may be feeling but it might be a relief to vent some emotions or receive some good advice you can actually use. Call your own doctor or a healthcare provider for advice. Depression can make a person feel lonely and vulnerable, but support groups can help you feel you are not alone.

Count the wins

Depression can set in so heavily that on some days it can feel like a major achievement just to get out of bed or take a shower. Depression makes the smallest tasks seem like so much effort, so anything you achieve is an achievement, count it!

Take a break

Do something that gives you focus elsewhere other than your anxiety and depression. It can take some effort but it could be the change you need. A stroll in the park, lunch with a friend, a day off work, listening to music or going to see family you haven’t seen in a while are things that change the usual routine.

Find a fun aspect

Depression can make finding any happiness difficult, so when a lighter moment happens, embrace it. Playing a board game with family, laughing at a funny line in a movie or enjoying a ride out in the car can lift your mood. Enjoy playing with your pet or do something with arts and crafts. You don’t have to create a masterpiece, just have fun!

Seek happiness

Try to do something that you do enjoy, such as having dinner at a favorite restaurant. Try to work on a hobby you haven’t done in a while, perhaps visit a scenic place of peace or develop your faith if that is an important part of your life. Think about trying something different or new to broaden your horizons and lift some of the depression you feel.

Use professional guidance

Consider getting advice to manage long term depression, you do not have to deal with it alone. Antidepressant medications and therapy session treatments are available to help combat depression and improve quality of life. Treatments can be short or long term depending on the individual’s circumstances and levels of treatment required.

Make some changes

Treating depression may mean you need to think about changing some things in your life. The change could be a new career, taking up an exercise routine, moving to a new location, making new friends or starting a hobby. Do something positive that has meaning to you. Pet therapy can be a useful tool in easing depression symptoms, but only consider having a pet yourself if you can manage the responsibility that goes with having that pet. Significant changes can add additional stress which can increase depression, so take every step carefully.

Living With Depression Management

Living with anxiety and depression can be difficult but there are ways to ease symptoms and have days with lower depression levels. Depression can lead to clinical depression if not addressed and you need to seek professional help immediately if you or someone you know is experiencing negative thoughts, such as self harm. Managing your depression enables you to cope with daily life and feel more productive in your environment. Finding the coping skills that work for you improves mood and overall well being to deal with the busy lives we all have today.

Make it a priority to have time to yourself. Very often, we can feel run down with the limited amount of hours in a day. Managing your depression helps you cope with living with your depression and increases the chances of more brighter days ahead.