Combating Depression: 5 Unhealthy Habits To Avoid
- Depression goes beyond just feeling sad
- It is very common to avoid meeting people when one feels low
- Depression, a mental illness can have severe physical ramifications as well
The word ‘depression’ is often associated with being unhappy. However depression goes beyond just feeling sad. It is an illness that needs to be accurately diagnosed and treated. Depression is a mental illness but can have severe physical ramifications as well.
“Some people under depression start to eat excessively and gain an immense amount of weight and therefore the health issues associated with obesity, others become lethargic and completely stop exercising, sleep patterns are frequently disturbed that opens a Pandora’s box of health problems,” says Dr. Prerna Kohli, a leading Clinical Psychologist.
Pointing out the lack of attention given to underlying mental problem, Dr Kohli says Frequently medical doctors treat the physical symptom such as lack of sleep or the high blood pressure and heart diseases related to obesity without resolving the underlying mental health problem, which most likely is depression.
While it is imperative to get medical help when depressed, there are some destructive habits that must be avoided.
1) Do not seek solace in alcohol or drugs
Turning to drugs may give you a temporary high and help you forget your problems for a while. However, in the long run getting addicted to drugs or alcohol will only intensify your sorrows. Besides, drinking and doing drugs may affect your mind and body. It can further harm your cognitive functions which can lead you to make irrational decisions.
2) Do not isolate yourself from family or friends
It is very common to avoid meeting people when one feels low. However, psychologists say that being isolated is the worst thing a depressed person can do. Surrounding yourself with friends or family can instantly boost your mood. Being part of social groups or indulging in social activities will keep you from feeling lonely.
3) Do not Feed on News
It is hard to stay positive when the world around you seems to be crumbling. News which thrives on violence or traumatic visuals can leave you with feelings of pessimism and disapproval. It can change your mood and you may start seeing the world as a sad place and the vicious cycle continues.
4) Avoid Excessive and Unhealthy Eating
People who are low often crave foods like chocolate chip cookies or ice-cream that are high in sugar and refined carbohydrates. While these are often seen as comfort food, in the long term they can lead to weigh gain. Overeating junk or non-nutritional food can develop risks of heart diseases or diabetes in the future.
5) Do not dwell on Past Mistakes
This is known as ‘Rumination’ in psychological terms and includes digging into your past and overthinking things or situations that went wrong. Examples of rumination include asking questions like ‘Why Me?’, ‘What is point of all this’ or replaying negative conversations in your head. By doing so you are ignoring the present and hampering your future.