The Cycle of Depression
One of the most common mental illnesses people across the world suffer from is depression. In fact, the most common emotion among adolescents is depression. If you’re an older adult, you may tend to suffer from this feeling as well, but accept it more readily than an adolescent. Once you are feeling depressed, you might find yourself falling into inactivity and show other signs of depression. This tends to worsen your depression and can create a negative cycle. This has been in some circles called the cycle of depression. It starts when you have a feeling of depression that leads to inactivity. This leads to you neglecting tasks and responsibilities, which then leads to feeling of guilt and remorse for not taking care of them. This cycle continues with you becoming overwhelmed at the piling up of tasks, chores, etc., until you feel hopeless as well about the amount and degree of that which has accumulated and is left undone. At this point you are firmly entrenched in the cycle of depression.
How to Reverse the Cycle with Depression Help
There are certain things that can help you in dealing with depression at this point. One of the most common ways to help get this started if you suffer from being in this cycle is to reach out for help, or a trusted friend or family member intervenes is to help get you started on antidepressant medication. This helps the brain to biochemically cope with being in this cycle. Another thing that helps is if you can start engaging in activities that are either purposeful or have at one point in your life been enjoyable. An example of these could be starting to work on paying bills that have accumulated or walking outdoors for certain lengths of time. I am not talking here about paying all your bills at once or in walking for hours and hours on end; but I am talking about doing things in a balanced and measured way. It only requires you doing a few tasks and small amounts of exercise in the beginning, but if this gradually increases each week or month than eventually you can succeed in reversing the cycle.
Another way to help you reverse the cycle of depression is with counseling for depression. In working with a skilled therapist, who can act as an ally and sort of a coach if you will, you can overcome loneliness and depression as well. Your therapist can monitor your progress and help to provide encouragement if things aren’t going well for you in reversing the cycle; as well as to help you celebrate your successes when things go well.
Although this is not always the case, prior life events that have served as causes of depression can be identified in therapy. If this happens, your therapist can help these be addressed in the healthiest manner possible to help you overcome them so they won’t keep you down anymore.
Signs of Being Caught in the Cycle of Depression:
Tasks that would have previously been done on a regular basis begin piling up.
Feelings of guilt tend to accompany not getting things done.
Feelings of ineffectiveness or of being a failure.
Feeling overwhelmed at the task of doing all the accumulated tasks.
Lack of enjoyment in doing things you used to enjoy.
Feelings of hopelessness, especially with respect to the possibility of ever taking care of what needs to get done.
Leaving responsibility for doing things to others.
You may think that you need to enjoy the activities you used to enjoy as part of reversing the cycle. This isn’t true; you simply need to do them for right now. They enjoyment will hopefully come later on. The main thing is that you are engaged in the activity, which by itself can help propel you out of the depressive cycle.
If you suffer from most or all of these signs of being in the cycle of depression, I recommend you seek help as soon as possible. The only other sign that I didn’t mention above can be isolation, and in seeking help you are overcoming another dangerous sign of depression. Finding professional help is the surest way to get yourself out of the cycle of depression. I can help you in this respect. If you or a loved one suffers from these signs, I can provide depression treatment to help get out of it. Feel free to call me at 512-374-0100 or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org to set up an appointment or to provide a free consultation to help find out if I can be of help. There’s nothing to lose and everything to gain by getting out of this dangerous and sometimes deadly cycle!
About the author: Scott Kampschaefer, LCSW is a private practice therapist in Austin, Texas. He has an extensive background in working with depression, anxiety, and bipolar disorder at a clinic for older adults with these disorders in Austin. He now works with adults and adolescents of all ages in private practice.