Understanding the cycle of depression (and how to break it)
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Understanding the cycle of depression (and how to break it)

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Depression is a mental health condition that can seriously impact the state of your life. It’s usually a chronic condition. This means that a person is likely to experience symptoms more than once throughout their lifetime. 

The symptoms of depression can feel like a challenging cycle to break out of. Thankfully, there are a few methods that may improve these symptoms. To learn more about how to break the cycle of depression, keep reading.

What are some of the most common symptoms of depression?

  • Social isolation — Isolation from peers, like friends and family members, is often associated with depression. A person might be more likely to withdraw from their usual social settings. They might also express a lack of interest in visiting with people they normally see.
  • Energy loss — Another common sign of depression is the loss of energy. This loss of energy might make it increasingly difficult to perform everyday tasks, like showering. 
  • Changes in appetite — Changes in appetite, such as an increased or decreased interest in food, are another common symptom.
  • Disinterest in hobbies — Someone who is depressed may also express a lack of interest in the hobbies and activities they once enjoyed. They may stop wanting to play their favorite sport, or stop going to their weekly club meetings.
  • Changes in sleep habits — Another sign of depression can include changes in sleep patterns. It’s not uncommon to either not get enough sleep or to sleep excessively.
  • Irritability — Some people may experience an increase in irritability and become frequently agitated.

How can depression create a cycle that can be hard to break?

Depression can be a struggle to manage. It can become especially challenging to break free from when it has affected your habits, your lifestyle, your social life and your passions. Neglecting these spheres during a depressive episode, whether intentionally or unintentionally, can negatively affect your mental health even further. It can be hard to break out of that cycle of depression when you don’t have the support system you once had or once you’ve stopped going to those pottery classes you used to love. Fortunately, there are some ways that you can try to manage your depression symptoms before they become too burdensome.

How can you attempt to break out of the cycle of depression?

  • Try to get enough sleep — If you’re not getting enough hours of sleep in the night, it’s imperative that you attempt to get more rest. Not getting enough sleep can significantly impair cognitive function and mood.
  • Move your body every day — Some days will be harder than others, but it’s important to make an effort to get some amount of movement in each day. Exercise and low-stress forms of movement, like walking, can boost the feel-good chemicals in the brain and keep your body active.
  • Cultivate your diet — It can be easy to neglect a healthy diet when you’re feeling depressed, but this is especially important for improved mental health. Ensuring that you’re getting enough nutrients in your food and keeping as hydrated as possible can make a difference in your mood and even boost energy levels.
  • Reach out to a trusted friend or family member — Talking about depression usually isn’t easy to do. That’s why you should choose a trusted friend or family member to speak with about the state of your mental health. Depression can be even more challenging to get through when you’re isolated from your support system.
  • Seek out treatment options early on — It can be difficult to seek treatment when you’re depressed, but even more so when you’re stuck in the middle of a long depressive episode. It might be more effective to reach out to a professional for treatment when you feel your depression first coming on. 

What are some of the professional treatment options for breaking the cycle of depression?

  • Therapy — Therapy is usually a very effective treatment option for those with depression. Talking with a licensed mental health professional can be a great resource for those struggling to manage their depression. A therapist can help you come up with some coping skills you need to get through your depression and break the cycle.
  • Medication — Medication is another treatment option for some. Not everyone prefers to take medication for their depression, while others find it works for them. Whether or not medication might work for you should be discussed between you and a trusted physician or another health care professional.

Lightfully wants to help you break the cycle of depression

Our mission at Lightfully is to work with individuals to change their life compassionately. We strive to provide high-quality mental health care to various types of clients through a focused approach to process-based therapy. The framework of our clinic consists of evidence-based, clearly defined, data-driven and whole-person-centered care. Lightfully offers various layers of service to both adults and teens: residential treatment, Virtual Intensive Outpatient Program (vIOP), Intensive Outpatient Program (IOP), and Partial Hospitalization Program (PHP), also referred to as our Day Treatment Program. We regularly see clients who actively manage mood disorders, anxiety disorders, personality disorders and trauma disorders. If you or someone you know is actively struggling to manage your depression, let us help you. Our therapists are experienced in dealing with clients who have depression and aim to give them the tools they need to improve their symptoms. 

Our licensed, clinical experts see each client as a complex and layered human — not just a diagnosis. We value our clients as they are and hope to enrich their lives through treatment. Our vision for the future is an authentic and loving community where everyone can be seen, heard, and valued as they are. We believe in the light within each individual, and when that light is properly nurtured it can allow a person to shine brighter than ever before.

Change is possible. When you’re ready to take the first step, reach out to our Admissions Concierge Team. We’ll take the next steps together, toward the fullest, brightest version of you.

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