“Anxiety is the cousin visiting out of town that depression felt obligated to bring to the party. Mom, I am the party, only I am a party I don’t want to be at.” –(Button Poetry) Sabrina Benaim.
Depression is a word full of stigma and taboo, that our society often pushes aside and tries to avoid. Now, what exactly does the word depression mean to you? To many it’s a word used as a simple temporary emotion. Reality, depression is defined as a serious mental health condition in which a person feels very hopeless, unimportant and sad. Those affected by it are often unable to live in a normal way, and it typically occurs for prolonged periods of time.
An estimate of 25 million individuals in the United States suffer from major depression. According Nami, National Alliance on Mental Illnesses, “Women are 70% more likely than men to experience depression, and young adults aged 18–25 are 60% more likely to have depression than people aged 50 or older.” http://www.nami.org/Learn-More/Mental-Health-Conditions/Depression
Being affected by depression makes it difficult to feel motivated to try to push yourself to feel better. Overcoming depression isn’t easy, it takes a lot of time and patience with oneself. You can’t just will yourself or others to simply “snap out of it,” or “get over it” chances are it won’t help them or you. However, there are many options and abilities to govern depression better than you realize—even if it’s severe or very persistent. Feeling better takes time, but can be achieved if you make positive choices for yourself or others each day. It’s important to start small by:
1. Staying connected; Join a club, talk to a person about your emotions, have a lunch date with a friend.
3. Do things that make you feel happy; pick up an old hobby, or visit a museum with a friend, listen to music or re-read your favorite books.
4. Eat healthy; any mood-boosting diet; don’t skip meals.
5. Challenge negative thoughts and emotions; Try writing simple things you are grateful for in a note book for as long as needed every morning or every night, whatever works for you. Use a mantra that speaks to you to inspire you through the day.
6. Try to be active; a 15-30 minute walk, or yoga are great ways to practice mindfulness as well.
7. Most importantly try to get eight hours of sleep; depression tends to affect sleeping schedules more often, but trying to regulate your sleeping patterns is very important.
Most importantly, it’s crucial to know when to get professional help. Although there are countless tips on how to help alleviate symptoms of depression, talking with a professional cannot be replaced. Talk to your doctor or visit the Student Health and Counseling Center. To make an appointment at SHCS call 760-750-4915 or visit their website for more information about what programs and services are available: www.csusm.edu/shcs.
Students health and Counseling services will be tabling for “What’s your mood” The event is for National Depression Screening Day. There will be In-person screenings that will be conducted by SHCS counselors. Come out and stop by our table on October 6th, 2016.
Written by Peer Educator: Diana A. Barajas