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Depressed? Don’t Use These Coping Mechanisms

Depression is a mental illness that seems to be plaguing a lot of people in the United States and other parts of the world. It is a disorder in which a person goes through periods of deep sadness. Feeling worthless and hopeless, these depressive thoughts can lead to a spectrum of outcomes from fatigue to suicide. When depressed, it can feel as if there is no way out and this takes over every aspect of a person’s life. In an effort to try and push these feelings aside, unfortunately, some people go to extremes that do more harm than good.

Unhealthy: Internalizing Their Feelings

Though more people are speaking out about their mental health problems, there is still a vast majority of individuals who would prefer to keep it to themselves. Whether out of fear of judgment or embarrassment, they suffer in silence. Keeping emotions of this magnitude inside can have a negative impact on your physical health. It can weaken your immune system, cause body aches and pain, increase your blood pressure, and much more.

Healthier Alternative: If you’ve been feeling down, fatigued, achy, or simply not yourself as of late for more than a few days at a time, this could be a sign of depression. You should express what you’re going through to your doctor. From there, they can make a referral to a therapist who can be instrumental in helping you talk through your problems and overcome depression.

Unhealthy: Numbing the Pain

Another unhealthy method of coping with depression is trying to numb the pain. Realizing they don’t want to feel this way, but not having a clue where to turn, some people turn to substances like painkillers, alcohol, and illicit drugs to numb the pain. Some substances have numbing properties that temporarily erase pain while others have properties that create a chemical high giving off a temporary feeling of happiness or euphoria.

Healthier Alternative: Using prescription medication, alcohol, or illicit drugs to numb the pain is never the solution to dealing with overwhelming emotions like depression. If you have been turning to substances, you should visit websites like for information about a local rehab center treating those suffering from mental illness and substance addiction. After helping you through a safe detox process, the center will provide treatment through group and individual therapy as well as other practices to help you identify the core cause of your addiction and provide tools on how to cope in the future.

Unhealthy: Overeating

Everyone is guilty of chowing down on their favorite foods after a bad day, but doing this on a regular basis is a bad habit to develop. Consuming lots of unhealthy foods to comfort your emotions will have serious consequence to your mental and physical well-being. For starters, you will notice an increase in weight. This can lead to diabetes, high blood pressure, or heart disease and a weakened immune system. When you’re ill or overweight, this can add to your self-hatred or sad thoughts only intensifying your depression.

Healthier Alternative: When you find yourself depressed, what you eat becomes very important. Foods that increase inflammation in the body are known to heighten depression. Therefore, you want to incorporate green leafy vegetables, which reduce inflammation, foods high in omega 3 like salmon to boost your mood, berries for increased antioxidants, and mushrooms and fiber to help regulate blood sugar.

Unhealthy: Shopping

Chances are you’ve heard of “retail therapy” at least once or twice in your life. It is the concept of going shopping to help relieve overwhelming emotions. Those who suffer from depression are known to go on shopping sprees to purchase things that interest them. The thrill of buying something new gives them temporary satisfaction in provoking them to do it repeatedly. Unfortunately, this leads to a heaping pile of debt which most aren’t able to pay off.

Healthier Alternative: Try to find other ways to get satisfaction or joy out of your day. Instead of shopping, try helping someone else in need, learning a new hobby, making time to spend with your friends and family, or anything that’s constructive and beneficial to your mental well-being.

Depression really is a debilitating illness that can wreak havoc on your life. When you feel sad, hopeless, or unworthy all the time, life starts to seem pointless. Those feelings can lead you to engage in reckless behaviors, that seem to provide some temporary relief. In the end, however, most of those efforts end up doing much harm for no good. To cope with depression, it is instead necessary to do things that will improve your mood, and maintain your physical health. If after trying the above healthier alternatives, you don’t find much relief, it is imperative to consult with your doctor to get immediate help.