Depression – Getting Active
In depression, and often just in general, increasing activity level can make an individual feel less tired because sleeping and inactivity will often just produce more lethargy. Increasing activity levels can also help individuals think more clearly and more positively about themselves and their life in general. Considering the significant negative emotions that present in depression, it makes sense to do activities that result in positive feelings like achievement and a sense of purpose. Consulting with a psychologist in Melbourne can help plan activity scheduling techniques.
While planning, it’s important to include a mix of activities that will make one feel happy, fulfilled, and create a sense of achievement. It may be hard to increase activity levels in the beginning because of low energy and motivation difficulties associated with depression, but this is why it’s important to start small and slowly build up.
One of the most frequent mistakes is trying to do too much too soon. Individuals need to start simple and gradually increase the difficulty and length of activities they do.
There are a lot of potential activities to increase motivation and improve mood. Some of these can include; spending time in nature, going on a road trip, playing various sports, jogging or walking, gardening, learning a new language or playing a musical instrument, playing with pets, drawing, singing, meeting new people, talking to the people you know, etc.
Depression can be treated with antidepressant medication and/or psychotherapy.
The aim of cognitive therapy is to help individuals realise they can influence their mood by identifying and modifying their thoughts and beliefs. CBT isa structured and time limited form of therapy that has a strong evidence base. Some common strategies in CBT can include thought records, goal setting, activity scheduling, social skills training, and structured problem solving.
Working to think objectively to overcome fear and stress caused by an increase of activity may be necessary. This can help someone see the positive sides and outcomes certain situations can have.
Whichever treatment method an individual engages in, it’s important to realise that it may take time, and several ups and downs during recovery. It’s very important to set realistic expectations around recovery or this can potentially lead to an exacerbation of guilt.
Our everyday experiences can be tiring and stressful so it’s important for us to have someone we can rely on, whether it’s friends, a partner, parents or even people we work with.
Consulting a psychologist from Richmond Psychology can help assess the impacts of depression and any potential grief associated with the experience.