Lately, people have come to discuss depression and mental health, in general, more openly as awareness is raised. While many people often discuss the struggles of trying to get better, the road to recovery may come with more complexities than people realize.
Even as one learns to manage their depression, there’s always a risk of relapse occurring. To
prevent this from happening, read on.
Know The Signs Of A Relapse
According to Simon Rego, PsyD, chief psychologist at Montefiore Medical Center, “It seems obvious that experiencing a depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, would be required for someone to be diagnosed.” Recognizing the early signs of relapse can help you nip it in the bud. Some common symptoms include:
- Worrying mood swings
- Retreating from social situations
- Neglecting personal care
- Becoming unusually sensitive to noise and light
- Difficulty concentrating
If you find yourself experiencing these, seek out help immediately to avoid dwindling back down the vortex of depression.
Ditch Negative Habits
Health is a holistic concept. Your mental well-being can be affected by other aspects including physical, emotional and social wellness. That’s why it’s crucial for you to identify harmful habits you have in these areas, so they don’t end up negatively influencing your mood and triggering a relapse. “A good way to keep from destroying your self-esteem is by keeping negative self-talk in check. Catch yourself before you go spiraling down the hole of negative thought.” You’ll notice a big difference.” says licensed psychologist Cindy T. Graham, PhD
Make it a point to cut down on vices and unhealthy substances such as cigarettes, alcohol, and drugs. This doesn’t mean saying goodbye to the occasional drink, but moderation is absolute key. Likewise, avoid fast and junk food as they do no good to your physical health anyway.
Additionally, make sure to try and keep a healthy sleeping pattern. Get just enough sleep every night, meaning over-sleeping is a big no-no as well. Note that, “The amount of sleep you get and the quality of that sleep can actually affect your physical and mental health in ways you don’t anticipate.” Julia Hogan, LCPC said. Moreover, ditch any habits and activities that may give you overwhelming stress.
Be Mindful Of Past Triggers
Given that you’ve gone through this before, you still have to keep in mind any known triggers you’ve had in the past. Since you already know of them, you can prepare and plan for them.
Avoiding your triggers is a short-term solution. What you should genuinely work on is overcoming such triggers. Don’t force yourself to do this immediately, but learning to do so will allow you to avoid such issues from triggering a relapse.
A helpful tip is to let others be aware of your triggers as well. This way, you don’t have to work on them alone. Keep in mind that seeking help from others, even those who aren’t health experts is a huge step towards keeping your mental health in check.
Maintain Your Treatment Plan
Even as you find yourself getting better, don’t forget to maintain your treatment plan. Whether this is some form of therapy, medication or some other modes of treatment, you should never cut it out just because you see an improvement in your mood.
When it comes to taking antidepressants and other medications, it’s important that you gradually stop taking them as guided by your doctor. This means going cold turkey will not do. Doing so may cause withdrawal and eventually, relapse.
The same applies to any form of therapy. Instead of stopping session altogether, try to lessen the frequency of your visits to your therapist little by little.
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