I often have this conversation with my clients about the vicious cycle of depression. Depression thrives in this cycle and it can be challenging to break free. The symptoms associated with depression can result in some drastic changes in a person’s life. These changes lead to the depression getting worse and it prevents the person from getting better.
Depression may result in low energy, fatigue, and a decreased interest to engage in activities or behaviours that a person once found pleasure in. This results in a decreased activity and a neglect of responsibilities and relationships. This often leads to an increased sense of guilt, hopelessness, and an ineffectiveness of getting better.
I find the motivation piece the biggest struggle for individuals with depression. The depression results in a lack of motivation, however the client needs motivation to break out of this cycle. When you stop doing the things you once enjoyed and loved, you miss out on experiencing happiness and positive experiences. So your depression will often get worse. Also if you start to neglect your responsibilities at work, home, and in relationships, the pile will only get bigger which results in individuals feeling more overwhelmed.
How to do we break out of this cycle? There are several ways to do so and it is important if you believe or suspect you are experiencing depression to consult your doctor or a psychiatrist. I am by no means a medical doctor. Some things your doctor or psychiatrist may suggest are medication, exercise, or therapy. Medication like antidepressants can help with changing energy levels and fatigue. It may give you the motivation to start engaging in activities again. Another way is to increase your activity level. Exercise has proven to help with energy levels and releasing endorphins which make you feel happy. Another way is to engage in therapy and to examine your thinking patterns and how they contribute to the vicious cycle of depression.
Remember to be realistic in your goals so that they can be achievable and to enlist the help of your friends and family for support.