Even though there are a lot of things that worsen depression, there are also a few strategies you can use to feel better. First, you should pay attention to those triggers that can exacerbate depression, because they can definitely make things a lot worse and they often make everything seem more complicated than it really is. Deborah Serani, Psy.D, a clinical psychologist and author of the valuable book Living with Depression, says that “There are many things a person who lives with depression needs to be mindful of for better well-being.” Here are a few interesting things that worsen depression that you should pay attention to so you can minimize their effects and learn how to cope with them:
In my opinion, stress is one of the most important things that worsen depression. Deborah Serani says that “Cortisol keeps us in an ‘emergency ready’ state, with states of arousal and irritability that tax our already fatigued body and mind.” So, try to do everything in your power to relax, delegate some of your responsibilities and learn to say no sometimes.
2. Not Enough Sleep
A lot of studies show that too much or too little sleep can aggravate depression, so try to make a sleep schedule that you should stick to every day. Try to go to bed at approximately the same hour every night and wake up around the same time every day. Even though depression is extremely related to insomnia, there are a lot of techniques you can use to overcome this sleep disorder, so don’t let it affect your happiness.
You may be surprised to discover this, but there are a lot of studies which show that the relationship between food and mood is extremely complex. For example, there was a link found between trans unsaturated fatty acids and depression risk. Also, foods high in sugar or carbohydrates can spike glucose levels, and alcohol and caffeine can make you tenser, more irritable and in the long term, more depressed.
4. Toxic People
You should always try to surround yourself with cheerful, positive people, especially if you are depressed. Try to avoid toxic friendships, because they can even worsen your depression. They will create a toxic environment for you in which you won’t be able to overcome those negative feelings and thoughts associated with depression.
5. Anniversary Reactions
A lot of studies show that around or on the date of a past traumatic event, people tend to relieve those painful feelings and they experience those distressing emotions that they once felt. Experts say that you should take a look at your calendar, notice the dates that are making you feel more emotional and try to prepare yourself, so you’ll be able to deal with your feelings in a healthier way.
Upsetting, sad or disturbing media stories or news can exacerbate someone’s depression. Try to figure out what medium you’re more comfortable with and do things you enjoy more often. Find a balance between all those stories that you watch on TV that are upsetting you and alternate them with shows that can help you feel happier and more positive.
7. Social Networks
There are a lot of studies which show that Facebook, Instagram or any other social network can worsen someone’s depression. People usually post pictures from moments when they feel happy, when they travel, when they are having fun and because you tend to compare yourself with them, this can make you feel lonely, sad or even more helpless. This is because those people’s lives seem perfect, so you focus too much on that and you are unable to see all the wonderful things in your life.
There are a lot of things that can worsen depression. I just mentioned a few in this little article but I’m sure there are many more I could add to this list. Can you give me a hand and tell me if you know any other things that can aggravate depression? Please share your thoughts with us in the comments section!