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How to avoid depressive thoughts

What is depression and the causes of depression?

Between the ages of 18 and 32 people are trying to figure out adulthood and

preparing their lives for the phase. This period brings about numerous social

pressures, for example, after university one must get a proper job with an adequate

salary and after that they must be thinking or readying themselves to start a family.

Women are more likely to feel experience depression than men. Women are known

to be on a biological clock. It is proven that after the age of 25 their fertility levels

drop by approximately half and this creates worries in young women. All these social

pressures and expectations become too much to handle causing depression.

Depression can also be caused by external events, it can be genetically inherited,

imbalance of brain chemicals, certain medical conditions, various medications and

substance abuse. According to Google depression are feelings of severe

despondency and dejection. It is when a person doubts themselves or they think

they are incapable of doing anything in life.

In South Africa, depression is one of the prevalent mental disorders. According to

South African Depression and Anxiety Group 9.7 percent of South African population

are suffering from depression and women are twice as likely to suffer from

depression than men. 20 percent of South Africans will experience depressive

disorder at least once in their life time. In Zimbabwe according to a BBC Future

article there is no known number of people who suffer from depression. There is

however stigmatization around the world on depression especially among young

people because they do not have as many responsibilities as the parents do.

According to World Health Organisation, “depression is the world’s leading cause of disability and it contributes to 800,000 suicides per year of which majority occurs in developing countries.”

How to avoid or treat depression

● Visit a trained psychologist

This is a way of reaching out and acknowledging that you have a problem and that

you need help. Talking to someone professional is the best because they can see

the levels of depression you are in and how best to help you.

● Connect to friends and family that give a positive vibe

It is good to be around people and talking and laughing than to be alone. It hinders

you from thinking a lot. Have lunch or coffee, go for movies, go with others for

shopping, take a walk in the park and go for get togethers. Try meeting new people

and learn new things.

● Do things that help or make you feel good

You must do things that relax and energize you. Do fun activities that bring colour to

your life like arts and crafts. Sign up for gym and get physical exercises. Having a

healthy life style is important. Aim for 8 hours of sleep because depression evolves

around sleeping problems. Keep stress in check by figuring what stresses you out,

for example, financial issues, work overload, unsupportive relationships etc. find

ways to deal with stress and consult a professional to help you regain control. Spend

some time with mother nature, read books especially when alone, watch a fun

movie, play with pets, learn how to cook or try new ingredients, volunteer at a clean-

up or at a children’s home, spend more time at church of your choice and listen to

positive music.

● Get moving

Exercise is the greatest fighter of depression because getting up from bed is hard, let

alone working out. Research shows that regular exercise can be as effective as

medication when dealing with depression and relapse.

● Challenge negative thinking

Depression is known to put a negative thought into everything, and it is important to

know that such thoughts known as cognitive distortions are not realistic. Tell yourself

positive thoughts every day. When you wake up in the morning look at yourself in the

mirror and smile. Start by telling yourself you are beautiful, play positive songs and

motivational videos.

Avoid spending most of your time on social media

Social media is full of negative news and some people end up being controlled by it because everything seems so perfect in other people's lives. Some people end up not appreciating their own. Social media makes people lose touch with the real world. It is important to put it aside and be aware of people and your surroundings.

The more positive thoughts you have, the more actions become positive and they become a habit.

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