Most cases of depression go completely untreated, with only 1 in 5 people seeking professional help.
This number is alarming.
It tells us that many, if not most, depression sufferers become comfortable with their condition.
So much so that they are downright used to it, making the effort required to go through treatment seem like it’s too much.
That’s not healthy at all, to say the least.
Rather, many of them choose to convince themselves that their disorder is incurable or just ignore it altogether.
It is surprisingly easy to do when you have that kind of mindset.
That does raise an interesting question though.
Is there a way to get better or does depression last forever, making all the effort to get better a waste of time?
As it turns out, The answer to that question is not quite so simple.
The risk is always there
The first question we need to ask ourselves is how likely recurring depression actually is.
The answer might surprise you: In many cases, Depression can be considered a chronic illness.
For that part of the population, depression never truly goes away.
Relapse is extremely common and depressive episodes can last for months or even years at a time.
The situation may look grim, but there is a silver lining.
Depression can be dealt with and managed with the right help.
Be it self-help, therapy or medicine, all of them can be effective. With enough effort, the relapse will become much easier to manage.
The episodes will get shorter, the symptoms will become much less severe and the relapse will become much less frequent.
Even the risk factor as a whole can decrease significantly.
How to make depression go away?
Despite all of the advancements that we made in medical science we still know very little about the brain.
This, in turn, makes depression an equally complicated subject to discuss.
As it turns out, understanding the way that the brain functions is not a requirement for learning how to overcome depression.
Far from it.
Over the years, a variety of methods were used successfully to combat depression.
Ranging from antidepressants and counseling to exercise and meditation, there are many methods to be used.
Luckily for us, depression is considered to be highly treatable, with most patients at least somewhat benefiting from regular therapy.
Assuming that you put in the effort, major improvements in your condition are well within reach.
For most depression sufferers, however, that is the easy part.
Actually maintaining that improvement is a much more difficult task.
How to avoid depression relapse
The main purpose of treatment is not to alleviate the symptoms of a condition but rather to secure a positive, lasting outcome.
Sadly, that isn’t always the case.
It is not unusual for someone to go through a depressive episode, start feeling better, and then experience yet another episode a few months later.
Recurring depressive episodes are very common, and there are many reasons for them.
Generally speaking, relapse is usually triggered by a certain event, habit or behavior.
There are many possible triggers, and avoiding these triggers can make your life much easier.
Here are 6 common triggers for depression relapse that you should do your best to avoid.
1) Negative experiences
An extremely broad category to discuss, but it is easily the most important one.
Negative experiences can range anywhere from losing a pen to experiencing heart disease.
Failing health, the loss of a loved one and financial debt examples of events that can have a huge impact on our mental health.
We all have gone through at least a few of these experiences, and preventing them completely is impossible.
After all, bad things just happen from time to time – that’s how life is.
What you can do, however, is to learn to tolerate such negative events better.
Challenging your outlook on those events is by far the best way to go.
Rationally confronting these experiences can help you in tolerating them.
Here are a few examples of questions that you should ask yourself whenever you are in a tight spot:
- “Is it really that bad?”
- “What is the worst that can happen?”
- “why does this bother me so much?”
- “Can I do anything to improve this situation?”
- “What should I about this experience?”
The list goes on and on, but the point is that you need to challenge your initial outlook otherwise it will dominate your mind as well as your body.
2) Developing an addiction
I think that the vast majority of people knows that smoking and drinking excessively is bad for you, but these are still very common addictions.
This case is pretty cut and dried as well – Substance abuse is bad for your mental health.
For example, studies suggest 30% to 50% of people with alcohol issues also struggle with depression.
Even in the practical sense, these addictions can affect your relationships, working life and much more.
Aside from that, the symptoms of many of these addictions can affect your health, both mentally and physically, as well.
If you have suffered from depression ever before then it is highly recommended that you avoid excessive use of these substances.
For all you know they might be your downfall.
3) Falling into bad habits
The process of overcoming a depressive episode is not an easy one, but it can be done.
After long hours of meditation, exercise, therapy, dieting carefully and much more, improvement is practically guaranteed given time.
Yet what people fail to understand is that the struggle against depression can take an entire lifetime.
Falling back into the same bad habits that you had before will only make another depressive episode more likely.
In a sense, it can be compared to losing weight.
Sure, losing weight is relatively easy but maintaining your new weight for an extended period of time is the hard part.
This fact can easily be demonstrated by observing the statistics: almost 65% of people who lost weight fail to maintain their new weight for three years.
The problem with depression is that maintaining a healthy diet and exercising are only two aspects of getting better.
Overcoming depression is a lifestyle, not a method to be used and then discarded.
Anyone who has ever suffered from depression could tell that their worst enemy is themselves.
Rumination is the embodiment of that very fact.
The word “rumination” refers to the idea of repetitively thinking about the causes, situational factors, and consequences of your negative emotional experiences.
To put it simply, many of us tend to focus on the symptoms of our outlook rather than any possible solutions.
In the case of depression, many people focus more on their negative experiences rather than any possible solutions.
Relapse can occur if, for example, you choose to focus on how bad your boss made you feel when he yelled at you the other day.
These thoughts eventually build up and it’s all going to get worse from that point on.
The best way to overcome this problem is to be self-conscious about it.
Whenever you notice that your thoughts are going in that direction simply tell yourself to stop and actively confront them.
Like I’ve said before, learning to tolerate negative thoughts and experiences is absolutely crucial.
5) Noticing it too late
The early signs of relapse can be very subtle.
Irritability, general sadness and the like are very difficult to notice in most cases.
As such, by the time that we do, we are already in the middle of a depressive episode and have no clue as to how it happened.
Many people even go as far as to believe that their relapse was entirely random when it very much was not.
After all, we are not always aware of these small changes, more so if they happen over a somewhat long period of time.
To combat this I would highly recommend keeping a journal.
Not only is journaling a great method of overcoming depression, it can also be used to keep track of your overall condition.
Journaling will help you notice these small changes in your behavior that you otherwise might have missed.
Once you notice them be sure to contact your therapist and discuss with them this problem.
Depression can go away for good
Regardless of the risk factors, depression is not a disorder that has to last a lifetime.
Even at its worse, depression is a disorder that gets better and worse over time and it is up to you to control it rather than letting it control you.
For that purpose, I would highly recommend the Destroy Depression Program.
In it you will find a detailed guide that will help you combat your disorder and make sure that it never comes back.
The program is highly practical so you should definitely check it out for yourself.
If you have any further questions you would like to ask me personally then feel free to get in touch.
My email is always available!