Living with a chronic illness like depression can feel overwhelming. That's why it's important to seek depression support to help manage your mood and enjoy your life to the fullest. Whether from your spouse, your therapist, or a depression support group, you can find plenty of caring contacts available to give you much-needed support.
Depression is draining. It can make any type of exertion -- going to the grocery store, cleaning up the yard, or exercising -- seem daunting.
"Energy loss is one of the key characteristics of depression. Some people feel that it’s the key characteristic of depression," says Robert E. Thayer, PhD, a psychology professor at California State University, Long Beach, an expert in managing mood, and the author of Calm Energy: How People Regulate Mood with Food and Exercise.
He points to exercise...
Although you cannot control the fact that you may have a clinical depression, you can seek a depression support system for yourself. Getting family help with depression is a great place to start. Talk openly with people close to you -- family members, friends, and co-workers -- to help them understand your treatment and that you're doing all you can to follow your doctor's recommendations.
Also, you can find support for depression through religious organizations in your community, whether from the pastor, rabbi, or other religious leader, small groups, or caring individuals within the organizations.
In a depression support group, members often share coping suggestions that others find useful. This helps give you the assurance that "someone else knows what I am going through," as people share their struggles living with various types of depression. This camaraderie is vital in order to begin the healing process.
After joining a depression support group, you may realize that the best experts on depression are often those who live with it daily. But always check with your doctor before taking a new "suggested" remedy, including over-the-counter dietary supplements. Even natural remedies have side effects and may interact with medications.
How Do I Find an Online Depression Support Group?
Online depression support groups, such as WebMD's Depression Support Group, can provide you with encouragement from others -- even people you don't know. Online depression support groups can help you realize that you are not alone in dealing with the feelings of depression. This added support can give you new confidence as you learn to manage the illness and handle the daily challenges in a reasonable manner.