As a registered psychologist, I am supposed to write a blog about how to help yourself when isolation and ruminating become a core part of one’s depression symptoms. The truth is, there is no blanket solution, no magic wand, no single pill that can make you not feel. The good news is that you do feel. In spite of what most people think about depression, it is still a way to feel emotions. You are still in tune with your core. It is the coping part that most of us have to work on. You see, to speaking plainly, depression is a quick sand trap. For many of us, we are unsure as to how we fell into it. Others of us are dealing with trauma and loss and know why we well into it. Either way, sometimes the harder you work to get out of the quick sand, the further you fall into the trap.

When I work with clients who are looking to cease burning the candle at both ends, distress, and who want to figure out a way to turn hope for change into actual action, I tell them to consider the following; first- isolation is your worst enemy. The depression offers a very negative internal dialogue. This dialogue exasperates the symptoms of depression and you isolate even more. The cycle moves further and further along until you are completely alone with unhealthy thoughts, paralyzed by the isolation with no sense of purpose.

Ruminating is another issue, which involves dwelling and brooding that will cause you to feel worse about yourself. Its obsessive thinking about the same thing over and over and over and over again. It dampens your perspective on the situation and ruminating can certainly make a situation feel and seem like there is no hope or that there are no options. Rumination is a toxic process and can further drive you down the depression rabbit hole.

Failing to exercise when depressed impacts your mental and physical health greatly. The actual physical aches that come with depression make one feel not like working out, or even walking at a snail’s pace for the matter. The problem with not moving your body is weight gain, which can cause more depressive symptoms, and other health issues. Further the dopamine level in our brains doesn’t change for the positive, but for the negative, creating an actual chemical reaction that will exaggerate the depressive symptoms. Movement can be greatly therapeutic and beneficial and it also boosts levels of serotonin, which makes us feel more able to cope and properly respond to situations.

There is no rule book on depression. Everyone experiences it and its symptoms differently and to various degrees. Easing your way out isolation, rumination and into physical movement may not be a quick or one-stop-shopping solution for climbing out the quicksand of depression, but it is a good start and offers a chance to better hope and find help for your situation.

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