4 Ways to Prevent Depression Relapse
We can do things to help prevent depression relapse. I’ve relapsed with my depression more times than I can even count. I was first hospitalized for depression when I was 12. The second time, I was 25. My last hospitalization was a little over five years ago, and I have had many episodes of major depression in between those hospitalizations. There’s a good chance that I could relapse into a major episode, even one requiring hospitalization, again. While this might sound depressing and discouraging, I choose to believe that this awareness allows me to safeguard against future major relapses. For me, preventing depression relapse includes several different actions.
My Top Ways to Prevent Depression Relapse
- Take time for self-care.
- Be mindful.
- Be gentle and accepting of yourself.
- Seek help early.
Take Time for Self-Care Activities that Prevent Depression Relapse
With my many relapses, I’ve learned that it’s important to take time for self-care. For me, this means making sure my spiritual, physical, and emotional needs are met. When I’m off balance with any one of these, my mental health deteriorates.
- Keep your mental health appointments.
- Exercise daily (learn how exercise alleviates depression).
- Eat healthy foods that help depression and refrain from drinking alcohol.
- Get the right amount of sleep.
- Socialize with others.
- Spend time offline, preferably in nature.
- Do something creative.
- Make your own list of self-care activities.
Be Mindful to Prevent Relapse into Depression
Mindfulness is present-moment awareness. Using mindfulness to help with depression tunes you into the present moment so you can focus on what you are doing and how you are feeling. When I am mindful of my actions and my feelings, I am able to catch my depressed thoughts before they go careening out of control.
Be Gentle and Self-Accepting
Even after engaging in self-care and mindfulness, we still might find ourselves feeling depressed. If this is the case, it’s important to be gentle and accepting of ourselves and our conditions. When I’m gentle and accepting of myself and not overwhelmed with shame, I’m more likely to reach out and get the help I need. This, in turn, helps me to get better more quickly.
Know Your Relapse Warning Signs to Prevent Worsening Depression
For me, that means not waiting until I’m suicidal to get help. By knowing myself better and my warning signs -- for example, wanting to spend more time in bed or withdrawing socially -- I’m able to get the help that I need in the earlier stages.
Have you discovered other ways to help prevent depression relapse? Please let me know in the comments.
Sedas, M. (2018, June 7). 4 Ways to Prevent Depression Relapse, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 20 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2018/6/4-ways-to-prevent-depression-relapse