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Understanding your Depression

Depression should not be feared. The vast majority of people will make a full recovery after appropriate treatment for their depression (Depression Alliance, 2007). It is important to note that all forms of depression should be diagnosed and treated by a medical professional in order to ensure that the appropriate treatment and care is provided. There are however a number of things that an individual can do in order to assist in the management of their depression and negative emotions over time.

In order to effectively manage the negative emotions and feelings of depression, it is important to have a clear understanding of your own depression, moods and triggers. Depression affects everyone differently and is caused by different factors, events and triggers for each individual. The first and most important step in managing and coping with depression is to realise that the emotions that you are feeling is a problem. It is recognising that depression is having a negative impact on your life and that in order to enjoy and live your life these negative emotions need to be reduced.

When negative emotions and feelings inhibit your ability to live a happy and healthy life, depression has taken control. You need to be able to recognise physical, mental, emotional and behavioural symptoms of depression in yourself in order to identify when depression has become a problem.

Once you have recognised that you are suffering from a harmful level of negative emotion, it is then important to try and identify the underlying causes and triggers of your depression. Understanding what causes you to become depressed allows you to identify ways to manage these negative emotions in the future; either through avoiding those triggers or reducing the impact of those events. It is important to realise that not all forms of depression are caused by a specific trigger or event; that sometimes there is no trigger that creates a chemical imbalance in a person's body.

When you have identified what causes you to experience negative emotions, you can then begin to understand how your body responds to these events. When a particular trigger event occurs, how do you react? Why do you react this way? It is important to determine the reasoning behind why you perceive particular events as upsetting or stressful and why you respond in the way that you do. This way, you can begin to identify ways to avoid or reduce these negative responses to particular negative situations.

While some depression causing events and situations can be managed, reduced or avoided, when depression takes hold of one's life, professional medical help is always required. If you are able to understand your depression, the causes that trigger it and the symptoms it produces, you will be more equipped to deal with your depression and can use this knowledge in conjunction with your treatment in the ongoing management of your depression.

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