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Depression comes in all forms, from high and low functioning depression, to mild, moderate, and severe. You might have situational depression, triggers, or chronic depression where it comes out of nowhere. One thing that is the same for everyone is that they go through periods where their own depression is at a heightened level, known as a depressive episode.
It is important to learn the early warning signs of one of these episodes, so you can fully prepare for it. Getting help from a therapist greatly improves your chances of recognizing and understanding what's happening to you. This article from BetterHelp explains how different therapies impact you. Your therapist may used a combination of these techniques to help you overcome what is causing these episodes of depression.
Signs of a Depressive Episode
The first really important thing to understand is that your early warning signs of a depressive episode might be completely different from someone else. Everyone’s mental illnesses and level of depression are going to be different. So, the following list is a good guide, but the best thing you can do is keep a journal of your triggers and different things you experience so you can keep track of the common trends.
This can be something you experience almost constantly, or if you are like many people, it is more of a sign of a major depressive episode coming on. Feeling hopeless and helpless is something a lot of depression sufferers experience, which can make it hard to be motivated to do anything. This outlook on yourself and life in general also puts you at a higher risk for self-harm, so you should definitely talk to someone when you start feeling like this.
Mood and Anger Issues
Sometimes people who are suddenly in a bad mood or have a lot of anger and irritability confuse it with PMS, simple mood swings for other reasons, or even lack of sleep. While this can also contribute it, you might find that this is actually one of your early warning signs of a depressive episode. Especially when it isn’t related to your cycle or outside influences, and seems to come on randomly.
Changes in Sleep or Eating Habits
Do you notice that during times when you are starting to have poor sleep or you lose your appetite, you tend to feel mentally worse afterward? This isn’t always a consequence of the lack of sleep, but actually the result of a depressive episode. Physical changes are very commonly related to mental illnesses like depression and anxiety.
Finding Your Triggers
The most important thing you can do is find your triggers, which are whatever symptoms or situations that lead to depressive episodes. You might not be able to avoid it, but you can at least know when it’s coming and prepare for it. One way to do this is using affirmations.
Affirmations to Help with Depression
If you are suffering from depression, it can be hard just getting out of bed, let alone doing anything to help. However, you probably have moments of clarity where your depression takes a pause, and that is when you should take advantage and look for other ways to manage your symptoms. One great way to do this is by using affirmations.
What are Affirmations?
It helps to first have a better understanding of what affirmations are and how they can help you. An affirmation is simply a word or phrase that you repeat (silently or out loud) that puts you in a different mindset. They are used for many purposes, but they really help to bring more positive energy into your mind and your life.
There have been studies to show that your subconscious mind doesn’t always understand past and present, so by repeating these phrases with earnest to yourself, you often bring in that positive energy and can make it a reality. If nothing else, they can help you get through some really bad depressive episodes until you are able to get other types of help.
Examples of Affirmations for Depression
Affirmations can be anything you want to repeat to yourself that bring in positive thoughts or help you to be more mindful. It might take a little time before you find the ones that work best for you specifically. However, a good place to start is with words or phrases that shift your mindset to feeling good about yourself and your life, even if you don’t quite feel that way in this moment.
Here are some examples:
- I feel connected and close to the people I love.
- My life matters.
- I will become a healthy and strong person.
- I love myself and my life.
- I am important and valuable.
Tips for Using Affirmations
The key to using affirmations for depression or any other mental illness is to do so consistently. The more you repeat these affirmations to yourself, the more you will begin to believe them. Absorb the words and feel them deep in your mind and body. Eventually, you will come to think more positive thoughts and less negative thoughts, which can help you cope with depression, along with other treatment options you have.
It is important to note that they are not meant to replace other treatments, but simple accompany them.