In this article we will see a brief and simple explanation of what depression is and what you can do to deal with it.
Distinguishing between depression and sadness
The first thing will be to review the differences between depression and sadness.
Sadness is one of the basic emotions and it helps us to adapt to the environment, it is natural for human beings and healthy when faced with a situation in which we have lost something or someone.
When sadness lasts over time and progressively increases in intensity, it becomes pathological, and is no longer adaptive, natural and healthy, we would already be talking about depression.
But there’s good news: depression is a problem that’s largely based on learned behaviors. Only rarely can it be caused by a biological problem , by an imbalance of neurotransmitters, and being a learning, we can modify it.
Depressive symptoms are behaviours that appear in all areas of the human environment . Thus, they will be present in the family, work and social areas. It is very common for these symptoms to be assessed as if they were part of other illnesses. The person who has depression may end up having pain, tiredness, lack of energy, problems in eating, sleeping, digesting food…
There are three types of symptoms or signs:
- Of what we think (cognitions),
- Of what we feel (emotions).
- Of what we do (conduct).
In psychology we know that when we suffer from depression we have what we call the depressive triad . This appears when there are thoughts and a negative vision of oneself, one’s environment and what is to come.
How to deal with depression?
Let’s now look at the causes and how to deal with depression.
1. Lack of desire
One cause is not having incentives, not wanting to do anything and apathy appears. What you can do then is not waiting to feel like doing something . Motivation, in short, is having reasons; you don’t feel like doing anything. That’s why we have to try to do what we want, even if we don’t feel like it. In this case, if there are reasons to move, everything else doesn’t matter; the desire to do it will come later, when we have become used to that level of energy and activity. Something that I think is very important is to remember this simple principle: before depression, action.
The pessimistic bias
Another cause is negative thoughts . This type of thinking is inherent in human beings, we all have it; the problem is when we give it too much importance. In this way, we can have what we call a tunnel vision.
Put your hands on as you see in the picture. What do you see? You only see in one direction, and that’s a negative direction. What we need to do is open up that tunnel, get another perspective. In the measure that you have another perspective you see other things and you don’t just focus on the negative. So part of dealing with depression is practicing the skill of not giving so much importance to negative thoughts.
3. Avoiding learned helplessness
A third cause would be what we call in psychology learned helplessness . To make it easy for you to understand, learned helplessness appears when we repeatedly do something, we don’t get it, and we give up, we surrender.
In order not to enter into the learned helplessness that is the antechamber of depression, it is necessary to learn to accept the unjust part of life that has touched us. In life we will find things that we will fight for and not get. To the extent that we are able to accept that there are goals that we will not reach even if we fight for them, we will be protected against the learned helplessness.