What exactly triggers depression? It seems at times impossible to identify depression triggers, we delve into our deepest mind to try to find them.
Why Identify Depression Triggers?
In many cases being able to identify triggers for depression, can actually help by using the corresponding treatment. This in itself can aid recovery and help us gain back some form of functionality in life. For some people this process can be very easy and yet for others they may never identify a trigger.
Life can be full of traumatic events, from losing a loved one to having a life-changing accident. It’s something we can never avoid unless you lock yourself away from the world. This can be the case for people who suffer from anxiety along with depression. However, even locking yourself away can have a similar effect, especially when your anxiety causes you to catastrophizing everything.
It’s also important to remember that one person traumatic event may not be another’s. We are individuals and our minds all work very differently.
Good To Talk
One of the major treatments for the identified depression triggers is to attend talking therapy. This is all well and good for those of us who can go out there and talk to people. But this can have a detrimental effect on those people who suffer from anxiety. Having to attend talking therapy can be a major no-no, and in many cases can be another trigger in itself.
Medicate, Or Not To Medicate?
That is the question. If you talk to your healthcare profession they with undoubtedly prescribe you medication before offering anything else. This can be beneficial to some and help with controlling anxiety to access talking therapies.
It is possible to use herbal remedies which can be very effective when used in the right way (read about 5-HTP here). Another highly useful way is to meditate, this will actually help recognize the triggers and to focus your mind and cause peace from within. I recommend checking out the following meditation course, Meditation Mastery.
Of course, these methods do not work for all and a combination of these may help better.
As with any therapy you need to discuss this with your healthcare professional before undertaking.
Facing the Facts
Sometimes it can be just as simple as facing the facts of what is happening in your life at any one time. Recognizing the trigger can help your mind sort out the issue or, help others to help you. For example, if you are being targeted by a workplace bully and you just let it go over your head and you normalize the bullies’ behavior.
Over a period of this can start to cause depression and anxiety. If you recognize what is happening you can deal with the bully, maybe not directly but by going to your superiors, or talk about it with others. It could also be the case that the bully does not realize what they are doing, and just telling them may help.
Owning your illness can help you face facts too, repeating this affirmation helps me:
‘I have depression and anxiety, it is a part of me and makes me who I am today’
Don’t Sweat The Small Stuff
We all worry about stuff, but when you suffer from anxiety and depression the small stuff seems to become very big. I touched on catastrophizing earlier, and a more common term used is ‘don’t turn molehills into mountains’.
When I feel unwell the smallest of things start to play back in my mind. Mostly they are things from many years ago that just suddenly pop up and I can’t seem to get rid of them. The thoughts start to get more rapid and the ‘what ifs’ start, I worry about it endlessly. I start to lose sleep over the thoughts and eventually it is all I think about all the time.
These thoughts and behavior can be very difficult to break. Medications can help along with meditation, which may take several attempts. It is like an endless ‘catch 22’ cycle.
A very useful thing to do is to create a happy memory board. You can do this when you are well, all you need to do is find a place that you go to when you feel unwell and make a noticeboard. On the noticeboard attach pictures of the happiest times in your life or pictures of thing that make you happy. When you start to feel you are becoming unwell or focusing too much on a random thought, take a look at the board and remember the good things about those pictures.
Sometimes helping others can actually you as well. If you identify depression triggers in a person, talking to them and educating them about anxiety and depression can become a beneficial and rewarding treatment. You will not have to stand in front of people, but just talking to a friend or colleague.
Just a simple act of kindness can also go a long way, that kindness does not need to be vocal. A simple gesture can have as much meaning and be as beneficial.
Look after Yourself
I talk about ways to help yourself in previous articles, but it is always a good idea to go over ways you can look after yourself to help keep your mental health, healthy. Here are my top tips that help me:
1. Eat as healthy as possible. Don’t always go for the easiest option, think about meal planning and make meals in advance. Choose meals that can be cooked quickly.
2. Make that memory board and place it in your safe space.
3. Meditate for at least five minutes a day.
4. Create your perfect and comfortable sleep space.
5. Walk somewhere at least ten minutes a day.
6. Relax with music or sounds as often as possible.
7. Keep talking to people.
What helps you to identify depression triggers? Please share your thoughts and questions below. I will always respond.