Clinical depression is a medical illness that affects your thoughts, emotions and behavior. A person with depression may experience symptoms such as fatigue, hopelessness, inability to feel pleasure or thoughts of suicide. In addition to traditional treatments such as antidepressant medication and therapy, coping skills can be useful in managing depression.
Dietary supplements such as St. John's Wort and SAMe have not been approved for the treatment of depression by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. However, according to the Mayo Clinic, they are often used to help cope with depression. Dietary supplements are not regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and there is no guarantee about their safety or ingredients. Helpguide.org indicates that research has not yet supported the effectiveness of dietary supplements for treating depression.
Although medication and therapy are the most effective treatments for depression, healthy lifestyle habits can be effective depression coping skills. Positive health habits may include regular exercise such as yoga, a balanced diet rich in omega-3s, adequate sleep, avoidance of alcohol and drugs and stress reduction.
Mind-body techniques help to alleviate stress and increase mood. Yoga, Tai Chi, meditation, progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing and acupuncture may all help you to cope with depression. Mind-body techniques are best used as complements to traditional treatment such as medication or psychotherapy.
Social Support Systems
Social isolation can make symptoms of depression worse. Although it may be difficult, it is important to maintain strong social support systems to help cope with depression. This may include getting together with family and friends, taking a class, or even joining a support group either locally or online.
People who are depressed sometimes have problems with memory, concentration and planning. Depression coping skills may include organizational strategies that make daily functioning easier. Staying organized, making to-do lists and planning your day are good strategies to prevent depression from interfering with daily functioning.