Although our culture values individualism and privacy, these concepts are relatively new. For centuries, humans have existed as part of tight-knit communities, doing everything–from eating and working to even using the bathroom–in the company of others. In today’s society, people tend to be more solitary and withdrawn. We work from home, spend our days in front of a computer and can even communicate without ever seeing or speaking to a live person.
Sharing a laugh with a friend can make you feel happier and keep your mind distracated from negative thoughts. Photo By Stefano Corso/Courtesy Flickr.
Depression is an isolating condition, but social support can help overcome it. Although you may not feel like seeking out social situations, turning to friends and family can make depression better. Talking with those closest to you can help them understand what you are going through (and in turn help them help you), and it will also distract you from negative thoughts. Talking with other people who are coping with depression can also be helpful and comforting. This is why depression support groups–or support groups for any other kind of illness–are so common.
In addition to social support, talking with a professional can also help. Although doctors may not always agree on the best method for treating depression–many will likely recommend medication before any natural or alternative plans–most doctors will recommend talk therapy or a support group as part of a treatment plan.
Research has also shown that just as social support can help relieve depression, lack of social support can lead to depression–so it’s important to maintain a healthy social life for good mental health.
Remember: Social interaction is not a cure-all for depression but just one component of the TLC program’s natural approach to treating depression. Depression is a chronic illness; if you think you may have depression, please consult your doctor.
Read the original post, “Treating Depression Naturally: The Therapeutic Lifestyle Change Program.”