A recent study by the University of Toronto revealed that 2 in 5 (almost 40%) formerly depressed adults are happy and achieve complete mental health. This research provides a hopeful message on Mental Illness Awareness Week. These adults reported that they are happy almost everyday and report good life satisfaction. The study found that the following 3 factors were common in those who overcame depression.
- The importance of sleep. How much sleep are you getting? It’s worth talking to your doctor if you feel you aren’t getting enough or aren’t waking up rested. Your doctor may refer you to a sleep study to rule out a sleep disorder. The good news is sleep disorders can be treated. You can also try smaller changes like going to bed at the same time every night and having a calming bedtime routine. Click here for more sleep tips.
- Social support. Having even one good friend to talk to can make a big difference in overcoming depression. If you’ve been feeling down for some time, ask yourself when the last time was that you spoke to your good friend. If you don’t have any good friends at this time you might want to try reaching out to a coworker or even use social media to catch up with an old friend. Feeling depressed makes it really hard to get motivated, especially as we approach the winter months. Just feeling supported by one person can help you feel less alone. There are also depression support groups you can join to meet new people.
- Good Physical health. People with good physical health are more likely to overcome depression. This means going to the doctor when you notice aches and pains or even going to the dentist when you need to. Use your work benefits as much as you can. Exercise and diet is another key factor in good physical health. It can be hard to change these habits overnight but start with something small like going from a large to a small can make a big difference in how you feel.
It’s important to remember that these are all things that are within your control. When depression hits it can be easy to fall into feeling hopeless and helpless. Try to remember that 40% of formerly depressed people get better.