Depression — And Some Helpful Ways to Deal With It

Based on a 2017 report, 322 million people suffer from depression. That’s an average of 4.4 percent of the world’s population. Amid the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, 4 in 10 adults (41%) in the U.S. reported symptoms of anxiety and depression. That was a significant increase from January 2019, when the symptoms were marked at 1 in 10 adults. In that same year, the percentage of young adults (aged 18-24) who saw symptoms of anxiety and depressive disorder was 56%. Sadly, this age demographic is also most likely to struggle with chronic substance abuse.

Depression, although attributed most commonly to traumatic events in life, is not as cookie-cutter as some would like to believe. While the most familiar causes stem from PTSD and traumatic events, like sexual abuse, unhealthy relationships, emotional or physical childhood abuse, rejection, cyberbullying/school bullying, or any other highly stressful situation; other possible causes do exist. These include hormonal issues such as testosterone or estrogen deficiency, bodyweight insecurities, or other genetic conditions.

Personally, depression got a hold on me due to dysfunctional family concerns. The mental fog and confusion associated with depression led to a lack of concentration, loss of interest in personal passions, moodiness, guilt trips, seesawing between emotional highs and lows, and bouts of anger. Finally, after years of stagnation and lack of direction, I needed to regain focus, eliminate the substance abuse that helped to numb my depression and chart a course toward a healthier life. Here are a few changes I implemented to overcome depression and eliminate my drug and alcohol addiction:

Change Daily Habits

Restructuring my daily routine was essential in getting rid of old mindsets. Instead of chasing a morning buzz with a puff of smoke, I replaced that time by pursuing more productive aspirations. This greatly boosted my self-esteem, increased my drive for purpose, and challenged my brain in new and refreshing ways.

Set Goals

One of the most damaging effects of depression is a lack of concentration, ambition, and direction. Compounded, these effects can lead to stagnation, causing some to never reach their full potential. Overcoming depression is all about starting fresh. By setting goals, even small ones, it helps to regain focus.

Get Active

Physical activity is a game changer! Breaking free from the lethargic cycle with simple outdoor activities produces endorphins that help to reduce stress, boost self-esteem, and actually fight against feelings of anxiety and depression. Creating an exercise routine helps to maintain a lower rate of depression in the long run.

These are some of the steps that aided me in overcoming depression and drug addiction. However, I’m in no way dismissing professional help. A qualified therapist and the right medications can help with many symptoms of depression. And there are excellent facilities available if you need more help.

Depression and addiction are serious mental health diseases. But with a fighter’s spirit, a positive outlook, and care for your own well-being, you’ll be on the road to recovery. The greatest part is that you come out on the other side with a story that can help someone else!

-Akil Dathorne


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I'm a freelance writer who takes pleasure in learning new things and everyday growth. Though I'm no vegan or die-hard green-energy enthusiast, I do believe in healthy eating and exercise to maintain a balanced lifestyle as well as a genuine concern for the environment and society. However large or small, I'll continue doing my part to provoke thought and enlighten minds. Hope I my contributions can impact your life in a positive way. Be blessed!!

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