Changes in sleep patterns are common among people with depression. They may sleep too much (hypersomnia) or not enough (insomnia). It is common for depressed individuals to awaken early in the morning and have difficulty falling back asleep. Sleep problems may also contribute to depression. Getting the recommended amount of sleep can help alleviate feelings of depression.
Many people feel hopeless during a depressive episode. But you can help take control of your condition by identifying and using positive coping methods. In other words, when you start to feel sad, do something that provides solace. While this may not always ease the pain, and it's certainly not a cure, it can help stem the sadness on some occasions. Positive coping methods include:
- Writing in a journal
- Talking to a friend or family member
- Engaging in a hobby, such as cooking, drawing or gardening
If some coping method works for you, your depression may not be too serious. On the other hand, if you find that some activity like these is no longer pleasurable, it may signal that your depression is worsening.
Sharing your feelings with others, such as friends, family members and your doctor and/or therapist, can help you identify and work through any emotional challenges you may be experiencing. Having a reliable network of social supports can help combat the feelings of isolation that often accompany depression.
Reviewed by Steven A. King, M.D.