Twitter users share mental health tips with #HowIFightDepression hashtag
“Sharing your story could give someone else the strength they need.”
Social media users have been sharing their tips for dealing with depression thanks to a popular hashtag.
#HowIFightDepression was one of the top trends in the UK on Wednesday as people who had experienced the illness spoke about their coping strategies.
Depression, described by mental health charity Mind as “a low mood that lasts for a long time, and affects your everyday life”, hits around one in 10 people at some time in their lives, according to the NHS.
The hashtag inspired many people to talk about their own experiences – particularly how they deal with the illness.
Some talked about the benefits of doing exercise or going outside.
Twitter user Leanne Roger said animals are a big part of her strategy for dealing with depression.
The 31-year-old from Cornwall told the Press Association: “My cat Gizmo and my pony Lula give me reasons to get up every day, no matter how bad I feel at the time. Some days are easier than others, but my animal family are always pleased to see me, and it puts life into perspective.
“Explaining how we feel verbally to another human can be overwhelming, but animals know exactly how we feel – no words needed. I have found animals are the best therapists for me, and help me with my struggles.”
For some, things like listening to music or talking to friends may alleviate the situation when depression strikes.
But for others it may feel hard to do anything at all other than “ride the wave of emotion”.
Komal Shahid, a blogger and mental health activist from Pakistan, wanted to stress that it is “okay” if you stay in bed all day.
The 24-year-old told the Press Association: “A few years back I was suffering from depression but I didn’t dare talk about it.
“Then I saw a hashtag trending on Twitter. It was about depression and it helped me a lot.
“I realised that I can get help and I can talk about it too, because so many other people were talking about it. Since then I have been working on it. Reading others’ thoughts and views about depression helped me a lot so I know my views and thoughts might help others too.
“These hashtags are so, so, so important. They can literally save lives.”
The Samaritans also joined in with the hashtag, saying: “Sharing your story could give someone else the strength they need.”
Among the steps suggested by Mind to help cope with depression are talking to someone you trust, trying mindfulness, keeping active, spending time in nature and practising self-care.
NHS advice is to seek help from your GP as soon as possible if you feel you may be depressed.
“Many people wait a long time before seeking help for depression, but it’s best not to delay,” reads the advice on the NHS website. “The sooner you see a doctor, the sooner you can be on the way to recovery.”
You can find out more about depression and how to cope with it on Mind’s website.
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