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Living With Type 2 Diabetes

I was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes five years ago, and I've had to make considerable changes to my lifestyle to maintain my health since I was diagnosed. I started this blog to share my experience of coming to terms with having type 2 diabetes and what I've learned on my personal journey. I share details of the lifestyle changes I've made, including giving up smoking and eating more wholefoods, and my personal experience of using alternative treatments, such as acupuncture and herbal medicine. I also post about new treatments that are becoming available for type 2 diabetes. I hope you find my blog useful and informative.

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Two ways to prevent a depression relapse

by Regina Perry

If you have suffered from bouts of depression in the past, you might be concerned about the possibility of a relapse occurring in the future. Here are two steps you can take to reduce the chances of this happening:

Exercise regularly

Regular exercise has been shown to help people to manage the symptoms of mild to moderate depression. There are several reasons for this. Firstly, vigorous exercise releases chemicals called endorphins; these are hormones which are known to improve a person's mood.

Secondly, when done in a social setting (such as a hiking group or an aerobics class), exercise also provides people with social interaction, which can also help to improve both their mood and overall outlook.

Thirdly, exercise also serves as a distraction; so if, for instance, you find yourself ruminating on negative thoughts, going to a local yoga class for an hour or two could help to take the focus away from these unhelpful thinking patterns, before they begin to trigger a relapse.

Last but not least, establishing a consistent exercise routine can also give you a sense of purpose and achievement; you can set and accomplish goals (such as training for a half-marathon, for example). This, in turn, can boost your mood and your self-confidence, and thus lower your chances of developing another bout of depression.

Talk things out with a psychologist

Many people who suffer from depression mistakenly assume that they should not see a psychologist unless their mental health begins to rapidly deteriorate. In reality, seeing a psychologist when you're in relatively good spirits is an effective way to prevent relapses from occurring.

Psychologists are trained to recognise the earliest signs of depression; signs which you yourself may not be able to clearly identify. Going for therapy sessions on a regular basis could help your psychologist to detect and address the first indications of a relapse before your mood start to spiral downwards and a depressive episode becomes inevitable.

Furthermore, if you do notice that your depression seems to be returning, a psychologist can provide you with the advice and tools that you need to prevent the situation from escalating. If for example, you're struggling with a difficult situation at work or at home which is triggering your depression, they can teach you healthy ways to cope with your circumstances, so that they do not result in a full-blown relapse. They can also offer a safe space in which to express intense emotions you may not want (or be able) to express at the workplace or at home.

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