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How can I overcome depression?

Q: I am a 23 years old female suffering from mild depression; sometimes get panic attacks (often in childhood). My problem is that I am overly emotional and due to that I just lost a relationship. I can't accomplish things and I don't know how to manage them. My ex-boyfriend said I am a weak, drama queen kind of girl who loves to exaggerate and who is too lazy and self-absorbed. And I really can't argue with it because it is true. I know that proper diet and exercise would help but I am a binge eater and I can't stick to discipline. I am also feeling senseless, drowsy and fatigued. What should I do with these emotions and feelings? I've tried to tell myself that they don't make sense and to ignore them but they’re just too strong to be ignored. Everything has always come quite easily to me and I don't really know how to struggle. How can I overcome my depressive state of mind?

A:You have described certain personality traits and emotional symptoms. It seems from your mail that you develop negative thinking patterns, binge eating and get a bit impulsive under stress. You have also mentioned symptoms of anxiety and depression. You seem to have made attempts to identify and address the issue but have not been able to sustain the level of motivation for long.

We all have different personality profiles, i.e. the way we see things, set priorities, express, make choices, have our own set of likes and dislikes. As I usually say, no one can be regarded as 100% perfect and similarly no one can be regarded as 100% imperfect. Our true competition is with our own selves. Trying to strengthen our positives and trying to overcome our negatives / weaknesses, helps. I suggest a detailed psychiatric evaluation for yourself - Personality assessment and assessment of depression / anxiety / binge eating issues. It shall also be worthwhile to get a blood thyroid test done. You may require medication to overcome negative thoughts, lack of interest and low/anxious mood symptoms. Psychiatric medications should be started only after proper assessment and under psychiatric supervision and guidance as per guidelines. You have tried a few things yourself but somehow tend to give up easily. I suggest that you try to counter negative thoughts by more rational positive alternatives, do not underrate / under-evaluate yourself, do not consider self / people / situations to be all good or all bad, try to follow a balanced approach, take time before taking any major decision and try to think about the potential consequences of your actions beforehand. Be persistent, consistent in your positive and rational approach and try to maintain a healthy balanced lifestyle. Set smaller achievable objectives that lead you towards the larger goal of satisfaction and contentment. On achieving the little targets, try to reward yourself with positive self affirmations, little tokens, or doing something new and interesting.

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