Social media users have been sharing their tips for dealing with depression thanks to a popular hashtag.
#HowIFightDepression was one of the top trends 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 UK's National Health Service.
The hashtag inspired many people to talk about their own experiences – particularly how they deal with the illness.
We all have different ways of dealing with depression. You can find some of our suggestions here >… https://t.co/YXfFIZAjEl— Mind (@Mind) 1560950072.0
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."
#HowIFightDepression Four paws. Four hooves. Giving me two reasons to get up, even when I don't want to face the da… https://t.co/6foGvPnXWp— Gizmos Human Slave (@Gizmos Human Slave) 1560942597.0
“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."
#HowIFightDepression - with Lily. She knows when I'm feeling down, I dont know how but she always does. She rescued… https://t.co/0jitDyvPBD— JanetP (@JanetP) 1560956830.0
I walk my dog. I take meds. I cry. I always look forward to tomorrow and spending time with my amazing wife. I surr… https://t.co/gEYEXKZS2N— Glen Canning (@Glen Canning) 1560949147.0
#HowIFightDepression Cats, I can't stress this enough, but cats just have a calm, loving effect & know when you ne… https://t.co/aZPwDcOaUV— Mac The Cat 🐱 (@Mac The Cat 🐱) 1560963878.0
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".
Sometimes my cat is the only thing that keeps me going. #HowIFightDepression https://t.co/rWR6aPXYti— Cami Sheffield (@Cami Sheffield) 1560956633.0
#HowIFightDepression is spending time with a loyal friend, my dog. https://t.co/YPlTt0AS8c— Under the InfluWentz🦅 (@Under the InfluWentz🦅) 1560943418.0
Komal Shahid, a blogger and mental health activist from Pakistan, wanted to stress that it is “okay" if you stay in bed all day.
It's okay if you don't feel like getting out of bed. It's okay if you can't take a shower. It's okay if you lied &… https://t.co/JQNVENacnM— Komal Shahid (@Komal Shahid) 1560950124.0
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 realized 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."
How do you fight depression? Sharing your story could give someone else the strength they need 💚 We're here round… https://t.co/wzHx7z81HT— Samaritans (@Samaritans) 1560953387.0
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 practicing self-care.
Some people enjoyed videos of tender moments to fight depression.
Lowland Gorilla Calaya gives birth to baby boy Moke. She showers him with kisses and does some post birth cleani… https://t.co/Yc4RHPnaak— Tom Hall ☘ (@Tom Hall ☘) 1560964697.0
Cat videos help #HowIFightDepression https://t.co/W1KLlv6PGY— Mina Masters (@Mina Masters) 1560924326.0
Humor was key for a number of people.
#HowIFightDepression LAUGH AT SILLY THINGS "The name is Bond, James Bond, and you are?" https://t.co/syhkSSfzwm— Anaglogs Daughter (@Anaglogs Daughter) 1560956096.0
#HowIFightDepression • Write it down — no matter what the thoughts may be • Be honest and open about it • Enjoy th… https://t.co/M5CIhc4pHw— Nic Allis (@Nic Allis) 1560957467.0
Medical professionals advise you seek help from your doctor 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."
I’m thrilled #HowIFightDepression is trending. I’ve been diagnosed with severe anxiety and severe depression. I’m o… https://t.co/MdUpoXGrRS— Kevin Frankish (@Kevin Frankish) 1560959661.0
Sometimes I don’t know if I fight but, I think just waking up is a way of fighting, I think just trying to go outsi… https://t.co/w6168na6EB— bREEEEE (@bREEEEE) 1560956762.0
You can find out more about depression and how to cope with it on Mind's website.