5 Small (But Big) Ways to Beat Depression Every Time


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Depression is pretty horrible. I went through a period of bad depression a few years ago. Getting out of bed was hard. Going to work was hard. Smiling was hard. But, I got myself sorted and life seems a whole lot better now.

However, depressed thoughts still come and go. Sometimes during the course of my day I will just start to feel crap for no particular reason. And because I decided a long time ago that these depressed thoughts weren’t going to weigh me down anymore I adopted quite a few strategies to deal with them. This post is designed to give you a few small (but big) ways to beat depression every time.

Realize that depression is transient

One of the best things I ever did was to firmly resolve in my mind that depression, like everything else, is a transient phenomena. Like a rainbow, a puddle, a bubble or a cloud in the sky – depression does not last. It never does and it never will.

Even the unfortunate souls with the most severe cases of depression are happy sometimes. There are a few moments in the day when their depression fades and another emotion sweeps over them. They might be watching a comedy show and a joke snaps through their depression and gives way to laughter. They might be out for a walk and see some animals playing and experience joy. Or they might see the new political candidates speeches on Youtube and experience patriotism. However bad your depression is I guarantee that you are not depressed 100% of the time.

Reminding yourself that depression doesn’t last actually makes your stages of depression seem a lot less potent. I noticed this for myself – I went from having actual panic attacks complete with elevated heart rates and vomiting to just a few “down” moments. I used to be afraid of depression when it came – now I know it doesn’t last.

Be careful with the label “I have depression”

I have to be really careful here as I know a lot of people will kick up a fuss about this comment. Let me be clear, depression is an illness. In the words of Will Ferral, “…it has real doctors and everything!” But I sometimes wonder whether telling yourself “I have depression” really makes things better. From my own experience I can tell you that it actually made me feel a whole heap worse.

Why?

Because the diagnosis “you have depression” is very solid. It is very fixed. It seems unchangeable. But like I noted in the first point, depression is actually very transient. It is impermanent. It doesn’t last. But when you are told you have depression you run the risk of labeling yourself as a depressed person. And that is very solid.

Of course, diagnosing people with depression and depression related disorders is very important. It is vital to the health and recovery of that person. Without that diagnosis the person might not get the drugs or the counseling that they need. It is not the diagnosis, as such, that I have an issue with. My issue is with labeling yourself as a depressed person.

The title of this strategy is be careful with the label “I have depression” and that is all I want you to do. Be careful. Do not continually remind yourself of your diagnosis. You do not want to repeatedly tell yourself that you are depressed. In the same way that repeatedly telling yourself that you are fat leads to more problems, repeatedly telling yourself that you are depressed will make you even worse.

This is about avoiding extremes and using your mind to reinforce positive tendencies, not negative ones. It is not about pretending you don’t have an illness. You very well might have one. What I am asking is that you don’t let yourself get bogged down in your ideas and notions about that illness.

Learn the value of human contact


Creative Commons License photo credit: Fabiana Zonca

When I was going through a particularly bad rough patch after a tough break up one of my dearest friends came over to my house… every day. For almost the whole summer this friend rang me up in the morning to meet for breakfast, called me at lunch time asking where we were going to eat and in the evenings took me to the gym or martial arts center. For six weeks this friend of mine got me out of the house, off the couch and out with people.

And it was one of the best things that could have happened to me.

What my friend did was truly amazing. I don’t have many friends who would have gone to such consistent lengths to take care of me. And two things about this time stood out to me:

  1. Knowing people love you makes a difference
  2. Being around other people helps

The two lessons here are about helping people with depression and helping yourself when you have depression. If you are depressed you need to get out and be around people. It doesn’t matter how you do it, science has shown that having human contact helps depression.

The second thing is that if you know someone who is feeling down you should go and help them. Get them out of the house, take them out for a walk and get them out with people. This will not only help their situation, it will also help your depression.

Eat and drink healthy


Creative Commons License photo credit: avlxyz

Something that seems small but actually had a massive impact on my levels of depression is how I ate. By learning what foods make you depressed and avoiding them you can seriously change the way you feel.

I have written about this many times but it is something so important that I want to stress it again. Bad foods make you feel bad. Good foods make you feel good. Just like the saying goes, “you are what you eat“. If you want to feel better mentally start eating cleaner foods.

So what are we talking about here? What foods make us feel bad? The big ones for me are coffee and fatty foods. Coffee makes my mind run at a million miles and hour and I have trouble settling down. This is bad for people who are really anxious. And fatty foods that are really heavy cause your mind to be sluggish and sad.

Try to eat all natural foods like fruit and vegetables. Get lots of chili and ginger and other natural medicines. Eating a natural diet full of really fresh and tasty foods will absolutely change your life.

Get out in the sun and run

Scientists and doctors are now spouting the benefits of two things for depression: sunlight and exercise. Mix the two together and you have got a recipe for a better mental state.

Forget the gym with its stale air, televisions and plastic people – get outside in the sunlight and start running. Take your dog or your buddy and hit the dirt while the sun is shining on your skin and face. Go somewhere where the air is fresh and the view is inspiring. If you have a local park or forest then head out there. Spend as little as 15 minutes a day doing this and your depression will seem like a thing of the past.

Some of the happiest moments in my life have been when I was out alone in the woods running in the sun. Just me and the trees and the birds chirping away. I am particularly fond of jogging where there is running water – the sound is so soothing and magical.

If you aren’t a big runner it doesn’t matter. Walk. Or, join a football or soccer team. Play tennis on the weekends. There are so many amazing things to be doing out in the sunshine and all of them will have a positive and immediate effect on your depression.

Conclusion

Depression is not a fixed state. There are things you can be doing all the time to beat it. Don’t sit by passively and be a victim, start doing things that will really get you happy. Nine times out of ten your mild depression can be alleviated with some change in your behavior or lifestyle.

What has helped you? Leave a comment – it might really help someone!




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73 Comments »

Comment by N
2008-08-26 06:36:09

Hi,

I stumbled upon your blog last month – i’ve been following it since then, and its a very helpful blog. The spacing of the posts is correct, the content is excellent – I’ve made this my homepage :) Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

–N

 
Comment by Bala
2008-08-26 06:52:18

Really a good one.
One more thing which i would like to add is, Dont be alone at all. Try to have people around or music or books. Dont keep yourself idle, if you are idle, your mind will definitely keep thinking about the cause. Get involved in some activity or the other.
Try something new, something totally new and adventurous or do something which you procastinated all this while, i bet you will succeed in that and that will serve as a great source of fuel for you, it is a good medicine to.
Be nice with people when you are depressed, i know it is difficult, but give a shot, you will know the difference.
And remember one thing, EVERYTHING CHANGES

 
Comment by SA
2008-08-26 07:48:44

Again I agree with all the above because I have been there myself too. In fact my case was worse i.e. wanted to comitt suicide in effect. But you are right all of us one way or another in this life we have to face this transitional phase.

I know this sounds old-fashioned but I was in constant prayers and everyday meditating. This way both acts gave me a positive outlook in life feeling that there are things beyond my control and things in my control. Also, the family is quite important in all of this. My family knew I was troubled in my room and would check on me by providing me food, talking to me (even if banging outside the door) and constant support ;-)

In a few words– being patient with ourselves and knowing we can control our thoughts and deeds and leave the ones beyond our control to unknown forces or a supreme being.

 
Comment by The Daily Minder
2008-08-26 08:05:53

N – thank you so much for your compliments. TDM as your homepage!! That is awesome!

Bala – you are right about being alone. Sometimes at night when you are alone it is the worst. I often wonder, though, do we become attached to having someone around us and therefore never deal with being alone?

SA – as always thank you for sharing your thoughts. I look forward to reading them whenever I write a post. Your comment reminded me of one of the things I wanted to say but forgot – it is okay to be depressed. It is part of life. Don’t always try to fight it.

Thanks guys!

TDM

 
Comment by Brice
2008-08-28 01:28:00

Good points TDM. Speaking for myself in response to the comments, I can’t stand being around people when I’m feeling down. It’s just a distraction and distractions only keep my attention off the problem (and solution), dragging it on longer.

Out of your list, exercise is by far the greatest cure for all my emotional challenges. It can be hard to stay motivated sometimes, but it’s also hard to hate myself while running.

 
Comment by The Daily Minder
2008-08-28 01:34:14

Brice – nothing like a good bit of exercise to beat the blues! Do you run or have something else you like to do?

TDM

 
Comment by Malika
2008-08-28 05:11:02

…Be careful with the label “I have depression”…

I would clarify this one thusly. Recognizing that your depression is a disease is important because when you’re dealing with a disease, it is no longer about you. You don’t have to judge yourself for having some character flaw that makes you depressive — it’s not weakness or self-indulgence, it’s just a disease — like many people have, and learn to treat and overcome. And if you fear that it’s going to shorten your life, when you recognize that it’s a disease and not your own inclination, it’s easier to fight for your own life and health.

So I would say, labeling it as a disease is very important. Just make sure that you’re labeling the disease instead of yourself.

This comes back to seeing the depression as transient. As a disease, it’s passing, treatable and an external part of you. Don’t let yourself see it as a permanent self-label, character flaw or integral part of who you are. A crucial part of optimism is seeing positive things as permanent and owing to your own efforts and negative things as transient, flukes or just dumb luck.

 
Comment by The Daily Minder
2008-08-28 05:24:36

Really well said Malika. You should do the posts for me!

Thanks! :)

TDM

 
Comment by Jean
2008-08-28 15:41:23

Just leaving kudos for a great post! Found you via Leo’s blog. You succinctly and clearly state much of my own experience.

Thanks,
Jean

 
Comment by Kristi
2008-08-28 19:37:50

Well said. Depression is transient… I have started to visualize it as a cloud, in full knowledge that the sun will appear again.

I also agree that you have watch out for the label. I think sometimes I have allowed myself to really stay depressed because I thought it was natural because of the illness. But as soon as I stopped considering myself a depressed person, I stopped having the prolonged episodes. I now recognize it, acknowledge that it is there, and then do my best to find my way out of it, whether by expressing it creatively or analyzing it to see if it is something in my environment that needs to be changed.

Great post!

 
Comment by BJ
2008-08-28 22:23:09

Great post, and it reminded me of a statement Eckhart Tolle makes in “A New Earth, Awakening Your Life’s Purpose.” He suggests that rather than saying, “I am unhappy,” one should instead say, “There is unhappiness in me.” This way, you are not saying that unhappy (or depressed) is who or what you are. It recognizes that the unhappiness or depression is merely a temporary condition that you need to address.

In some cases, a true chemical imbalance may require medication to help a person through their depression, but in so many cases, we have the power within us to overcome it without pills. Exercise, yoga, meditation, good diet, and supportive friends and family can all provide relief.

 
Comment by The Daily Minder
2008-08-29 01:22:24

Jean – Thank you for stopping by from Leo’s blog and leaving a comment. Really appreciate it.

Kristi – I really like that visualization! Thank you!

BJ – As usual I love your comments… The temporary nature of depression is so important to recognize. Is that book worth reading?

TDM

 
Comment by Jennie
2008-08-29 05:35:48

A wonderful post that I am definitely going to take to heart. I do have problems with depression and by far my favorite thing is to go outside and walk in the sun. any problem seems better out there!

the point about negative reinforcement is an excellent one, I am going to take that into account with my phases of depression and anxiety. it’s easy to get into a negative cycle, and then to stop taking control, letting it get the better of you.

I’m currently giving up caffeine to help with my stress and anxiety, I didn’t realize it could help with depression as well – but personally I’ve found that coming down off it has made me a little more depressed, for obvious reasons! it’s best to take it slow…

 
Comment by The Daily Minder
2008-08-29 06:09:51

Jennie – I am glad you are taking active steps to help your own situation. Good move giving up the caffeine. Check out our post on TEA HEALTH – you might want to replace the coffee with Green Tea. Even though green tea has caffeine it is shown to benefit people with depression.

Good luck! The Daily Mind will always be here for support and encouragement!

TDM

 
Comment by BJ
2008-08-29 20:55:43

In answer to your question about the Tolle book – yes, I think it’s very worthwhile reading. Even if you don’t buy into the entire philosophy, I can almost guarantee that something in there will serve as a key to unlock a thought process that you might otherwise miss. It really provided me with new insights into how we think, feel, and act, as well as how we can positively influence those things.

Jennie – Replacing the coffee with green tea is very good advice; you might also consider white tea, or Rooibos, which has very high antioxidant levels and pretty much no caffeine.

 
Comment by The Daily Minder
2008-08-30 01:33:52

BJ – I will check it out this week. Thanks. And thanks for all your great comments.

TDM

 
Comment by Karen
2008-08-30 15:24:42

Very helpful post. Thank you. Something that has always helped me when I’m feeling blue is writing random lists of things I’m good at doing. The act of putting them to paper will often cheer me up, even if it’s just a little.

 
Comment by The Daily Minder
2008-08-31 06:58:22

Karen – thanks for the comment and the list idea. I like it!

tDM

 
Comment by Bob Parker
2008-10-16 05:33:19

I appreciate many of your points here and agree with them. One challenge for me is I find walking or biking alone creates greater aloneness or loneliness as it gives me more time with my frustration and thoughts.

Previously, I was very much into working out at the gym, but as I had more time of depression, I had a greater reluctance to work out. I intuitively got your ‘stale air / plastic’ gym concept in my recent reluctance to go back to the gym – it only seems good for healthy people. So of course a challenge is where to find some socializing outside – a little more challenging in the suburbs up North. But, understanding helps and I look forward to seeing other suggestions from you or other posters here.

Comment by The Daily Minder
2008-10-16 05:47:34

Hi Bob.

I know what you mean about the gym feeling like it is only for fit people. Sometimes it is easy to feel that way.

We have lots of articles and tips for depression on this site. Do a search and see if you can find something useful.

Hope we all have helped somewhat. Thanks for leaving a comment.

TDM

 
 
Comment by Jules
2009-03-23 22:03:07

Thank you so much for writing this article! I was feeling like crap, looking for something positive to read, to help lift me out of this state, and was actually surprised that ur strategies helped me feel better already! The part about depression being transient was the most eye opening…I have to have hope that it will pass, and it will. I agree with everything else, esp the contact, having my friends come over to my house and force me out really kept me alive. It’s funny how a kind act can have such an affect. The parts that I’m still struggling with is exercise and eating healthy. I’m a junk food fiend…eating things that taste really good and satisfying to me comforts me when I’m feeling depressed, it distracts me, and rewards me. Nobody says “omg I hate my life!! now where are those celery sticks??” And excercising is soooo hard to get into, esp when you’ve been a couch potatoe for most of your life. When I do excercise I end up feeling like a lard ass because of how out of shape I am. I really hope I can start treating my body better, but it’s sooo difficult! Depression is so hard to get out of, because the things that help it, like thinking positively, eating healthy and spending time with people, is the opposite of what you want to do lol.
thanks again :)

Comment by dee
2010-05-30 02:48:53

Jules this was the first time that I had ever visited this site. When I read what your post I swear everything that you wrote fit me to a “T”…. It’s so nice to know that I’m not the only world that feels the way that I do. I have been diagnosed with major depression and it seems like a black cloud is always over me. I only want to eat, eat, eat and be alone.. I don’t want to go out of the house, answer my phone, or be around anyone. I find it very hard to go out in public. All the best to you…

 
 
Comment by Jasha
2009-07-26 09:08:34

I just want to say thank you to everybody who left their comments on this page. I have been going through some hard times within myself for the past year and honestly, just knowing I am not alone with this feeling is enough. I too have learned that being around people, even if I have to force myself to get out of the house helps sooo much. Also praying about it and asking for support is something amazing. I was at the brink of suicide and have now found a way to handle my emotions..just knowing I am not alone and that it wont last was enough to keep me here and where I am to this day. Thanks guys:)

 
Comment by Maggie
2009-08-13 18:40:54

Hello,

I really enjoyed reading your article and everyone’s replies.

I am just coming out of my depression. Never experienced anything like this before, and I never want to go through this again. I can honestly say, it has been one of the worst experiences in my life.

Doctor gave me anti depressants, but I have refused to take them, as I wanted to get through this without relying on medication that carried many risks of nasty side effects etc. Was also told I’d feel even worse for the first two weeks, as the medication built up in my body. There was no way I was going to put myself through even worse torture for two more weeks. It’s been bad enough already.

Anyway, with the help of my family, and friends I am coming out of it.
Also keeping myself busy and not allowing myself to become bored, and as you mentioned also, spending time out in the sun has helped heaps.

Thanks for your article, it really does help.

 
Comment by Pretty Me Pink
2009-08-22 21:54:30

So agree with every thing you say! Its soooo easy in our busy lives to forget about human contact and love, and we just try to guard our hearts with chains and metal plated doors, just have to enjoy life and not to step into that spiral of the D word!

 
Comment by JRM
2009-09-14 23:22:58

First allow me to say thanks for the excellent article. Please accept me critique, however, regarding your perception of “bad depression”.

I was hospitalized last year while suffering from a major depressive episode. I became completely unable to feel even an inkling of joy or hope. There was literally nothing that could help. It was as though I was lying in a battlefield with a giant, agonizing, gaping wound in my chest and nothing short of death could help. I was planning my suicide.

“Even the unfortunate souls with the most severe cases of depression are happy sometimes. There are a few moments in the day when their depression fades and another emotion sweeps over them.”

I was one of the “unfortunate souls” and your statement is simply inaccurate. Even with AD’s I spent over six months in this Godforsaken state of mind before experiencing just one moment when my depression faded.

I still fight a daily battle, one where my depression is much less severe and one that can now benefit from your suggestions. I’m not sure what kind of depression you went through, but is sure wasn’t what I had.

– JR

 
Comment by Anu Malhi
2009-10-23 20:11:10

You are so right about the careful use of ‘i have depression’. Too many people use it in passive conversation and this can naturally impact on the way you are feeling and can start to introduce a natural negative feeling within your thoughts.

Thanks for your suggestions and as you say it is key to make physical contact and keep thinking about the positive things in your life no matter how difficult it may seem!

Thanks for a great positive article

 
Comment by Mark
2009-11-09 01:53:45

Very good post. I’m just “coming out” on the other side of a battle with depression. It was very difficult. One of the things that I really connected with in your post is the fact that depressive thoughts still come and go. Even though I can look back 10 weeks ago and define very clearly how much better I am doing now than I was then, I still feel depressed in fleeting moments from time to time. The big difference is that now, when those feelings come, I go pick up a book, listen to some music, call a friend or start making a list of things I need to do by tomorrow or the end of the week. But when I was truly in the deep stages of the depression and those thoughts and feelings creeped in, I fed them. I dwelt on the causes of my depression, tried to explain them away or worst of all, I would just SIT THERE, let my eyes well up with tears and let it possess me. The problem with labeling, as you implied, is that you tend to use it to feed your depression. When you don’t feel like being around other people or watching a funny movie, you start to tell yourself things like, “Well, it’s ok that you don’t want to be around other people. You’re depressed and that’s what depression does to people.” This is true, but you could just as easily tell yourself, “Hey, I don’t really feel like going out right now, but I might have a good time. I might make a new friend or make somebody laugh. Maybe I won’t have any fun at all, but how is that any different from what I am doing right now as I sit in my room and stare at the wall?”

 
Comment by romina
2010-03-01 23:49:52

I came acroos your post trying to find some tips or info about how to beat depression.I`ve been fighting it for years. If I had to look back and think when it started I would say after I finished highschool, not that before that was a bundle of joy but I was a happy child though I remembered I always felt inadequate and when I didnt feel that way there were always people around me that made me feel that way(grownups)So, I guess that had an effect on my self-esteem.
As i was saying,when I finished highschool I felt under so much pressure to keep on studying a career and making the right choice “because what you choose to study is what you`ll end up doing the rest of your life” it sounded so menacing almost like apocalyptic. I had to measure up to my parents expectations, I felt I wasnt able to make a career choice fearing that I would take a wrong decision and I succumbed to depression. I did some therapy for a year and it turned out to help me a little bit though I was not cured when I finished it .It`s a long road, It`s been 9 years of that and I`m still struggling with it. The problem is that it seemed to get worse because when you get older it looks like people and even yourself have higher expectations about where you should be in life and when you realize that your expectations dont match your reality it`s a bitter blow.
The worst part of all is that I dont feel in control of my destiny it`s like everything escapes my control.
When I`m depressed I use “relief thoughts” like thinking that I`m going to quit my job, catch a bus to a province and start my life there all over” or that I just want to get on a car and drive… just drive without ever thinking where to ( like runaways thelma and Louise)or I think that I will become a nun so that I can have plenty of time to think and reflect upon my life though this idea is usually discarded because I have a boyfriend whom I would have to stop seeing or sometimes I just think that this is what I have to go through and that something really good is in store for me in the future or sometimes I just know that the only control I have in my life is the knowledge that I can end it whenever I want, thoughts of suicide usually linger in my mind and the worst of it is that I think of it as a normal thing. Have you ever felt the need to escape when you are depressed? some days the only thing I want to do is sleep, I don`t sleep well at night because a dream starts me up and then I cannot get back to sleep and start thinking ways of solving my problems but they seem to have no solution and I feel frustrated and hopeless and those feelings start building up until I feel like I`m a balloon about to burst and that`s when I do something to relieve that tension ( I used to cut myself and then watch in the mirror how my blood trickle down my body)I had to stop doing that when I was operated on a cyst in my neck that I believe appeared due to the cutings and infections I did to myself.
you are surely thinking that instead of cutting myself I should have talked to someone about my feelings, but I`m not the kind of person that finds relief in being listened.
Have you ever been paralaysed ” literally” by fear that If you move you have to go on with your life and you don`t want to go on you just want to remain there, seated, without moving, trying to think what it would be like life for you in ten years from then and wishing time wouldn`t go by so you never have to leave that position in the bench, in the park, in your life…

 
Comment by kaben
2010-03-16 09:40:12

hi, im a young teenager and i just wanted to say thanks for everything on here. i think i have depression, ive lost intrest in everything, have no motivation, no energy, feel like im hated by everyone & feel like im going to have nervous brakedowns everyday because i dont want the world to see me the way i am, feel like no matter what i do, its wrong and feel like im a bad person and making everyone around me unhappy and those things make me even more deppressed because i just want to be the person i used to be and have fun again, make people smile. i thought the feelings would never go away, but after reading this im starting to realise that maybe the depression is just a cloud of bad feelings, but underneath is the real me, the old me, just waiting for the bad feelings to pass before i come and showed the world who i used to be before the depression. i am still depressed but getting proffecinal help and without this i might not have been alive tomorrow. so i just want to say thankkkksssss heaps and i hope other teenagers and other people with depression find this and feel better. know that other people feel the same as you and there are people who love you no matter what. your mum, a friend, a pet, even the person who wrote this page cares about you and wants you to feel better about yourself again and imagine how they would feel if you wernt in there life, how they would miss you. theres been some time in your life when youve made someone happy, had someone smile back at you. i know you might wish you had cancer, wish you could jump off a bridge, wish you could get hit by a car. imagine the people in the world who have died from those things and think of the families who miss them. think of your family. no matter what they want you in there life. when you were little and you fell over and hurt yourself, someone was there to look after you and knew that you would soon feel better, when you feel worst, find someone to talk to and know that the pain will soon be gone. remember the person you are, the person under the cloud of depression and do something good for the world. smile, be kind, love others and you will learn to love yourself. these are the thoughts that help me.
thanks again:)

 
Comment by CB
2010-07-13 16:52:35

I too have suffered from major depression several times in my life. The first was at 22 years old and it almost killed me. I’ve had several bouts since than but none as major, although they all feel like a hurricane hit me. Currently I’ve been in a depressed state for 4 weeks but trying to overcome it. Stress levels went up the last few months prior to the depression which forced me to get back on anti-depressants. I lost my spouse of 31 years about 2 years ago and wasn’t living life as God intended afterwards. I turned to alcohol for stress relief and it was a bad idea. I’m not drinking now and hoping for better days soon. You post was very commendable because I know this is a temporary storm and that God will see me through it to better days. Main thing is to learn what causes the depressive episodes and be sure to take the steps needed to avoid a relapse.

 
Comment by Lisa
2010-08-02 05:32:31

Hello,

I would like to add a helpful tip also if I may. I am a young mother of 2 with a long history of depressive episodes. When I go through an episode I see it as coming down with a cold. You have to recognize it, treat it and then yes it WILL pass. I give myself a little sympathy for being under the waether then I get to work on “getting better” I HAVE to get over it because of my kids, there in NO other option. So to treat my “cold” I keep a list in a drawer of things that bring me any amount of joy or happiness WHATSOEVER. Like music videos, a nice hot shower, funny youtube clips, etc. Whenever I catch myself having a happy moment I take note. literally. I refer to this list and no matter how I loathe the thought of even looking at it it much less doing anything on the list I FORCE myself to. Hope this helps someone… just something to try : )

 
Comment by teresa
2010-08-05 00:24:52

This was an awesome read…. Thank You. I have been suffering Depression now for about 7years but I am way at the other end(the good end) – Just a week ago I started a new diet – keeping carbs at a min. and have increased protien but in moderation. I cannot believe that on day 3-4 I was feeling crap, very tired, headaches etc but by day 5 I feel liike a new person if nothing else… I actually want to LIVE and be a part of LIFE, and I have made that decision all-by-myself. I wake up and can’t wait to go to work (yeh..doesn’t that sound odd) but I am feeling a Million dollars. I have been on meds now for 7 years (very mild 10mg) 20mg at the most at a bad patch (I hate meds – I am a Vitamin girl)But changing what and when I eat certain food types – I feel like a brand new person, and I am on FIRE FOR LIFE. Thank you to my Husband and family who has still loved Me through my trouble mind. Though they did not know HOW to support me – the fact they are all still here & I know they Love me means ‘the world’ and I now feel BLESSED by God that he has given me LIFE. Thank YOu.

 
Comment by M
2010-09-05 23:41:36

God bless you. I am going through the roughest period of my life and your blog post has helped me
Immensely.

Comment by The Daily Minder
2010-09-06 01:08:05

Thanks M. I’m glad.

 
 
Comment by Moshood
2010-09-26 15:44:55

Nice article! Brilliant idea. Sometimes I wish I could exchange my cross with someone Else’s. But those were pretty good years ago, and now I have learnt. I finally realized that every man is subjected to their own cross; and that whether good or bad, they just have to make peace with that. I make this in form of an article. Maybe you should come take a look – http://gettingyourfreedom.blogspot.com/2010/09/how-to-forget-your-worries-learn-to.html

 
Comment by Moshood
2010-09-26 15:45:46

Nice article! Brilliant idea. Sometimes I wish I could exchange my cross with someone Else’s. But those were pretty good years ago, and now I have learned. I finally realized that every man is subjected to their own cross; and that whether good or bad, they just have to make peace with that. I make this in form of an article. Maybe you should come take a look – http://gettingyourfreedom.blogspot.com/2010/09/how-to-forget-your-worries-learn-to.html

 
Comment by Shawn
2010-10-11 14:06:08

Great article! I am talking with my psychologist to help me through this now, but even being around people don’t help me when I am depressed. I can’t focus and even when i am with family and friends, my mind is in another place and they have to snap me back into this world. Prefer to be alone when I am this way because I am no good to anyone when I am depressed. Works for me and gives me time to think things through.

 
Comment by Bryan
2010-12-10 00:56:55

all of this stuff sounds good & promising… however, i still don’t see any of this helping me. even if i was to follow these strategies for a month or so as i have with numerous other “beat depression” techniques, eventually it always just comes full circle as the thoughts/feelings overwhelm me when eventually i’m a couple weeks in & everything’s still the same… you are what you are… go look around a walmart & see all the miserable, nasty people there & realize that all of them probably didn’t plan on being 60+ years old & living alone at the poverty line… granted there are people that will find happiness & success in this world, i just know i’m not one of them & if your reading this, then you’re probably not either… what i’m really looking for at this point in my life is a way to end it without causing pain for the few people that have to care for my sorry ass, depression has won & i’ll never be of value to society, much less a girl that ain’t ugly as sin

 
Comment by Leslie
2011-01-02 02:21:56

I sit here reading your post and think to myself, she’s feeling the same as me.I feel scared of people and life’s pressures.I feel hollow and numb.I look around and see people who are happy and I wish I could be them.I am scared to go to the doctor.I’m scared of meds too.I just take it one day at a time.

 
Comment by Calvin
2011-03-03 02:22:08

Just wanted to share that exercise helped me very much. Try and tune back to a time when you felt happy, remember how you looked then – go back to that by working out real hard (playing some retro music helps too, while you exercise). I know it’s easier said than done – there were times I just lay down in bed and did nothing all day and afterwards felt lousy, which only made my depression worst (yes, I’ve also considered jumping out the window more than a few times, too – I live in an apartment block). Those were really scary days for me and I tried medication briefly but it only helped a little and then I put on all the pounds which made my self-esteem dip even more.

If we waited and hoped for things around to change – they never do – we need to recognise that only we have the power to turn things around. I know how damaging depression can be – causing me to loose (I left on my own accord, btw) a well-paid career, I’m still living with the consequences, hardly making ends meet and still paying off my credit card debts but I’m feeling so much better now than I was before as I can find more time for myself through exercising (going for a run around the park is free, you see) or playing with my kid, as opposed to indulging in all sorts of escapades, like wining, dining, travelling, movies, shopping, massages, etc.. all of which offered only short-term relief (when I used to earn a lot more).

So there you go – exercise – run – it’s free and you don’t need to join a gym – I used to run all day long (up to 12 kilometres), until I get tires and need to walk. Now I get complimented by people who haven’t seen me for a while (plus at a recent high-school reunion, I realised how much the exercise helped in my self-esteem, yes – I may not be making the big bucks anymore but I really looked healthier and happier as compared to some of my contemporaries).

I still get pangs of depression struggling to get in every now and again, but I’ve grown to recognise the ‘demon’ and ward it off with hard exercise, positive thoughts and choosing instead to divert my attention to the little joys around me. When you have so little left, you will appreciate the things around you more.

 
Comment by alex
2011-03-11 13:17:17

Staying active is a big help, but not restless activity, or distractable activity, be in the present moment and enjoy the moment as your being active, envision yourself living in bliss and happiness. let some tears roll down your eyes in realizing how happy you are in that paticular moment,realize that if you need to make changes to make your life better than you gotta do it,even if it means gettin out the bed and doing a benjamin button and going to india, that shit will wake your ass up outta that depression, keep being honest with yourself and love yourself that helps big time, keep telling yourself that you love yourself for just being a failure, that way success becomes inevitable, ive been off and on depressed for about 4 years and i am an artist, a great artist at that, i dropped out of art school because i had a manic episode and then i worked at this shitty resturaunt where i was treated like shit, i had thoughts of wanting to blow the whole damn place up! but i finally said fuck this i gotta make a change, I started reading different books started blasting my jazz, came up with a nice regimen so that I could beat this depression, I had one of the craziest most embarassing manic episodes you could imagine and that shit ate me up, but eventually it just faded away..now i feel pretty decent, Im always trying to make shit better though, working on self love and self improvement,if i start being pessimistic or i get bored i just blast some jazz and keep dreaming of a better day,the more you dream the better shit becomes, peace

 
Comment by charlotte
2011-05-21 22:13:42

ive been suffering with depression for about a year now i have times where i think i am better then the next week everything goes wrong and im back to square one. at the moment im at a stage where i feel numb… i laugh and do things but i feel no different. i dunno what to do so im looking for help
thank you

 
Comment by Catje
2011-05-23 22:48:19

One of the best articles on depression I have ever read! *clapping*

 
Comment by D
2012-08-20 00:56:24

Turmeric capsules –GNC brand ONE a day in morning. A natural antidepressent and should not be taken if you are taking a prescription antidepressent–it’s that strong. Migt take 2-3 weeks to work. Do not take a lot–will make you overanxious. If bipolar, take wit caution. One a day. Once you start, do not stop or within tree days will have bad reaction and extreme irritability.

 
Comment by D
2012-08-20 01:02:16

Turmeric-GNC brand one a day in morning. Takes 2-3 weeks to bring you up all te way. Once u start, do not stop or after 2-3 days you’ll be a crazy mess. A natural strong antidepressent. Do not take if on prescription antidepressent. Bipolar should use wit caution as it can heighten mania. Do not let yourself run out. Don’t take at nigtht unless emergency.

 
Comment by Jack Foley
2013-04-09 16:47:56

getting around people and giving is key. this can really help you overcome depression and anxiety

 
Comment by lost and found
2013-04-22 16:52:48

Don’t go around the pain; go through it. This was and still is the best advice i have ever received. Taking steps such as drugs and other medications to unnaturally stop the feelings you are experiencing will not cure you, it is an avoidance tactic. Savour each teardrop because it’s the realest thing you will ever have. Channel the pain into bettering yourself. I went through stages of comparing myself to others around me and feeling i wasn’t doing anything valid with my life. This was the best and the worst thing to happen to me. It was the cause for my depression but also the reason i went on to find myself and discover who i really am. I got fit and healthy,as a result i started getting asked on dates more, i found a new calling in life and now i am training to become a teacher. Your greatest power and greatest weakness is you!

 
Comment by Luc
2013-04-26 22:41:39

I believe that identifying depression is an important
part of kicking it in the but. If you have it, you can takes the necessary steps to get ride of it.

 
Comment by Mark
2013-05-05 15:17:23

Thank you for sharing, it helps to know they is light at the end of this miserable tunnel.

 
Comment by Brandy
2013-05-19 14:36:45

Something that helps me when I’m in a severe depression is making myself do everything on my to-do list. I know that sounds strange, but for days when I don’t even want to breathe, if I make myself do the things I normally do I feel better at the end of the day. If I don’t, then at least I earned the right to be in bed and the next day I will feel better. I set alarms for every item (change baby’s diaper: goes off every two hours, switch the sprinkler in the front yard, bake bread, vacuum, etc).

Another thing that helps is find something funny or enjoyable and force yourself to read/watch/do it. Maybe do it twice. By laughing, your body(brain) releases happy chemicals that will drag you out of even the worst depression.

 
Comment by jack
2013-05-21 21:39:43

eating and drinking health is key..

its very easy get depressed if you are abusing your body – don’t!

 
Comment by Dipali
2013-05-30 15:13:10

Hi,

This post is really useful. When depression hits me, I just start listening to some good songs. Most probably, I listen to spiritual discourses on dadabhagwan site as well.

 
Comment by Dipali
2013-05-30 15:14:14

When depression hits me, I just start listening to some good songs. Most probably, I listen to spiritual discourses on dadabhagwan site as well.

 
Comment by Cary
2013-06-04 17:12:48

Just starting on a journey to try and get out of this depression. I am so tired of being sad.

 
Comment by Bridget
2013-06-04 21:30:35

I am glad I found this web page. We just moved to another State and a new city and I hate it here -with gusto. Not knowing anybody doesn’t help either and I am aware of that. However, I am a positive person and know I can overcome this. Giving up coffee seems to be a “must” and I will give it a try sighhh. Thank you for all our postings I needed to read that

 
Comment by Tammy
2013-06-19 14:52:04

I don’t have the answer yet to deal with depression. I am in the middle of a rough patch myself. When my mindset started becoming increasingly negative, depression dragged me all the way down. Its hard to think positive when you are alone with a child but I guess its not impossible.

 
Comment by Tammy
2013-06-20 13:12:28

Although this depression is temporary the effect on those around you is permanent. I often feel as if I’m being punished for past mistakes via depression. I wish I could be “normal”like other women. Everyday my mood is different. Its either sad and reflective or happy and energetic. I am ashamed that I have this issue because of my children. I’m not suicidal only because of my ten year old daughter. I could never leave her. So I’m stuck here on this earth faking smiles. I rarely leave home. I have withdrawn a lot. My sist
and my mom live 360 miles away so I don’t have much physical support. I have to find a way to beat this. I just have to.

 
Comment by Chris
2013-07-02 18:39:30

One thing I would add as well, is not to sweat the small stuff. I find that letting the little things go can have a tremendous impact on my daily life. Less worry = Less Stress = Less depression.

 
Comment by Lori
2013-08-06 09:49:25

Dee, You wrote your comment years ago. Did you overcome your depression? I have felt the same way for many years. Is there really an end to this? Please reply.

 
Comment by jamie
2013-08-06 15:17:41

Thanks for this article. I agree with you completely. The trick is to stick to the plan and follow it. Right now I am stuck in a rut and I know there are things that I need to do, but instead I just lay here and sleep. I wish there were a quick fix to depression, but that is not the case.

 
Comment by Mick
2013-09-29 21:19:26

I am living with depression since my marriage ended 3 years ago. The only thing keeping me alive is my two kids and my dog, I don’t won’t either of them finding my dead corpse. I hate myself and the way I think, live, react and feel is so not normal. There is a right way, a wrong way and my way which always leads me to failure. I am so sick and tired of being wrong in everything I do!!!

 
Comment by Geoff
2013-11-03 08:30:59

Love the site!

I have composed a list of happy sites –

http://grjallen.150m.com/marci.htm

I highly recommend the book!

Cheers

 
Comment by Dave
2013-11-29 23:57:05

I just don’t know who I really am, everyday I act like somebody who I’m not at work and around my friends to hide what I’m feeling

 
Comment by Miguel
2014-01-01 14:56:16

Been going through depression since I was about 9 years old. I think what started it back then was my parents would argue a lot and I didn’t have many friends in school. It eventually went away after a couple of months and didn’t recur until I was 12. At that time, my parents were separated and no longer living together and went through a divorce. That episode only lasted about a month if I recall. After that, I had no problems with depression at all til about 7 years later when I was 19. That episode was by far the worst, I was having suicidal thoughts and took me about 6 months to really recover. I was fine for about a year and a half after that until a couple of days ago when I started having panic attacks and now I’m experiencing depression again. I’m hoping in won’t be as bad as the last and I can get through it faster. I was seeing a therapists but that didn’t really seem to help me that much before. I don’t want to take medication and want to take a more natural approach at it. Articles like these really help.

 
Comment by Sweet Venom
2014-01-30 23:10:22

Thank you for this post, not just for myself, but for all of those that suffer.

I am going through a rough patch right now and the scariest part of all was thinking I am never going to be myself again, I am never going to be happy again. I found that minimizing the problem helps. If it’s love that is bothering you just remember all of the other great aspects of your life, like your career, or your family and friends. If you truly have nothing to hold on to, then hold on to this: We’re all suffering, you are not alone. You will never be alone.

 
Comment by Rainbow of Happiness
2014-02-11 14:19:45

I really liked reading it it made me positive.
Sadly I have Physics exam tomorrow, and for some reason i wasn’t able to study when I was at home after school I’ve spent like 7-8 hours just crying not being able to study, it’s 11 o’clock now! I don’t even know if I’ll pass the exam T-T.

I look at myself in the mirror and say why is it happening “now” I didn’t open my eyes on anything nor my mouth or my heart I tried to stay positive and normal without doing mistakes that I’d might regret later on.. today is the worst case ever for an exam because I couldn’t help myself to study and it’s too late now.

Though I’ve tried changing the place, the environment, my thoughts, listening to music, taking breaks, i even created colorful rainbow papers to write on, but nothing helped.

I’m an only child, I couldn’t tell my parents because I know I’m just only going to make them worried about me, they are already busy having problems with their work they can’t do much for me anyway because I know I can’t get what I want; I can’t buy time, I only know my friends at school, thus knowing that no one could ever help me not my family not my friends, I’ve always been an independent lady.

Sill almost everyday I force myself to smile and keep moving, sometimes I get with the flow and become a happy person just for moments, and often after a while all of a sudden I just cry without stopping, the only thing that can cure me, I can’t really say cure me, instead is’s all I can do for myself after loosing my plan that I have always wanted to come true, all I can do is talking about it, writing things down to deal with them, watching comedy movies or drama and taking quizzes, I don’t even go out because there is no one to drive me to anywhere, and I hate to take a taxi.

All I wanted for this year to happen was:
1-Attending a new school and leaving my old creepy one, as if starting a new life.
2-My mom quitting her job, so that I can spend more time with her, it’s been only 1 year since she started working because of being bored.
3-Making a “one fine day” happen, I always wanted to go out on a perfect day even for once, sadly it never happened in this last few years, when I try to make a perfect day happen it has to be ruined, either by fighting with someone when I don’t want to, or bad things that randomly keep happening.
The perfect day is when I prepare everything before going to sleep, I wake up early in the morning doing my favorite skin routine, eating my favorite breakfast, wearing my favorite clothes and shoes, listening to music I like, being careless about any negative thoughts, and just spending the day outside, if I could do this once a week I’d be cured, but there is no one to take me out, maybe I should talk to my best friend about it.

I probably would have committed suicide along time ago or at least I would have been careless about that like saying: Oh I die? that’s ok. but I can’t.. knowing the fact that my mother has only me, I could never die even if I had to.

So how am I going to beat it up now? easy I’ll just study non stop, just in case for the worse situation I’ll study for 30 min then 5-10 mis as a break.
Hah yesterday I was ok and had no exam, today I’m not ok and tomorrow I have an exam? how funny could life be?!
Anyways I guess that’s the only thing to do for now since I’m this careless.. to a level that I could never ever believe XD at least it’s not a final exam.
And oh my I wrote all of that.. guess I had so much to say, I still have more, but like that I’ll never stop, anyways I’m soo positive now and a lot better, I hope everybody gets rid of depression.

This depression thingy happens so that we could turn in the right way again, so that we could live life happily, just like how normal humans are suppose to, it’s not a sad thing nor a bad thing that ruins your life and stays within you.. I’ve learned through my experiences as I turn 17 this year, that depression is just a sign to lead you out to light again, to lead you to the right path, telling you what you’re doing.. this is wrong, and that is right, so do it, follow it and let your heart shine within, that’s all what there is to it.
;)
Good Luck everyone! Fighting..!! and live a healthy lifestyle ^^!!
Please wish me luck on my Physics exam tomorrow this is my final year at school i’m a senior and I must get good grades. :)

 
Comment by Cassie
2014-02-11 17:00:45

Colour makes me super happy and visual reminders of happiness. So like on pretty coloured paper making posts of what makes me happy and photos of friends. Just looking at the colour peppermint green just makes me smile instantly. Writing lists of things to do when you’re sad. Sometimes it’s hard to remember what makes you happy in those states so visual reminders are there to pick you up instantly :)

Thanks for this great post. I’m ready to break away from suffering.

 
Comment by Hollie
2014-03-04 09:09:50

It’s so good to read all the different ways you all deal with this awful thing that darkens our days (and nights…). I’m grateful to not be alone in this.Thankyou for helping others with your words. I am having a really hard time doing all the things I know that would help with my depression. It’s like trying to drag yourself through mud. It’s so easy just to hide from the world and stay inside.

 
Comment by Marley B
2014-06-17 01:57:23

I researched this page because I’ve been denying then dealing with this for quite some time now. It was helpful and encouraging I must admit but what if you are at a point where you do not have it in you to do any of those things? I have so many reasons for needing to attempt them but if I do one it just doesn’t last and then I’m right back to here…the inability to get out, activity, move, get up, and so much more. I was never depressed in my life until the past couple of years and I am really trying here to see a benefit for my family. I want to be who I used to be and I don’t see a possibility for that and it’s so unfathomable to me

Comment by Noemi Tasarra-Twigg
2014-06-17 02:06:22

I’m sorry to hear that. Maybe you can approach someone for help – a close friend or family member? Even better, you can look for a good counselor/therapist so you can at least have someone to talk to and then see where you can go from there.

 
 
Comment by Shar
2014-07-20 18:54:18

Thank you for your insights and suggestions. I’m going to focus on how I can benefit from going through depression.

 
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