Managing depression! :)

Call it what you will, mental illness, more specifically depression, is one of the most insidious afflictions one could have. I speak from years of personal experience, and while some days are much tougher than others, eventually things do get better.

The following are some of the tips that have helped me over the years:

Have an outlet for your frustrations 

In all likelihood you might not enjoy what you used to, in this case it's time to find new interests and hobbies that might help in the interim. For me that outlet is writing, as my main one - music - gradually twisted from a passionate activity into a painful chore.

Keep your environment clean

The spaces we inhabit are often a reflection of our state of mind. In the case of depressed individuals, if your room is messy it is most likely because your mind is as well. Do your best to pick things up and do a little here and there. If you are dealing with a massive undertaking try busting it into smaller tasks, maybe just start with making your bed and go from there. 

Maintain personal hygiene 

When you're blue, the last thing on your mind is taking care of yourself. This is one of those things that you need to force yourself to do rain or shine, like medicine it'll help your state of mind. Shower, brush your teeth, floss, brush your hair, the whole nine yards daily. 

Sleep on a regular schedule 

Our hormones are constantly fluctuating, the advent of technology has thrown that balance in the trash with lights and electronics that never turn off. In order for your body to produce and maintain many of your vital hormones and chemical processes – you need to sleep on a regular schedule. Turn everything off after a certain hour.

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Get as much light as possible 

Sunlight or light in general can boost one's mood. Do your best to get at least 15-20 minutes a day of direct sun. If you can't manage that turn on overhead lights in your room whenever you're awake.

Exercise daily as much as possible

This is the last thing most people want to do in this state of mind, start small with as little as 5 minutes a day, build up from there. The serotonin boost + endorphins from breaking a sweat can really elevate your mood.

Listen to happy music

A constant stream of sad music will only reinforce a depressed mindset, try to bust out of that with happy music in any genre you find appealing. I find Bob Marley, Collie Buddz, and Matisyahu great for uplifting oneself.

Relax

Take some deep breaths and realize that whatever you're feeling, it's only temporary, you just need to get through this rut. Don't down yourself and do whatever you need to in order to relax, the world won't end while you're helping yourself feel better.

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Be around and / or talk to people

This is probably one of the toughest on the list, if you're depressed you most likely don't want to be seen by people who knew you at your best. If you're unable to be around friends, try going to the mall alone, or at least spend time with people online through chatrooms / forums.

Work 

Sometimes you just need to escape into an activity, even if it isn't pleasurable initially, that mental break from anxiety and feeling blue can be a welcome reprieve. Pretend Sean Connery is yelling at you, do whatever it takes!

Supplement with vitamins and proper foods

Sometimes a chemical imbalance can reinforce your condition, getting a basic daily vitamin as well as something like St Johns Wort can boost your mood. Don't eat any refined foods, the rule of thumb is that if there are more than 3 ingredients, don't eat it. 

Keep a journal 

Try penzupost – a free online journal. Depressed people are often victims of vicious cycles, by studying your own thinking you can take shortcuts to relief by trying what worked in the past.

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Prepare to fall down

With major depression it's inevitable, you can't just snap out of it overnight, but on your good days you can prepare yourself for the coming storm, this way you won't be blindsided and you can always get back up.

Don't be afraid

We are all much stronger than we allow ourselves to think. In this state of mind the most minor of tasks may seem like mountains. You're much stronger than you think you are, take a deep breath, you can do it.

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I can't say every item on here will apply to you, or if it will work completely, but if you do enough of them you can put yourself on a virtuous cycle, rather than a negative one.  

For those who are having a hard time hang in there! :)

-JMinor

 

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Growing up, my mother was bi-polar. This is Really good advice. Thanks for sharing, I hope the message reaches those in need.

I definitely know where you're coming from, I think I might have bi-polar tendencies myself. Hope your mom is doing better, it's not an easy thing to cope with for the person with the affliction, and even more so for their family. Thanks for the awesome comment! :)

 I'm at the library since my home internet is down lol, but I'll attempt to get back to anyone as soon as I'm back here, thanks everyone for reading! :)

Very nice advice I have been depressed for the majority of my life and some of the stuff on this list has helped me in the past. Also life sucks most of the time but its worth putting up with for that 10% it doesn't.

One more note that I dont think was mentioned is that some people get depressed because of the people they hang out or live with, if they are always yelling at you, and telling you how horrible and imperfect you are, then you need to rid your life of these people, and be with those positive individuals.

Most importantly always find a way to make your actions affect others in a positive way. Live the life you want, not the life they want you to live, you are the only one that knows what makes you happy, and stop comparing yourself to your past, you are in control of the future. 

Having good friends also helps.

The friends I have now, basicly saved me from doing uhh bad things for the rest of my life you could say.

Just adding onto what trillobite said I guess.

Thankyou for the advice, im not particularly sure whether i count as having depression, but i am usually a very happy outgoin person, however over the past month my life has crumbled around me so to speak, many a bad decision has reflected on the way people view me , aswell as the death of a good friend of mine have all impacted on my life. But again, thanks for the advice!

You might find this an interesting read:

http://games.on.net/2011/10/depression-and-gaming-a-personal-journey/

Here is the question: Do you sacrifice personal integrity and principles just to avoid depression? Do you accept being ignorant and oblivious to avoid depression?

I agree with most of what you said, even though I wouldn't go all the way to "listening to happy music" and taking dietary supplements. That kind of sounds like NewAge BS (but it's fine if it worked for you).

I think the essential element resumes to this, and Voltaire would agree:

Do shit.

Do constructive shit, anything to take your mind off things. Read a book from time to time. Lose yourself in your job completely. Learn a new skill compulsively. Exercise A LOT. Regular bed hours work also. But do shit. Do shit just for the escapism, but do not forget why you're doing it, because your subconscious mind will accuse you with internal conflicts, it will try to convince you that you're lying to yourself.

Do shit, eyes wide open. You'll then realize that by extending the expression of your being, that "hurt" inside you will be relatively much smaller compared to the rest of the things that define you now, when it used to overwhelm your entire being. Like a snake shedding its skin, you'll progressively outgrow your wound.

Thanks for the awesome comment, I'm sorry to hear that you're grappling with that as well! You hit it on the head, the little good that does happen always seems to make up for the bad :) Hope you're on the upswing soon!

You make some great points, poisonous people are definitely some that need to be avoided if you can help it. We're here for just a blip of time, you're entirely right in your sentiments on living your own life! :)

Thanks for the great comment, I agree fully, a few good friends can make all the difference, especially when things do get that bad. :(

No problem, I'm really hoping you'll be doing better soon. Life has a way of throwing alot of crap at us, and the death of loved ones can make it that much harder. Hang in there! :) Anytime

Amazing article!

Well, that's a tough one haha. Going out to Cali from Wisconsin this past year made me realize how corrupt the music industry actually was, 8 years of chasing a dream turned out to be a baseless fantasy. Often the best we can do is salvage something out of it and keep our heads up. Don't lie to yourself if it causes unhapiness, it's a difficult question to answer whether or not you should in order to be happy though. That's why many people flock to faiths and religions. You'll make the right decision in the end, but be sure you're doing it for you! :)

Being a musician, I'd say music has a much deeper emotional effect on me than alot of people. It won't necessarily be the case for everyone :) I however am a strong believer in dietary supplements, even the "act" of treatment can have beneficial placebo effects. Any major in neuroscience will be able to tell you that certain chemicals can cause neurosis or even psychosis, I think negating an entire field of medical research would not benefit anyone.. unless that field was causing you depression lol! Valid points though for consideration.

Those are great suggestions and I agree fully, more than one way to skin a cat, we see eye to eye on alot of points! :)

Thanks for the awesome comment I think having the community feed into this to provide what works for them will only help more people! :)

Doing contsructive stuff works, however only for a short time, when my friend died i took apart and rebuilt everything in my room, took my mind off it for a few hours but as soon as i ran out of stuff to do everything came flooding back to me. And J, id be interested in hearing some of your music if you have it online, heck if its electro music i know a relatively famous guy called HDmusicnexus who might be able to promote you