How to Help Yourself if You Are Depressed
“It affects the way you think. It affects the way you feel. It just simply invades every pore of your skin. It’s a blanket that covers everything. The act of pretending to be well was so exhausting. All I could do was shut down. At times you just say ‘It’s enough already.’”
-Steve Lappen, Writer
Depressive disorders can make one feel exhausted, worthless, helpless, and hopeless. It is important to realize that these negative views are part of the depression and do not accurately reflect the actual circumstances. Negative thinking fades as treatment begins to take effect. In the meantime:
- Engage in mild exercise. Go to a movie, a ballgame, or participate in religious, social, or other activities.
- Set realistic goals and assume a reasonable amount of responsibility.
- Break large tasks into small ones, set some priorities, and do what you can as you can.
- Try to be with other people and to confide in someone; it is usually better than being alone and secretive.
- Participate in activities that may make you feel better.
- Expect your mood to improve gradually, not immediately. Feeling better takes time. Often during treatment of depression, sleep and appetite will begin to improve before depressed mood lifts.
- Postpone important decisions. Before deciding to make a significant transition–change jobs, get married or divorced–discuss it with others who know you well and have a more objective view of your situation.
- Do not expect to ‘snap out of’ a depression. But do expect to feel a little better day by day.
- Remember, positive thinking will replace the negative thinking as your depression responds to treatment.
- Let your family and friends help you.