Suggestions for Depression
anonymous, Dec 09, 2004
Depression is different for everyone. There are different cases, different studies and different methods for escaping depression. Usually there is no quick fix. Americans are being prescribed more anti-depressants everyday, and they�re not always necessary. Zoloft, Paxil, Lithium, Prozac, and all the rest are all household names. Something must be wrong with our culture when medication is the first and foremost option for depression. The following self-help suggestions are not expected to work for everyone, however they may give you a start if you are facing depression issues. The information is based upon my own experiences as well as the experience of others that I have talked to. For other more in-depth resources, check out the following web pages, or search for �depression� on the internet. You may be surprised to find out how much advice is really out there:
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Treat your body right. A lot of times the balance of your chemical make up gets thrown off, and an overabundance or lack of specific nutrients can make you apathetic, tired, and depressed. Sometimes, apathy and tiredness can knock you down and keep you down. You�d get up, but you�re too tired, so you lay around and then the day ends. Eat right! Eat well in the morning and throughout the day. Get vitamins or herbal teas. Limit your intake of sugars, alcohol or drugs. Get enough sleep. This is the basic stuff. Give yourself enough energy to get up and do something enjoyable and you just might. Changing my diet in the last year has done WONDERS in my own emotional state. That whole �Four Food Groups� thing really works!
Sometimes getting up is half the battle. In the past, I have declined going to parties for the mere fact that I was depressed at the time. Sometimes, even though I don�t feel like going out with friends upon being invited, I go anyway. And most of the time, guess what, I have a great time and am glad I went. Yes, I know this suggestion is sometimes easier said than done. But do try. It may work. My friends� mother, who was hospitalized for depression, said that even when you don�t feel like doing the things you like to do, do them anyway. Go out with your friends. Read your favorite author. Work on your motorcycle. Play piano. Go on a bike ride. Travel out of town for a few days. Whatever it is you like to do, and you don�t necessarily FEEL like doing it, try doing it anyway.
Have too much to do? Don�t see a break ahead? Let�s face it, American life asks a lot from our time, and sometimes we have to eliminate certain responsibilities from our lives to give us some breathing room. Write a list of all the things you have to do on a weekly basis. Start crossing things off. Sometimes there just aren�t enough hours in the day, and you may have to make some sacrifices. Can�t make it to the Laundromat this weekend? Ask a friend if they could take your laundry with theirs this week, and you can return the favor next weekend. Friends are great for favors like these. Have a paper due in a class, or a project due for work? Ask your boss or teacher if you can get an extension. The worst they can say is no, but you never know unless you ask. If you don�t think you can eliminate anything from your ultra busy routine, think about it again. Do you HAVE to clean the garage out this week? Do you HAVE to go all the way across town to get that outfit you want this week? Is the world going to come to an end if you don�t? These are good questions to ask yourself because they may put things into perspective. If you stop doing anything, the world�s not going to end. There is a lot of fluff that surrounds the really important things we have to do.
If you know what the thing is that makes you depressed, eliminate that thing, no matter how hard it is. Quit your job if you really do hate it. It may pay all right money, but what�s the point of working there if it makes you miserable? If your significant other really does make you so unhappy, maybe you shouldn�t be with him/her. I know how hard this can be sometimes, when you are stuck in that paradox of loving someone and despising them at the same time. No matter how much you love them, if you shouldn�t be with that person, then don�t. Ask yourself if you can see yourself being with them for forever. If not, and things are getting worse between the two of you, then get out of it. Often times this is really hard. Really really goddamn hard. But remember that oftentimes the only person who can liberate you is yourself. If you can break free, yes, it might be really hard at first being without them, but you�ll be so much happier later on, when you have moved on with your life. And when you are able to come to terms with losing all the �good� things for the benefit of being overall happy, it�s probably worth it.
Also, if you need to get out of a place that makes you miserable, then get out. In my own experience, I have been miserable in the city I was in. I always wanted to get out, except the things that kept me there were really hard to let go of. I was afraid of leaving my friends, my decent-paying job, my good apartment, and my significant other. But still, I wasn�t happy where I was. I had to make certain sacrifices, because what I really wanted was elsewhere. I left it all behind, and you know what, it really did work. The only reason it worked at all is not because I was running away from my own issues, but because the thing that depressed me�the place I lived�had to be eliminated. One day I just decided, and thirty days later I had tied up all my loose ends, and found myself living thousands of miles away. I know this is easier said than done in most cases, but oftentimes the hardest part is DECIDING to do it once and for all. Decide to eliminate that depressing factor in your life. �In X amount of time I will remove _____ from my life.� Then do it. Take confidence in your abilities.
More helpful advice can be found at www.mentalhealth.com/book/p40-dp01.html along with other self-help lists available on the internet. Try medication as a last option. Research and discussion with people you trust will often enlighten someone contemplating the use of medication. At least they provide a certain amount of educated confidence when entering new territory that is usually a little scary. Hereditary depression and chemical imbalances often require medication, but if you can avoid it, good. Try thinking about what it is that brings you joy, the moments, the people, the activities, and do your best to increase them. Surround yourself with your friends, take more walks, trade in your TV hours for real experiences. Just try it, you may be surprised how easy changing your life really is.
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