For those of you who suffer from depression, how do you deal with it?
I've been dealing with depression for years and it has gotten worse recently. Any tips on good ways to deal with it?
I dealt with it for years, too, and then I tried to kill myself last year. it didn't work, obviously. I got on anti-depressants, and they got me out of the hole I had been in. You might want to look in to them.
r1 - glad to hear you're still around. I'm on antidepressants, but I'm bipolar can't be on a strong dosage because it could cause a manic episode. I've been wanting to exercise, but am struggling because I feel too down to go to the gym.
Try to find things that interest you, that you love, and immerse yourself in that. Try to keep your contact with negative people and things to an absolute minimum.
Don't feel the only exercise you could possibly do is at the gym. I think that keeps many people away from it--they feel shamed by the hard-bodies at the gym or overwhelmed by having to get exercise gear, a gym membership, etc. Start with walking. if you walk at a reasonably rigorous pace 45 minutes a day 5X a week you will (a) lose weight by raising your metabolism; and (b) get those endorphins flowing and thus curb your depression.
It's much better just to walk 5X a week then to sit at home and berate yourself for not going to the gym to do hardcore weight training (or cardio). Build up to that eventually, maybe; but first take it slowly and in steps.
It's difficult to get yourself out of that hole unless you have the right medication. Make sure you're going to a good doctor not a quack and don't self medicate. If you start to feel better try to do be of service to others in some way. That seems to be helpful to a lot of people.
"the observer is the observed"
The minimal look is in.... if you have been depressed for years, I will guarentee your house is cluttered. Bag or box up everything you have not used in 2 years and put it in the garage or storage unit. If you still have not needed it a year from now, discard it.
To sort and make decisions about throwing away items is overwhelming... to put them in escrow for a year makes it easier to do so.
You need to get rid of clutter.... books you haven't read, projects you have not started, clothing you can no longer fit in because you have gained weight, items that are broken you mean to fix but haven't... bad shopping choices you bought and paid too much for and they turned out to be junk. Who would not feel depressed with all that accusing possessions sitting around reminding you that you are lazy, fat and stupid and spend too much money on foolish purchase. Clean out your house, and you will feel better.
Plus just getting up and moving around will help the depression.
There is some very good advice being offered--antidepressants, exercise, minimizing time with negative people, and decluttering have all worked wonders for me.
I suffer from mild depression from time to time. Things that help get me out of the hole are:
Taking long walks through interesting neighborhoods.
Immersing myself in a really good book. I will even reread my favorites and have read some of my favorites multiple times. (Fond of 19th century literature).
Put on my favorite music and sing along. Broadway show tunes are good for that.
Go to the beach or get out in nature.
"Enlightened", on HBO
Mindfulness, neurofeedback, behavioral activation
So many good ideas. Try them all OP, you will find one that helps. In my experience, depression as a condition rarely is cured, but you can find ways to get it to STFU.
You must watch this upon rising and then again just before bedtime.
What r5 said - moderately increasing your activity levels will definitely boost your general sense of well-being, even if just a little. In addition to exercise and healthy eating, I also maintain a low-level opiate habit to help manage my mood. I wouldn't recommend it for everyone (or anyone, really) but I think I'd be dead without it.
Plenty of rest, but not too much.
What another poster said about walking. I also find yoga helps.
Finding the right meds.
Find a really good psychiatrist (at a top psychiatric hospital if possible) for medication and referral to counseling. Do what they recommend in consultation with you. Exercise at least a half hour a day, do yoga (Kripalu is good), and practice mindfulness. Your life will improve immensely, but you have to do the work and keep doing it once you feel well (you should always be monitored by a psychiatrist, even if it's just a telephone call every couple of months). At least for me, there was no one fix for that lasted.
For me: pick one thing to do a day to get myself out of my space: a little walk, browse books in a library. I don't make these big long lists because that will just overwhelm me and make me feel worse. And, seeing a medical professional helps. Don't be afraid to let a friend know you are struggling. No shame in feeling this way. Keep in touch OP. Please know you are not alone. XO
If you feel you can make the commitment, get a dog. If you don't feel you can make the commitment, borrow a friend or a neighbor's dog for one or two walks a day.
welbutrin helped me when I was in a bad place.
Tried otc herbal remedies first but they didn;t work for me:
OP go get help. Don't wait it doesn't get better on it's own.
Are there any new skills you've always wanted to learn? Pick something that you can practice or work on a little each day, and go for it. It will help get your mind out of the funk and give you a sense of pride and mastery.
Great idea  on borrowing a dog for a walk. Owning is a big step-it's like having a 2-year old toddler 24/7 from my past personal experience but now I walk/dog sit my friend's pembroke welch corgi on weekends and feed him donuts holes on a stop over to Duncan Donuts. win-win for both of us.
There are many nutritional problems with mental health disorder that are swept under the rug because you can't make money off of an amino acid or a vitamin.
look for a functional medical doc and do dome research on nutritional deficiencies in depression and bipolar disorder.
The UltraMind Solution: The Simple Way to Defeat Depression, Overcome Anxiety, and Sharpen Your Mind
MD Mark Hyman gives you some ideas
I agree with walking. Find a podcast or music to listen to, plop in the earbuds and walk for 30-45 minutes.
My step sister works in that field and she said the Logotheraphy, developed by Victor Frankl, is very very effective. I have no further idea about it though
I found a good therapist and gradually learned why I behave the way I do which enabled me to find out where I really want to go in life and figure out how to get there. Finding a good therapist is the best thing I ever did for myself. I only suggest anti-depressants if you are currently seeing a therapist on a regular basis, and using them only as a last resort having been in therapy for a considerable length of time with no success.
R1 here again. Good advice re: cleaning out the house. I was in the midst of a move, and boxed up a LOT of clothes and brought them to a corner where I knew a lot of homeless people congregated. I also left things I no longer needed -- like a bread machine, blender, etc -- and left them on the street. Almost everything found a way to a place where they will be used, which made me happy. It feels great to unload a lot of things you no longer need. I'm off medication now, am not depressed, but I'm still not convinced that I won't try to kill myself again. I think I probably will, but with a more fail-proof plan. Some lives are just meant to end, I'm not too worried about it.
Pot, pot with some good music and friends, and yes, I'm being totally serious.
Prayer, strangely. A robust form, like chanting. Anti-depressants are usually vital, as it is often organic AND NOT YOUR FAULT
Think about the taste of butterscotch from Chris Meloni's hole!
I moved out of NYC.
Celexa and exercise. I water jog in a pool. I love the water so it works for me. If a miss a few days I can feel the lethargy slowly building and I get very anxious. I hate being this way but it is genetic and there is no escape from that.
A combination of an AD, taking care of myself physically (diet exercise, quality sleep) but I was also welcomed by a great church and have found that focusing on my spiritual side has helped very much.
Oh, and taking up a hobby to replace my Internet addiction. I love painting.
When I feel depressed I kick back and enjoy the hell out of it. I have food delivered, I enjoy pay for view and sometimes I have a naked friend over for some sad sex.
"naked friend over for some sad sex"
I'm depressed and bipolar..I crash and burn constantly. It was ok and kept reasonably checked with plain old celexa until I was put on heart meds and had to get off it. Now I'm a fucking mess. Find the right combo of medication and stay with it
Do NOT listen to the armchair scientists here who shriek "Anti-depressants are super powerful drugs! And they don't work!", as if both can be simultaneously true. Just because you or anyone else doesn't know a lot about SSRIs, don't assume that confers an expertise on depression!
Try anything and everything. Exercise is great, but don't expect it to sure major cyclical depression alone. I worked out four or five times a week and worked on my feet, and still had a nervous breakdown ten years later. I basically didn't think that what I was experiencing WAS depression, so I never treated it as such. I thought SSRIs would "dope me up", which of course is the furthest thing from the truth. As long as a recommendation is an action, TRY IT!
Great advice here. Exercise is key - even on those days when I'm feeling down and I really, REALLY don't want to, I feel better after I've ran, or whatever. Like I've accomplished at least one thing.
Another - change your routine. Routine is the biggest killer for me. I did it by changing up the several streets I walked to work. It's easy to get caught in a very small world - those few miles between work and home.
Oh yes, I will marry r7. Oh yes I will, oh yes I wil, oh yes I will.
Listen to this song (preferably on one of your walks)
I've suffered from it all my life. What makes me cope is to discover the underlying issues. I had to work on my self-esteem big time! I stubbornly seek to love myself first of all; then work on loving my fellow human beings. (Because if I cannot love myself, how in the world can I love anyone else?)
Happiness, for me, is an inside job. I cannot rely on other people in this critical matter.
Also found out my depression may come from body chemistry imbalance.
Finally, I use spiritual inspiration from all the wise persons of the past and present. I choose to believe in a loving, all-powerful God!
Glad you asked I have been off mess for two years and haven't had any issues tonIght I freaked put. Got to crying my eye put. Wanted to die. Sat in the dark considering death and noe I feel exhausted and down but not as morbid. I am lost
Got anything for schizotypy, R23?
work on improving your diet. I've cut out refined sugars, dairy, and caffeine and now I feel much less depressed. It's a sacrifice, but it's worth it.
yeah, yeah, self esteem, yeah, yeah, cut out carbs and fats, yeah, yeah, do yoga, yeah yeah get a pet...no, but don't.
Most of the answers are in this bittle oddle.
I am not a stupid guy and have a psychiatrist in my family. I have had the same Doctor since I was 18 and I had a slammin sports bod for most of the last 25 years, turning into fit fat in the five years of my depression.
So, yes ALCOHOL for real can be a great mood elevator and is the best psychological pain killer known to man. Doctors don't like to say this, but they know it is true.
Benzo's, as in small dose clonazepam or ativan are great anxiety and sleep aids. Sleep and escape are essential for recovery.
SSRI's are not really great, and no reputable clinician can even explain what they do or how they work. Some speed you up, some slow you down, but all just put you in a haze of unawareness. They do help some people some time? Welbutrin was good for me if I never intended to stand up again. Avoid them. Antidepressants are the greatest fraud of the last thirty years. Alcohol and sleep aids do better without the myriad brain and body freaks of SSRI's.
I am not being flip. Drink some and don't feel guilty, and get proper sleep and anxiety aids. Benzo's are best and are harmless in comparison to antidepressants. Addiction is easier to overcome than suicide.
Walk, even if inside, dance when a bit drunk, do some squats and push ups and sit ups. This is the only health regimen you need for now. Lovers and family can support unless they are the problem or unavailable. They probably are.
Geographical changes are worthwhile if you are unhappy in your home or city or miserable in your job. Get some feel good juice in you first. Don't think too hard, drink dance eat and sleep. Anger and answers and tears will come.
Force yourself to listen to music, forget books and nutritional cures for now. Sex is out.
Buy whatever makes you feel good without robbing a bank. Great underwear, expensive seafood or the biggest fucking TV on the planet. Weed is not so great when depressed. Cocaine is too risky. Whiskey and Vodka are perfect. Wine is too social and sleepy. Hard liquor is required. I am serious.
Don't undertake anything that you are likely to fail with in your state - as in volunteering, or a new dog, yoga, or a depressive boyfriend.
Read or watch history and biographies, don't pressure yourself to enjoy fiction or even films. Porn is fine, if inclined.
Eat oranges and chocolate and popcorn.
Of course get some professional support. A doctor or therapist or even a psychiatrist. Avoid yoga instructors, natural health practitioners and group therapy.
However vitamin D and a multivitamin can do you no harm. Any other supplements are nonsense.
Alcohol and small dose benzodiazepines are your friends. People out here will argue this, but they are incorrect or inchoate on anti-depressants.
Lastly, do not compare yourself to others, don't even look in the mirror for a while but shower and shave EVERY day. You do not have to get dressed, but should wear your best underwear and favorite t-shirts, comfort clothes.
This advice is not for everyone, but is a personal plan for you and I promise you will feel better.
Don't drink more than four times a week but never less than two. Make sure you drink enough to get a lift, 4 to 8 drinks, 10 maximum.
The benzo's must be taken every day, but only one for anxiety and the rest for sleep. It is fine to stay up all night for a while, you will know what makes you feel safe and better. Know that somethings are temporary but there is no such thing as normal. People lie and justify all the time. You will remain able to appear to be fine to others when needed on my plan.
I now eat better, work out hard and am deeply in love and work. Accomplished.
I still believe in drinking and sleep aids over antidepressants and some social avoidance over hospitalization and fuck you comforts and professionals over well wishing new age idiots.
This prescription is for you. Do not defend it to others, just do it.
I don't know if I suffer from depression, I guess the "normal" -I feel down today- everybody gets every now and then, so I don't know if I can give good advise.
I agree though with some posters in recommending long walks. Preferably on the beach, the woods or other nice areas. I used to read Charles Bukowski a lot when I was younger, he went through so much shit that my problems seemed laughable.
Listening to music you like is also good or watching favourite movies. Gardening, cooking, playing with pets - any uplifting hobby helps.
Zoloft, my partner, good friends and my dog all have big roles for me.
I've suffered from depression and anxiety since childhood. I've been on various antidepressants since I was 16(I'm now 41)I was most recently on Zoloft and an older drug now used for anxiety called Stelazine. I was doing ok till I turned 40 and I had a panic attack unlike anything I can recall having since I was a kid, it was so bad I was kinda ok with dying that night. I eventually(sort of) got over it but the after effects remained and the pills I was taking didn't seem to help as much anymore so I wanted to switch to something else.Unfortunately the clinic where I see my counselor is in a really small town and can't keep a doctor so I was sent to a nurse practitioner well she took me off everything and gave me a starter dose of Welbutrin and then decided to quit her job! So now I'm on nothing and my anxiety has grown to the point I'm having usually at least one panic attack a day and the hypocondria I suffered from as a child has returned bigger and better than ever and along with it a wide variety of strange neurological symptoms for me to obsess over that the internet says could be related to antidepressant use, And because I'm poor and live in Hooterville I can't see a shrink to get on anything new. So if you're going to be crazy be rich and live in a city!
I need an SSRI. Prozac is the best for me in terms of minimizing side effects.
Wellbutrin worked for me for a while but unfortunately stopped working.
But, OP, what works for one person is not going to work for another, and not everyone is clinically depressed so as to need medicine. Although I am someone who needs it, I would be the first to agree that it is over-prescribed.
Outdoor exercise in the morning. That blast of sunlight in my face does wonders for my mood, and if I work out hard enough (run, walk, swim) the endorphins are the jumpstart I need to get me through the day. I also sleep better when I work out.
I live in the northeast and it's cold, icy and snowy right now, but I can usually find a decent place to at least walk. My gym has an outdoor heated pool that's heaven to me. It's about 90 degrees, so even this past weekend when it was 16 degrees outside, I was able to swim outside for 45 minutes.
[quote] Don't drink more than four times a week but never less than two. Make sure you drink enough to get a lift, 4 to 8 drinks, 10 maximum.
This sounds like a lot of fun, at least in the beginning, but I really don't think it will help long term. After a few weeks of even 2 or 3 drinks a day I start to feel bummed out, so I haven't had a drink since Xmas.
More stories please
do not drink.
It gets worse. Living a very joyless life right now where all I seem to do is work and paying off my students loans. Finding the energy to exercise is impossible. I hate the cold weather. And I hate that I've gained weight this year.