How can you get over being depressed?

United States
April 21, 2007 9:10pm CST
How can you try to be happy? Is it possible at all? Where does depression come from? Share with me what you think.
2 people like this
7 responses
@Sissygrl (10915)
• Canada
22 Apr 07
1) Get the Facts and Get Help. Web sites and books on depression abound. Find them and do some research. You need to know what you're dealing with. Learn all you can about depression, so you can make educated decisions about your own health, learn how others cope, and find what medical treatment is available. Many books have self tests to help you determine whether you are experiencing clinical depression or temporary sadness in reaction to an event. In addition to reading everything you can get your hands on, one of the most important things you can do for yourself is seek medical help right away. Depression is much too complicated for you to solve on your own. Clinical depression is a serious medical condition that is very complicated to treat. Often it is a physical problem that requires long term medication. In my own experience, it's taken years of medication, counseling, and practicing various self help methods to slowly emerge from it, and it's still a daily battle. Many people suffer needlessly from depression because they won't consult a doctor. If you're waiting for God to heal you, consider this: God gives scientists intelligence, which they often use to create helpful medicines; and He gives doctors wisdom to treat illnesses. Wise doctors and modern medicines are gifts from God and vehicles through which He often heals. Doctors can help you determine whether what you feel is truly depression, or if you are just reacting normally to a sad life situation. If you've experienced depression, you already know it is not an illness you can "snap out of," no matter what others may tell you. It's not something to be ashamed of either. Depression can be a serious physical illness caused by an imbalance of brain chemicals or other factors. Like any serious medical condition, depression needs to be treated. Without the proper treatment, none of my suggested coping strategies will do any good. 2) Get Focused. Feelings of hopelessness and helplessness pervade the life of a depressed person. The opposite of depression is a hopeful attitude. Focusing on hope and developing a hopeful heart is a must. It can be accomplished in a couple ways. One way is to search the Bible for the numerous Scriptures that tell how God has helped those who felt hopeless. It's helpful to memorize verses like these: Hebrews 4:15 (For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin.); 2 Corinthians 4:8 & 9 (All-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.); Matthew 6:34 (Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.); Isaiah 41:10 (Do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.); and John 14:27 (Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.). The story of Job and the book of Psalms are the most worn pages in my Bible. While at my lowest, I've read and re-read them more times than I can count. My fridge and the mirrors in my house are covered with sticky notes reminding me of how God intervenes in the lives of His people. Another way to focus on hope is by practicing positive self talk. This simply means telling yourself good things. I made a list for myself of positive affirmations like "God cares and understands my pain. God values me. God is giving me strength. I am made in God's image. I can choose my attitude. I choose not to put myself down. I'm a worthwhile person. I have a purpose. I enjoy life. I choose to be happy and I am competent." If you struggle with depression, I think you'll find it helpful to write down as many of these affirmations as you can think of and read them every day. Even if they're not currently true or you don't really believe them, it's okay. Say them to yourself anyway. Your mind will come to believe what you tell it, so tell it you are already the type of person you want to become. Be sure to remind yourself often that God is with you and He is pouring his strength on you. "Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance. ...For You are the God of my strength..." (Psalm 42:5 and 43:2 NKJV) 2 Corinthians 4:18 says we need to "fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal." Focusing on positive, heavenly things rather than earthly things will keep the feelings of hopelessness at bay. 3) Get Friendly. Fellowship with other people is a mood lifter. Being alone is the worst thing you can do when you're depressed. Unfortunately, it's usually the very thing I want most. Depression grows best in isolation. I find it very difficult to get out and socialize when I'm depressed, but if I push myself to do it, I'm almost always glad later. Some ideas for socializing include joining a club, taking a class, inviting someone to meet you for lunch, or visiting a nursing home to chat with the residents there. It especially helps me to be with friends who enjoy the same hobbies I do. Shopping, watching movies, and rubber stamping are some of the things I enjoy doing alone, but they're twice as much fun when I do them with friends. 4) Get Giggling. I collect cartoons and funny newspaper columns. I visit humor web sites online, watch funny movies, and read funny books. Best of all is laughing with friends. One of the reasons I enjoy my grandson so much is because he makes me laugh. I can act goofy with him and let go of my inhibitions. We dance and sing and make up silly rhymes. I have photographs of us wearing funny glasses with big black mustaches. I laugh every time I look at those. Laughing affects brain chemicals. It releases endorphins, which make you feel good. Chocolate does the same thing, but a good laugh is less fattening. A friend of mine, who had a very frustrating job, told me that one day she was inspired by someone who had a huge, bright smile. She decided to emulate that woman and smile at everyone she encountered. Right away, she realized that smiling was addictive. It seemed to make the time pass more quickly and she found herself less frustrated and more at peace. She told me, "It sounds corny, but it really works!" Paul wrote, "Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say rejoice!" (Philippians 4:4 NKJV) I've heard that a person can act her way into feeling better. Act happy, act glad, and it helps you to feel happy and glad. Paul exhibited this truth in his own life. Acts 16 tells how Paul and Silas were attacked, beaten, locked in stocks, and thrown into solitary confinement. Yet, at midnight, what were they doing? Feeling sorry for themselves? Asking God, "Why?" Moaning and complaining like I do? No, they were singing! Sure they were suffering, but they knew they were children of God. Paul may have even been remembering his personal encounter with Jesus on the road to Damascus. (Acts 22:10) They were praising God because they had been rescued from their sins, filled by the Holy Spirit, and added to God's family. No jailer could take that away. That was worth being grateful for, no matter what else happened to them. Even if they were to be killed, it would only send them to heaven. So why should they fear? That's some awesome faith, isn't it? 5) Get Rhythm. When I feel a case of the gloomies descending, that is not the time to play melancholy music. Positive upbeat tunes are in order -- the sort of music you might hear at a parade or a circus. Music gets your toes tapping and your blood flowing. It makes you want to sing. Singing and dancing sends a message to your brain that you're happy. Your brain is an actualizer. Whatever it "thinks" is true, it works to bring about. This is why positive thinking works. You tell yourself, "I'm happy" often enough and your brain accepts it as fact. It actualizes that truth, making it happen. I've found that when depression takes hold of me, I tend to ruminate on negative thoughts. Listening to good, Christian music with positive lyrics helps to pour good things into my brain and crowd those negative things out. There's a list of good things to ponder in the fourth chapter of Paul's letter to the Philippian church. It says to think about whatever is true, honest, just, pure, lovely, noble, right, or admirable. Philippians 4:8 says, "If anything is excellent or praiseworthy, think about such things." Christian music helps me accomplish this. 6) Get Busy We all need to feel like we're involved in something significant. We need to participate in something outside ourselves. You might consider volunteering at a local women's shelter or food pantry. I've enjoyed both and discovered that when I stay busy helping others and concentrating on their problems, I get a break from focusing on my own troubles. This is how HUGS and HOPE began. It started with a small effort to make a difference for one family and it grew. I've learned that joy boomerangs. When you give it away, it comes back to you. Helping others gives you the heart-warming satisfaction of knowing you are making a difference in the world. That will elevate your mood as well as your self esteem. 7) Get Physical This is two-fold. Physical exercise is good for us, but physical contact is equally important. Our bodies need to move to be healthy, and going for a walk is the easiest exercise for me to do when I'm depressed. It doesn't require as much energy and motivation as other activities. Breathing the fresh air and looking at the beauty of nature can
@Sissygrl (10915)
• Canada
22 Apr 07
7) Get Physical This is two-fold. Physical exercise is good for us, but physical contact is equally important. Our bodies need to move to be healthy, and going for a walk is the easiest exercise for me to do when I'm depressed. It doesn't require as much energy and motivation as other activities. Breathing the fresh air and looking at the beauty of nature can be helpful, and taking my dog along is even better. Just watching his ears flop as he bounces down the road in front of me often brings a smile to my face. Exercise affects brain chemicals, and the healing touch of physical closeness does too. If you're depressed, hug somebody - anybody, everybody! A hug is good medicine. It reduces stress and tension and it boosts your immunity to illness. Hugs raise self esteem and lower blood pressure. They feel good and make people happy. And they're free! Hugs are the universal language that communicates love and acceptance. They're healthy for the "hugger" as well as the "hugee." 8) Get Quiet I need to lean heavily on God's word and spend time with Him. When I pray, I talk things over with God. When I read the Bible and meditate on it, I hear Him speak to me and I contemplate what He says. I've found this to be one of the best anti-depressants there is. However, I need to add a word of caution here. Too much solitude can worsen depression. Isolating yourself and avoiding people can make depression grow. Don't use meditation time as an excuse to avoid human contact. Time with God is of the utmost importance, but balance between quiet time alone and time spent with others is essential. 9) Get Forgiveness – And Give it Too! I've read that many psychiatrists agree that depression is guilt or anger turned inward. David is an example of someone whose guilt led to depression. After committing adultery, he wrote, "When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long. For day and night Your hand was heavy upon me; My vitality was turned into the drought of summer." (Psalm 32:3-4) Sin makes you feel bad, but when you receive God's forgiveness, your guilt is removed; and often depression is removed too. Depression can sometimes be caused from the need to forgive someone else or yourself (whomever is making you angry). Grudges cause feelings of frustration, which aggravate the hopeless feelings of depression. When we forgive, we let go of past hurts and give up bitterness. Then depression has no negativity on which to feed. If you free yourself from feelings of hate and open yourself up to feelings of love, you may feel as if the depression is physically lifting off your shoulders. My friend Nance went through a difficult divorce, which left her bitter about the past, anxious about the future, and miserable in general. She harbored a lot of grudges and guilt, and she worried constantly. She felt the need to control everything in her life, yet she knew she couldn't. After attending a women's retreat, Nance realized what her negativity was doing to her.She released her worries, fears, anger, and resentments at the foot of the cross. Then she felt a renewal in her heart. She was happy and at peace. When she was dying, Nance told me that the most difficult thing she'd ever had to do was forgive – both her ex-husband and herself -- for past mistakes. She said forgiving was even harder than dying! Forgiveness isn't a simple one time event. It's a process that often takes time (sometimes years), but it's an important step to healing. Jesus taught forgiveness when he said we'd be forgiven in the same way we forgive others, and when he told Peter we should forgive, not seven times, but seventy times seven. Of course, Jesus also lived forgiveness. While hanging on the cross, he looked at his torturers and said, "Father forgive them for they do not know what they are doing." (Luke 23:34) 10) Get Thankful. When I'm depressed, I need to make a conscious effort to count my blessings. An attitude of hopelessness and discontent has a hard time competing with an attitude of gratitude. 1 Thessalonians 5:28 says, "In everything give thanks, for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." It's important to remember that depression is not fatal and it doesn't last forever. You WILL survive! Remind yourself that this cloud of despair will pass eventually. It may seem like there's no light at the end of the tunnel, but trust that there is; and be thankful for that, as you wait for the light to appear. So, while kisses from your husband (or a psychiatrist) may be great, they can't cure depression. But along with medication and the proper treatment, now you have some practical steps you can take for your own well being. There are times when one of these strategies may be more helpful than the rest. Other times, it may seem that none of them makes a huge difference. But I keep practicing all of them anyway, because I know they are steps toward a healthier lifestyle. Following them on a regular basis may not eliminate depression forever, but they help me to minimize their severity. These tips can be helpful for people who are not depressed too. They can be useful for anyone who is a little discouraged, a little blue, or needs to refocus on more positive things in life. http://ezinearticles.com/?Ten-Tips-For-Beating-Depression&id=49978
• United States
22 Apr 07
Thanks for the help.
@sirlot (2)
• United States
19 Mar 10
My condolences on the lows you are feeling. The first thing - assuming you were not abused as a child, and your depression has a large genetic component to it, then I would say it is likely you're going to be coping with your depression for a while. There was an article in the April 2009 issue of Psychology Today which highlighted how people live with depression (you can probably find it at your local library if you can't order a backissue). I'll share some coping strategies the people who suffered from depression used: 1. daily journaling, even when you have to prop yourself up to do it 2. artistic self-expression 3. acupuncture (5x a week) 4. trying different meds until you find one that works for you 5. self-help books and tapes 6. exercise - increases endorphins which help elevate mood (Source: http://www.zentactics.com/natural-remedies-for-depression.html) 7. learning to step away from your thoughts and become a 3rd party "observer" 8. If you have survived abuse, consider your current environment and how to change it (Source: http://www.zentactics.com/beating-depression.html) 9. "The best estimate is that 80% of people find substantial relief from their worst symptoms..." The good news is that there's a wide variety of treatments now available that can allow you to lead a normal life in spite of depression. Trying combinations of things worked best for the folks in alleviating their depression.
@Ronimas (699)
• India
22 Apr 07
Depression is related to the mind and the mind dominates the entire body. If the mind is sick it affects the overall health of the person because the mind influences all the activities of the body. Pessimistic thinking is one of the main reason for depression. Other than pessimism, inferiority complex can make a person seriously depressed. The main reason for depression is however the imbalance of various chemical secretions in the brain. Disinterest in doing work, irritability, anger, disappointment and being sad are problem of a depressed person. Trying to be happy is the best treatment, of course, to get over being depressed. Some best methods to try.... 1. Be optimistic: Always have a positive approach, whatever the conditions are. As you adopt positive behavior in every action. you will definitely feel happy. Think of the achievements in life and wipe out the failure. 2. Don't make a negative circle around you. 3. Don't sit idle, because a person sitting idle thinks vaguely. Try and find some work, which matches your interest or hobby. Do it whole-heartedly, this will increase the self confidence within you. 4. Exercise regularly. This will give sound sleep and balance the chemical secretion in the brain. However if you are a beginner, take the advice of a fitness expert. 5. Read good books, surf the internate; this will help in coping up with depression. 6. Practice YOGA to bring happiness in your life. For more resources please visit at: http://www.blogchex.com/health4inspiration
• India
22 Apr 07
see self help is the best help now a days.we can be happy,it is not impossible or rather too difficult it can be felt just by doing some simple modifications in our dialy habits.As for me even if some small disturbance arises in my mind i say to me in aloud manner that i am very happy. it may seem a little odd but just practise it because i knew the magic created when we say some thing repeatedly in a loud way.
@bluchic (93)
• Philippines
22 Apr 07
1. Try to think you're not the only one who's deppressed, there are lot's of people who's problems are real tougher than you. 2. Communicate to those people who are close to you, expressing you're feelings so that they can lend you an ear for sure and do their best to cope with you. Or seek counseling. 3. Listening to music can help you relax and unwind. 4. Go on with you're life, if you persist in living in the past and hanging on to negative memories, you'll put out strong negative vibrations that will only attract worthless people. 5. Learn to let go, hanging on to bad memories will only hurt you in the long run plus you'll miss the good opportunities that life may give you and can prevent you from enjoying what might be one of the best days in your life. 6. Smile,learn to smile and face the day in a positive way, one smile relieves a heart that grieves.
• India
22 Apr 07
Happiness is a absolute mental condition. You first try to say to youdelf "that i am happy". Lessen your expectations.Know how much your limits are. Listen to melodious songs. Go out n smell the fresh air, love the nature. See flowers and greenary, it will sooth your eyes. Take a bath for a long time under the shower. Make a girl friend, with whom you can share your emotions. With these i hope you can easily recover from depression.
@LovingIt (5398)
• United States
22 Apr 07
Depression is something that's extremely hard to overcome on your own. Whether the cause is because of a situation or whether it's because of chemistry, I would strongly suggest seeing a mental health professional. Don't settle for just being put on medication either -- I did that for years. Getting counseling and just having someone to talk to about it makes a world of difference.