10 Tips for Overcoming Depression

1.    Know yourself

You could pave the road to hell with the corpses of those who have been misjudged, misdiagnosed and generally misunderstood by doctors. Sure modern medicine has helped more people than its hurt, but doctors don’t always know their patients like they should.

That’s scary, but what’s much more scary is that patients don’t know themselves like they should.

No one should know you better than you know yourself. You have the upper hand. You are with yourself twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week and are privy to all the thoughts running through your head. If you don’t know yourself inside and out, then it’s time to start.

It’s likely that some depressions are caused by chemical imbalances and there are thousands and maybe even millions of doctors and patients who will be glad to tell you that.

However, the simple truth is that the principal cause of depression is under-fulfillment. It’s generally a situational problem.

People who are depressed are generally in a situation in which they believe they are unable to obtain the fulfillment, escape or improvement they desire.

Again, the scary thing is…many people who are depressed know they’re depressed, but aren’t aware of what they really want and the instigating problems. They don’t know what’s missing. 

If you’re depressed, before you read the label on a bottle of pills and learn about the latest designer drug, read your own label. Take a look inside yourself. You may find that the best medicine is already within your reach. It’s been inside you all along.

Figure out what you want and need. Identify the road blocks that are keeping you from obtaining those things and then find a way to get them.

Your best medicine could be the knowledge you get from self-examination.

2.    Improve yourself

One of the primary causes of depression is a lack of love for oneself sometimes even a sense of loathing and/or disappointment regarding ones own self-image.

Improving yourself serves multiple purposes.

First, if you are suffering from low-self esteem and lack the self-confidence and self-love to be happy, improving yourself may help you obtain those things.

Secondly, the stronger, smarter and more self-aware you become, the more adept you will be to take on any problem and meet any challenge head on. That includes depression.

You can read the LS Subject, Honor, for more tips on how to improve yourself.

3.    Fix your situation

Chances are, whether you are aware of it or not, your depression is being caused by your reaction to a less than ideal situation.

There are two solutions for this problem. You can fix the situation, or you can alter your reaction to the problem.

For example, you’re depressed at your university. You don’t particularly like anything about it and you’re feeling that you don’t fit in. To make matters worse, the work-load is killing you, you don’t like your major and your bouts of depression are making everything even more difficult.

Many people would say, take some anti-depressants and push through. 

Okay, maybe. But don’t you see?

This isn’t a random bout of depression at an inopportune time. This isn’t an unfortunate chemical imbalance. Your body is trying to tell you that you are really REALLY unhappy in your current situation. You need to change something.

For example, that same depression might be completely alleviated if you tough out the semester, doing the best you can and then switch universities and try starting over, maybe try a new major, in a place that seems more suitable and inviting. Chances are, this fresh start might be all you need to get your legs under you again.

Or perhaps you decide that this is definitely still the major for you and switching schools isn’t a realistic possibility, you can change your reaction to the negative stimuli. Become more positive. See the glass as half-full. Change bad habits. Be healthier. Treat yourself and those around you better.

If you are depressed there’s a very good chance you feel you are a prisoner in a prison of someone else’s design. No one wants to be in a prison. There’s no wonder why you’re miserable.

Pills are for Alice in Wonderland. The real cure is understanding the problem, taking a positive attitude, believing in yourself and enacting positive change. 

The LS List, 10 Brainstorming Tips and the LS Subject on Critical Thinking can give you critical tips on how to effectively examine your problems and brainstorm for solutions. 

4.    Be healthy

Simply being healthy probably won’t cure your depression, but it’s bound to help. Depression is often a combination of negative influences weighing down the afflicted.

Now if you’re smart, you can create a combination of positive influences to lift you back up.

Get enough sleep. Drink plenty of water. Get exercise. Stay sexually satisfied (if you can’t do it with someone else, do it yourself) Don’t smoke cigarettes, or cloud your thinking with too many drugs and too much alcohol.

Not taking care of your health can make you feel sluggish and depressed and then you’re just waiting for a few extra factors to drop you down a little lower.

Be proactive. Be strong and fit so your corporal form can be a better foundation for your mind.

You can read 35 Unhealthy Habits in LS Lists to realize some of the lesser-known pitfalls you should avoid.

5.    Delay medication

Unless it's an immediate matter of life or death, try to delay using medication to try to solve your problems.

Some people want to prescribe you medication. Doctor’s are trained to prescribe medication and there’s no secret that they are well paid for it.

Drug companies make millions or even billions of dollars every year from a multitude of pill-popping patients and people, as is their nature, will always look for the easiest solution first. They want a button they can push that will make them better and since that’s improbable, they turn to the next best thing, pills.

Though it’s not always true, here’s a general statement which usually is, “Pills don’t make people better. People make people better.”

If you think that statement is an exaggeration, consider it’s been scientifically proven that almost all hospital patients would get better on their own without drugs or the help of their doctor. 

The best a doctor can usually hope to do is ease the healing process and perhaps shorten it by a day or two. 

Do yourself a favor. Don’t rely on someone else to try to make you better. Make yourself better.

You’re not Humpty Dumpty! Don’t wait for someone else to put you back together.

You can do it if you only think, analyze honestly, plan and act with confidence and determination.

You may feel that you can’t reach out and touch your problems, but in a very real way, you can reach out and touch your life. It’s very likely that you can disassemble your depression there.

6.    Don’t withhold

Many people keep all their sadness, frustration, anger and dissatisfaction to themselves and it makes them sick.

People are not meant to hold onto things for too long.

For example, when honoring the dead, it’s nice to observe a short period of sadness, but holding on to that grief for too long is unwise, unhelpful and unhealthy.

When you have reoccurring anger, feelings of sadness or anxiety, these are problems you need to consider, examine and attempt to deal with. They are not issues to be set aside, or left on the unattended shelves of your mind.  They will weigh the shelves down, until they’re threatening to break and send the contents crashing down on your previously unburdened thoughts.

7.    Use a life script

Just like actors read scripts to learn their roles in television and movies, you can utilize this useful tool to help program yourself to star in your own life.

You can envision yourself as the ideal you, the hero of your story and then you can become that person, like an actor learning a role. Eventually this role stops being an illusion and becomes reality.

See LS Lists, 10 Reasons to Use a Life Script and LS Subjects, Life Scripts for more information.

8.    Love & Respect yourself

Many people, perhaps even the majority of the human race don’t like themselves very much. That’s a sad truth, but one that can be met with the simple acknowledgement that most people don’t analyze themselves and work to improve themselves very much. Perhaps the unfortunate lack of love isn’t as surprising as it initially seems.

It’s very important that you love and respect yourself. Few things are more important. That being said, this isn’t a love that needs to accept your immorality, laziness, lack of courage, weakness, etc.
If you are not worthy of your own love, attempting to love yourself won’t change that simple fact.

No. You must earn your own love, just as you would work to earn the love of another and sometimes our own love is the hardest to earn, because we know ourselves the best.

We all have our own individual set of foibles, weaknesses and shortcomings. If we did not have some level of acceptance of them, no one would love themselves. 

One can accept foibles, weaknesses and shortcomings, if one is trying to correct them, trying to improve and become a better person.

To have a deeper love of yourself, it is not desirable to accept all your imperfections as they are, but rather, to cherish yourself to the degree that you make a pledge of self-improvement to become what you are capable of becoming.

9.    Be productive

Some people lament that they are without purpose. They feel they serve no useful function.

They feel like an unused machine in some ancient corner of some dusty old shop.

It’s your life and the decisions are your own. Select goals and work to meet them.

You can get a hobby, or make a project and be productive for yourself, or you can be productive by putting more time, thought and energy into your family. You can even be extra productive for the company which employees you or volunteer to be a productive member of society by dedicating yourself to helping others. 

The goal is to give your life purpose and productivity, but try not to let someone else select your purpose for you. It’s yours to choose.

In the end, not every purpose given to you by another will still have meaning for you.

Don’t lose track of your own compass on the journey each of us must take. Let it guide you.

You can read 20 Ways to Boost Your Productivity in LS Lists, for more advice regarding maximizing your own productivity.

10.    Enjoy a hobby or hobbies

Many people feel they don’t have anything to do. There’s nothing to draw them out. They don’t have anything that makes them happy. They don’t have anything to hang their hat on, nothing to call their own.

Get a hobby!

Hobbies are wonderful opportunities to create, produce, get exercise, get out, socialize, think, be exposed to new ideas and new types of people.

It doesn’t matter if you cook, run, watch movies, play volleyball, write movie scripts, garden, play football, read poetry, start a business, take photographs, play Magic the Gathering or whatever. The opportunities to adopt a wonderful and exciting new hobby are nearly endless.

A good hobby is like a close friend and unlike some friends, most hobbies will always reward you for the time you spend with them. 


Comments sent

5 comment(s).
Truc Bac Dan Huong - 4/14/2018 2:15:07 AM
Improving yourself is always something you need to do even in a crisis. As such, we will feel life is always new.
Evelyn Vaglio - 12/10/2013 9:48:01 PM
For me, for overcome depression you have to talk about your deep feelings, even those that are dark like hate or angry. You have to accept them and you have to reconize that them are part of ourselves, because we are human being and vulnerables. Depression comes when you try to be perfect and then you realize that is not possible. We need to be brave and accept our own weakness, our humanity, and quit to look for one perfection that does not exit, only in our mind.
Gloriana Garita - 12/10/2013 7:00:36 PM
Depression is not a nice, neither healthy way of life, is an illness that eventually could affect anyone, but there are strategies really valuable to overcome this awful chapter in the life, beginning for self-knowledge, because if you know how you are you will be in a better position to fix any inconvenient or trouble and of course to make a better version of yourself. On the other hand if you keep yourself healthy and support yourself on your beloved ones for sure overcoming depression will be an easier challenge to face
Priscilla Robles Bermúdez - 12/8/2013 7:15:09 PM
Personally I share the # 3 manages your situation.
Since December last year I started working with my depression, because it was not what I wanted and what I did not like. I felt very frustrated and disappointed with me.
When I managed to change the situation or the situation changed in me, I managed to get out of depression.
Jose Manuel Monge - 12/3/2013 12:34:00 AM
To overcome depression in a reality where everything that is material seems to take a big part of our lives, we must know how to differentiate what is truly important. So many people get frustrated over superficial things like not having enough money or physical attributes that models have. The first thing people need to do is accept who they are and then be the best version of themselves they can be in every aspect. While becoming the best version of them they also need to be realistic about what and who they can be so they don’t get frustrated again, for example, no matter how much stretching a grownup does, that person is not going to grow ten centimeters to be taller. Also they need to stop worrying so much over trivial problems everyday life give them, like failing an exam or course in school or doing something wrong at work. We’re all humans, we’re not perfect, and we just have to give our best and never give up. For example, if a course is difficult, being depressed about not understanding the subject won’t help at all. Another thing that can help us overcome depression is do more of whatever makes us happy, like listening to music or seeing movies. Sometimes a little bit of quality time by ourselves makes a huge difference in our mood. Something very important is to have a positive attitude towards life and its difficulties, is like that saying: “If life gives you lemons, make lemonade”.

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