We all find ourselves struggling with mental illness. Some of us experience it as a more temporary problem that doesn’t last terribly long. However, a lot of us experience depression that drags on and on.
What do you do when your depression won’t remit? When you’re mired down in a horrible funk.
Following are 10 tips to make things a little easier.
- Talk to your psychiatrist/doctor about what’s going on. They are likely to have suggestions for the best course of action.
- See your therapist. It is valuable to be able to talk things out. And they might provide some insight that you hadn’t considered.
- Be gentle with yourself. Don’t blame yourself for feeling bad. If you need a nap, take one. If you need to lie on the couch and watch tv, do that.
- Tune in to your self talk and replace negative thoughts with positive ones. Be especially aware of demeaning self talk and let it go. Check back in with yourself often to keep negative thoughts from creeping in.
- Distraction. Often keeping busy is a key to temporarily relieving your funk.
- Journal. Writing down your thoughts helps make the bad ones seem smaller. Along these same lines, you can right down things that you’re grateful for.
- Eat and drink healthy. Fill your body with things that are good for it. Drink lots of water and stay away from alcohol and recreational drugs. Exercise goes hand in hand with doing healthy things. Try taking a walk or engage in other physical activity.
- Reach out to friends and or family. Sometimes having a sympathetic ear is cathartic.
- Go out someplace. Sometimes getting out of your house helps you have a different perspective.
- Stay away from people that don’t understand your illness. These people may try to be helpful, but their suggestions are often trite and include things that just don’t work for fighting depression.
These suggestions are not a solution to your struggles, but they can possibly push your depression further away. And putting some distance between you and your illness feels good.
Depression steals your joy, and it often seems impossible to regain it. Remember that it will go away at some point. If it doesn’t remit, its time to brainstorm solutions with your doctor. You may need a new medication or procedure. But don’t struggle in silence. Involve understanding friends/family, your therapist and especially your doctor.
I have dealt with depression for over thirty years and these are the things I do to push it off a bit. Long-term depression is very difficult to deal with. Be easy on yourself—you’re doing the best you can.