Getting Through the Hard Times

Having depression, or any other mental illness, is always difficult. But there are some times that it is crushing What do you do when mental illness has you so far under its thumb you can hardly breathe?

Fighting mental illness when you’re really down is very difficult. But its very important to keep fighting and not give in to harmful thoughts.

The first thing to do is be gentle with yourself. Don’t expect too much out of yourself.

The second area to focus on is self-care.

-eat 3-5 small meals a day, getting lots of fruits and veggies

-stay hydrated by drinking 4-8 glasses of water a day

-exercise. Whether it be yoga, walking, jogging—whatever you enjoy doing.

The third area to focus on is negative thinking.

-identify negative thoughts and dispute them. You might be thinking, “I’m a loser, I can’t even clean my house.” I can clean my house when I feel better.”

-use positive affirmations (you can use those found at

Fourth, keep in contact with your mental health team. Go to therapy appointments and meet with your psychiatrist. If you are suicidal, it is vital to make contact with your psychiatrist. You can also call a suicide hotline, 1-800-273-8255. If you can find one, enlist in group therapy.

Fifth, stay connected to your friends and other people in your support network. Call or text people that you are close to. Maintaining connections with friends will help ease the loneliness and help you feel like you have allies in your fight against depression.

Sixth, read positive books such as Jen Sincero’s, “You are a Badass: How to Stop Doubting Your Greatness and Start Living an Awesome Life.” For a humorous take on mental illness, try Jenny Lawson’s, “Furiously Happy: A Funny Book About Horrible Things.” Another great book that is very easy to read is Fred Rogers, “The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember.”

Seventh, avoid alcohol and recreational drugs. These things just make fighting mental illness more difficult.

While fighting a mental illness when it’s really weighing you down is very hard, you can use the steps outlined to keep your head above water. The main thing is don’t give up. This will pass and you will feel better again.

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