Overcoming Depression

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There is no ‘magic cure’ for depression, but most people do recover and enjoy life again. It helps to have support from other people, and to be patient about taking small steps and building on them.

Start by accepting that you are depressed and it’s not your fault. Being angry or critical with yourself will only make things worse. Telling yourself to ‘Pull yourself together’ or ‘Snap out of it’ won’t help. The key to overcoming depression is to break the ‘negative cycle’ of thinking where you become depressed or anxious about the fact you have depression. If you find this happening, try to stop the negative thoughts. Some people shout ‘Stop!’ in their heads, or imagine traffic lights on red. Try to give yourself more encouraging messages: ‘It’s not my fault I feel like this. I will get better – it takes time.’

Challenge your negative expectations. Depression makes you interpret events in the worst possible light: ‘My housemate didn’t speak to me when he came home – he’s annoyed with me’. Try to think of alternative explanations: ‘Perhaps he’s had a bad day... after all, he was quite friendly this morning.’ ‘Maybe he’s still hungover from last night.’ Then think which of the explanations is most likely.

Set yourself small and realistic challenges. Deciding you are going to write an essay in a day isn’t realistic if you haven’t been able to concentrate for weeks. Aim to work for a small amount of time (say, half an hour). Reward yourself for your effort. If you don’t feel you’ve achieved much, remember that you are one stage further on than when you started. When you feel ready, work for a little longer each day.

Try to establish a routine for meals, bedtime etc. and stick to it, even if you don’t feel hungry or sleepy. It’s important to eat healthily so that your body can fight infections and doesn’t become run down. Include something you like doing as part of your routine, even if you don’t have much enthusiasm at first.

Exercise, including gentle walking, can help to lift your mood. Again, set realistic goals.

Learn and practise relaxation techniques which can help reduce tension.

Talk to people. Some of your friends may be worried about you and want to help. If going out feels too difficult, try to arrange to meet for a coffee or talk to someone on the phone. Some people find it helpful to talk to other people who have experienced depression, e.g. on an internet chat-line.

Avoid alcohol and recreational drugs such as cannabis – they are likely to make you feel worse. Alcohol lowers your mood and recreational drugs will intensify your depression. Some people find herbal remedies helpful, but they can have side-effects. Seek advice before you take any non-prescribed medication.

 

 

For more information visit:   Oxford Brookes University



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The Have I Got A Problem website is a free online resource to help people better understand any issues or concerns they may have about mental health or addiction. The website includes resources specifically focused to; general Mental Health, Depression, Stress, Anxiety, Insecurities, Self-harm Schizophrenia, Bipolar, Anger Management, Eating Disorders, Coping, general Addiction, Alcohol, Smoking, Gambling, Drugs, Cocaine, Heroin, Marijuana (Cannabis) Ecstasy, PCP, Mephedrone, Ketamine & Crystal Meth.

The site was created to give the public information to help them understand mental health and addiction issues and to assist people in making better informed decisions about their life and personal choices.

www.haveigotaproblem.com was created and is run by 'Advising Communities’, which is a UK registered charity (Charity No. 1061055)

Quotes

"Depression is not our fault and it is a disease, I have suffered for years, but do believe we can help ourselves on the road to recovery, life needs to be lived, and we need to try and challenge the negative thoughts we get..."

Jack

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