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Topic: SELF HELP TIPS FOR MANAGING DEPRESSION

  1. Bobbi
    Bobbi avatar
    14 posts
    2 May 2016

    Hi everyone, I've read all the posts on this thread with interest and just wanted to add my own thoughts. I have suffered with depression on and off for many years. When I find myself depressed, my psychologist suggested making one or two goals per day. It doesn't matter what they are. I get a sense of achievement when I have done those tasks.

    Distraction therapy works well at times too. Talking to some friends online, looking at stunning photographs, 'visiting' a foreign country on google maps/earth, reading a good book, making myself a cuppa tea and watching the world go by outside of my window, watching funny youtube clips etc. The only effort needed is to think of something that you find enjoyment in.

    Acceptance of the depression. No matter how hard you 'fight' depression or don't want depression, it doesn't just go away. I say to myself "I'm depressed. I feel very lethargic and unmotivated. I give myself time for my brain chemicals to get back to some sense of normality." I also remind myself that this wont be the last time I am depressed. That's OK. It is not something I have control over. I don't have a switch to flick to change the brain chemicals.

    Making allowances for the limitations the depression causes. Find the things I can do and put the things that I can't off until I am healthier. We can be our own worse critics. Practicing being kind to yourself has been very important to me.

    Making sure I take my medication as prescribed is of paramount importance. Taking an antidepressant at the same time every day not only helps us remember to take our medications but helps our body absorb and utilize any medications prescribed.

    The last thing I wanted to mention is that if you are going to spend a lot of money on alternative therapies, its useful to look up the scientific research on the product. Many of us are making someone else rich by buying expensive products that have no evidence to support their use.

    Oh, one more thing. For the people worried about using medication because they are a chemical, everything you put in your mouth is a chemical. Our bodies are chemicals. The air we breathe is a chemical. There are no hero's when it comes to this. Take the medication the doctor prescribes, please.

    30 people found this helpful
  2. recoveryourlife
    recoveryourlife avatar
    2 posts
    1 June 2016
    I'm new here, and suffer from a few mental illnesses, including depression. Just wanted to thank everyone for the suggestions in this thread, it's giving me some motivation to at least try to implement some self help strategies to get my mind a little clearer again. For me, diet, exercise and sleep are all areas of my life that simply fall apart during depressive episodes, and getting them back on track usually helps alleviate some of my depression. So I'm going to focus my attention on those three fundamental aspects of physical health in the hope that my mental health might respond accordingly. Easier said than done though, right? Haha.
    6 people found this helpful
  3. Fiz
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    2 posts
    7 June 2016 in reply to Bobbi
    I feel that if you have depression, you shouldn't distract yourself from it. Depression is the body's defence mechanism, signalling that something is amiss in your life, so you have to reflect on it and figure out what's wrong. It could be employment/social isolation/family trouble/debt etc. If we can't stay on top of it, depression then sinks in. But if you distract yourself, at this point, the depression gets worse; and that's when you either end up: on medication; or; in a psych ward; or suicide. People place too much reliance on medication these days: they've missed the point entirely; that feeling this way is part of life and there's no magic pill or cure/treatment for it. People who despair and self-destruct are those that have avoided facing up to what their depression means (and may be surrounded by family/others that feed this) or feel it's too much and so they've given up. They get themselves into such a tizzy they can't think straight or function. You need to re-evaluate your life and see what needs fixing. By working on that, you'll find that your "depression" will start to lift because you'll start to think differently (because you have a purpose/are actually doing something about your life).
    10 people found this helpful
  4. Tired, Sad and alone
    Tired, Sad and alone avatar
    3 posts
    7 August 2016 in reply to AGrace

    Thank you for your words of help.

    Lastnight I was feeling pretty low and my friends children ask their father for pancakes. I decided to make the effort for them. Even though I was feeling pretty low and sad at the time it was good seeing the kids enjoy them.

    It allowed me to have a positive though for a change.

    Thanks

    6 people found this helpful
  5. blondguy
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    11215 posts
    13 August 2016 in reply to Fiz

    Just a respectful note regarding Fiz's post from my experience with having depression since 1996.

    • depression is an illness just like diabetes or heart disease..there is no difference..
    • the meds arent a cure but do reduce the highs and lows of depression..and can curb anxiety symptoms too
    • Expecting positive thinking to cure depression is like expecting a person with diabetes to lower their blood sugar level by thinking happy thoughts

    This is only my opinion of course. I did try natural remedies and positive thinking for 12 years when I had acute anxiety prior to my depression that 'developed' as a result of being anti-meds. I paid a big price for refusing meds for those 12 years.

    Thankyou Bobbi for your post.

    My Best. Paul

    11 people found this helpful
  6. aegidius
    aegidius avatar
    58 posts
    9 February 2017 in reply to blondguy
    blondguy said:
    • the meds arent a cure but do reduce the highs and lows of depression..and can curb anxiety symptoms too
    Just a data point from a past depressive episode: SSRI's certainly can lift your mood, but they have some pretty difficult side effects in my experience - they wiped out my libido, and gave me a nasty skin rash which recurred for months after discontinuing. They helped me a lot then, but I won't be taking them again. YMMV of course.
    3 people found this helpful
  7. Greybird
    Greybird avatar
    26 posts
    9 April 2017

    Being a sufferer of Major Depression for most of my life I have learned what works for me. My mind has a habit of 'cycling' bad thoughts... it tends to go over them again and again. To combat this I've used distraction to give myself a break from the cycle, it works but it is no cure as it always comes back. Doing something different like going for a walk along a new path is good. Learning to sing a new song is good. Going for a swim helps as well, almost anything energetic is good.

    Getting the motivation is hard but it is like anything, you need to practise it to be good at it so I push myself to do things, I never give up. Working on self esteem is a very important of motivation, feeling 'worthy' makes a big difference so self talk is important. Storing up a cache of things about myself which are good and then reminding myself of those things when I need to helps get me going.
    I have learned that the past can never be changed but the way I view my past can be changed. I try to take the negatives and turn them into positives to 'rewire' my thought patterns (pathways), again, repetition strengthens pathways (learning by rote) so I do what I call 'Replacement Therapy'. What I mean by that is I have never been able to remove something from memory but I have been successful in replacing bad repetitious thoughts with better ones by 'linking' my bad emotions with events to better emotions for that event and repeating that over and over until my brain's automatically goes to the good emotion.
    I have also suffered PTSD which taught me more about my depression. I suffered 'Hyper-vigilance' and my mind would blow everything out of proportion. I was given a task by my psychologist to make a scale on paper from good to bad with things next to it that were 'good' or 'bad' and where they truly fitted on the scale. I posted that on my wall near the door so every time I came home I would look at it and the things I thought were huge got a reality check on the scale. To my surprise doing this helped me get thing into proper perspective and helped calm me in bad times, it made me realise that my mind can zoom in on things and totally exaggerate the reality. This was a life saver for me and helped take the panic and anxiety out of situations.

    9 people found this helpful
  8. RandR
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    104 posts
    14 April 2017 in reply to AGrace

    Hi AGrace,

    Thanks for the post and sharing a few ways you managed your depression. To further add to your already great list, here are a few things I did to manage my own and get ahead of it:

    SURROUND YOURSELF WITH POSITIVE PEOPLE: Like attitudes and enthusiasm, they can be contagious. I ensured the circles of friends I spent most my time with were optimists and not pessimists.

    HOBBIES/ACTIVITIES: I can't imagine people not having any hobbies/interests or being involved in some kind of activity. For me it was golf (getting out in nature), cooking (a way to truly nourish the mind and soul), Mixed Martial arts (fantastic for fitness and to discipline the mind) and finally listening/mixing music.

    WRITE DOWN GOALS/OBJECTIVES: I didn't always have depression. And even when I did, I knew when I was young that I wanted to be successful and accomplish certain things in my life. I used to always write them down so I could visualize them and when the going got tough, I ensured I picked up my goals journal and reflected as well as 'reminded' myself what I was about and what I was trying to achieve.

    Thanks.

    Raman.



    9 people found this helpful
  9. thebetterside
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    thebetterside avatar
    1 posts
    18 April 2017

    Hi everyone,

    I have had clinical depression for 6 years now (since I was 16) and found the below things to help me the most. Everyone is different and finds peace and clarity in all sorts of things, so I cannot stress enough that what I say has helped me, does not mean it will 100% work for you.

    READING - I find that reading books is a great way to escape your thoughts and your own reality. During the first 1-3 years of my depression, I was reading a new book every few weeks. I found that it allowed me to escape from my own dark thoughts for a few hours and really calmed me down during tough times. Now, I still use reading as a coping mechanism during my rough patches.

    EXERCISING - I found this to be extremely helpful and pretty much a main factor in feeling mentally stimulated and happy again. This is because when you exercise, your body releases happy endorphin's. I only started doing this approximately 2 years ago though, and understand that during your darkest days, exercising is the last thing you feel like doing/even want to do. However, I exercise everyday and I have never felt better. Diet also goes hand and hand with exercising but that's a whole other topic.

    JOURNAL - I found that when I was on the road to recovery, keeping a journal of all the positive thoughts and things I had accomplished for that day was a really great way to reflect at night time or rough days. It's very easy to get caught up in thinking about self-harm to feel any sort of emotion but you would be surprised at how much satisfaction you get when you read great things that you've thought and done and remember that you are awesome and not just stuck in a spiraling circle of darkness.

    I cannot stress enough that the road to recovery is not easy. I don't think anyone fully recovers from this terrible illness. However, you learn to live with it and once you see the brighter side of things, you actually appreciate your life and what the world has to offer you. Don't get me wrong, there are many days where I feel like I could stay in bed for a week straight and not eat or shower, I'm not saying in anyway, shape or form that I am 'recovered' but I have certainly accepted the fact that I have a mental illness and am never afraid of admitting to myself that it's okay not to be okay. Please know that we are all hear to listen and anytime anyone needs to speak, please do not think you're being judged.

    Sending my thoughts and love to you all.

    L, x.

    21 people found this helpful
  10. Dexter67
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    4 posts
    22 May 2017

    Hi everyone,

    It's been wonderful reading everyone's strategies for coping. I think avoidance has been my strategy for most of my life! I now realise that I need to face my depression and deal with it more proactively if I want a better life.

    There are so many resources, apps and books on managing depression that it becomes overwhelming. I find that I buy books, download apps, seek out tools and resources but then never act on them. In some way 'over resourcing' myself allows me to continue to avoid my feelings and pain.

    It too use reading as a escape. I read a couple of books a week and would live my whole life reading so I don't have to live in the real world if I didn't have to work for a living.

    Journalling is something I'm currently exploring however I don't want to get stuck in a cycle of documenting my pain and negative self-thoughts. A gratitude journal seems overwhelming and unachievable for me at this time. I know I have many many things in my life to be grateful for. I have 3 beautiful children, I have a home and a job I love, I have my health and family. But I don't love myself, I don't see a reason for my life. It stretches before my like a black hole with no hope ahead.

    Setting goals sounds like a good strategy. My goal is to get out of the hospital and reclaim my life. To do that I need to set some 'life' goals.

    I'll let you know how I go :)

    Dexter67

    7 people found this helpful
  11. kaeewhyyy
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    26 May 2017 in reply to AGrace
    I love all of these! Extremely helpful and good positive outlets. I have tried many of these and find them very helpful when I'm in a downward spiral
    4 people found this helpful
  12. demonblaster
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    29 May 2017 in reply to Dexter67

    Hey Dexter :)

    Good on you realising you have to face depression to get through, I too am there, taking bull by horns, yeah it fights hard but it's what we have to do. Look deep inside work out what pulls us down. When we know then we can work at change. Finding and learning to use the tools, I believe we all have em but depression buries them.

    I'm for one working on liking/loving myself, it use to sound like words but now I know it's essential for survival.
    Our time here is longest with ourselves, so we need to find peace within.

    Yes goals is good, I didn't finish a book once but what I got out of it was we need three things in life,
    Something to love (didn't say necessarily someone, though it's the bomb)
    Something to do
    Something to work towards.

    one of the most sound things I've ever heard.

    All best Dexter, we need to believe first that we can beat this, half the battle.

    tc


    9 people found this helpful
  13. AaronL84
    AaronL84 avatar
    1 posts
    21 September 2017

    Hi peoples,

    few tips that help me are..

    1,think of the thoughts as only being "just that" (there powerless).

    2,put your thoughts in a imaginary ball then roll it away,(helped me a lot).

    3,breathing triangle..4secs in,hold for 2secs release for 6 secs repeat 4 times over.

    4,I got a little pocket diary that I reflect on when I get caught up,I find if I write positive feeds in it I can think more clear.

    5.HEADSPACE,it's a app that I use to meditate daily..

    i hope this helps a little..

    i still struggle but these do bring me back when I get down,even if I have to do it 1000 times a day..

    its not easy I know that but just remember your beautiful & your worth everything :-) tomorrow is a new day & yesturday well don't worry about that because the past is the past right!!

    much love..Azza..

    8 people found this helpful
  14. HopefulHazza
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    5 posts
    13 October 2017 in reply to Rubicon
    Thanks so much for your inspiration Rubicon...I understand the Spiritual principle of Mind creates Thought creates Feeling...but struggle with the daily practice of this...eg Meditation and mindfulness at times...have recently stopped smoking and experiencing moments of Depression and Sadness at present....I know that these are the feelings I masked when I smoked...my dilemma now is....what do I do when they arise...? I’m trying to just Accept...and Let Go and Let God...this has worked for me with my Alcoholism having been sober now for 17 yrs....but really struggling now ....just wondering if you or anyone can offer some positive thoughts ....HopefulHazza😇
  15. demonblaster
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    23 October 2017 in reply to HopefulHazza
    Congratulations Hazza 17 yrs sober, that's mammoth, very strong.

    Yeah I'm in process AGAIN of giving up fags, and too am having moments of depression and sadness, I'm thinking to do with giving up an addiction.
    I'm ok to have 1 or 2 here and there but haven't even been able to score that way damn it lol but overall going ok.

    You got over grog, you can do this on your ear.

    Good on you. Doing things to improve your life, well done.
  16. demonblaster
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    23 October 2017 in reply to HopefulHazza

    Hey :)

    And what I've been doing lately that's working a treat and for the first time in wow when I came out of a bipolar BP down (was a biggy cycle in length) relatively ok, had the odd downs but hacked em. f

    Firm self talk, no nonsense matter of fact, NO IT"S DEPRESSION THAT WANTS TO PULL ME DOWN, I'M NOT HAVING IT. WORKed. Big happies.
    It was during mania that I made my mind up and did this,& it did follow through, kept reminding myself. I've also had same with a couple of full blown anxiety (don't usually have, but usually really rough in BP & came out as anxiety attacks) did same, hard no nonsense self talk, kinda chastising yourself outta negative thinking patterns and downs. Being aware what's going on helps to say no it's ..... etc

    Also exercise has helped untold esp grieving with BP on top really helped, I think apart from endorphin's being released I reckon that hard breathing is a release too. Getting that built up energy out that consumes us.

    Distraction is temporary but does help aye.
    It all needs to be addressed I think but in good time.

    Thx for great thread :)

  17. HopefulHazza
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    5 posts
    3 November 2017 in reply to demonblaster
    Hi Demonblaster sorry I just saw your response just now...thanks so much for your support..it’s now almost 4 weeks off the fags...have the odd craving usually the habit stuff..eg when have coffee etc...my Doc prescribed Sertraline and have been on this 100mg for 9days now...not enjoying the side effects...insomnia, nausea, and weird dreams...no motivation to do anything that I usually enjoy...and just feel like isolating and sleeping ...it’s a real struggle....wish I had your inner strengths and courage to talk to my depression and ‘take Charge’....thanks mate
    1 person found this helpful
  18. demonblaster
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    3 November 2017 in reply to HopefulHazza

    Hey Hazza no probs

    Congrats on durries yeah hear ya ive been off them bout 2 wks but i buy one off peeps on occasion doesnt make me wanna take up again seriously cant afford anyway

    Thx yeah gettin there with depression & oh yeah its fighting but practice aye retraining mind.

    Oh ive heard lot about wild dreams with patches. Hold in there you can do it 👍😊

    Go easy

  19. Faragast
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    1 posts
    11 November 2017 in reply to demonblaster
    @demonblaster - right on i used chewing gum for my first week off durries - needed to bad - blood pressure and my elderly mum was a smoker too - she gave up about three months before she passed away - missing her bad...................what can i do?
  20. demonblaster
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    11 November 2017 in reply to Faragast

    Hey Fara sorry for loss of your Mum, yeah its rough isnt it. Someone said the person leaves but the love doesn't. That helped hearing that. Lost darling partner nearly 3 yrs ago to leukaemia.

    Well done with durries, keep doin what you're doin though harder atm you need to be looking after your Blood pressure aye.

    Sounds like words but time really does help ease the pain & take as long as you need to grieve.

    All best Fara (( ))

  21. Roseby
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    23 November 2017 in reply to Dexter67

    Dear Dexter,

    Your experiences resonated. When and if you are able, please let me know how you are.

    1 person found this helpful
  22. Angela_3
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    1 posts
    27 February 2018 in reply to AGrace

    I would like to add these following suggestions that helped me.

    1. Avoid sleeping in - When you wake up, don't stay in bed. Get up and move your body to help moving circulation and energy.

    2. Don't miss breakfast - Having a warm breakfast helps to preserve your energy.

    3. Doing some exercise after breakfast before to start your day.

    These disciplines helped me to think clearly, rationally and managed my emotions better.

    6 people found this helpful
  23. giggles
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    126 posts
    28 February 2018

    Hello

    I have visited the site for a few years now but my life has taken a curve that I did not expect at all. I have TYPE 1 Diabetes, for over 50 yrs now, heart diasease, vascular diasease and recently had what I call a new hose artery put in my leg. That was done with the intention to get me working and walking again. Neither of those happened so now we have financial concerns. However I took up Piano 2yrs ago my teacher said I was not allowed to give up when I said money dried up. Wow that was so nice of him.

    I took up swimming since I can not walk a long way and miss my nature walks but still manage to take our dog for a walk with son or hubby taking him round.

    I thought I was coming right with the depression but unfortunately those thoughts kept coming back and distressing me because all I want like I guess everyone here is peace. Peace of mind everything is going to be ok. I actually no longer believe that but have not completely lost who I am and continue to enjoy the suggestions mentioned in this post and others.

    I fortunately have two young grandsons that absolutely bring me joy when we are together.

    I have found its mainly when I am alone my mind starts the usual chatter and its beyond me no pun intented why it will not shut down. Especially since I know it is not true.

    Learning piano has been one of the hardestthing I have ever taken on but here I am hearing me play.

    Must admit I get annoyed when I over hear comments about depression from people who believe its mind over matter. I am not a stupid person so I choose not to engage in educating everybody. With all my health issues I reckon I have enough to content with just getting through a day happily is enough.

    All wonderful advice here I can only hope someone does something positive and not expect an answer straight away and this coming from a supposedly patient person I know I had enough of being a patient in a hospital I can tell you.

    2 people found this helpful
  24. Guest_4848
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    5 posts
    20 April 2018 in reply to aegidius

    Agreed. SSRI's are a wonderful trip. I was left stoned and feeling like a zombie that was unable to concentrate. Spent most of my day at work laughing my head off.

    1 person found this helpful
  25. Chloe_M
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    20 April 2018 in reply to Guest_4848

    Hi all,

    Have been reading through this thread, have seen some very interesting and effective self help tips for depression. I have depression and anxiety; I have tried many of these and find that most work. But what works for some might not work for others.

    Keep up the good work and be kind to yourselves :)

    Chloe x

    1 person found this helpful
  26. Nettie56
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    1 posts
    25 June 2018

    Hi all, this is my first time posting. I've read all of the posts and see myself in many. I have suffered from depression for quite a while now and I struggle daily. I find myself unmotivated, withdrawn, tired and sick of fighting. I also suffer from arthritis and so exercising even walking is difficult if not impossible. I have no friends to talk to as you probably know after a while your friends just disappear. You make plans but end up cancelling because you just can't step outside the house and your friends just stop asking. I do have a wonderful husband but mkst times he just doesn't get it. Feeling empty and I feel I'm just existing not living

    7 people found this helpful
  27. Chloe_M
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    26 June 2018 in reply to Nettie56

    Hi Nettie,

    Firstly, welcome to the forums! We are glad that you found your way here :)

    I suggest that you start your own thread as well as using this one. I will keep an eye out for your name if you decide to do that.

    Also, can i ask, do you have a counsellor/psychologist etc that you see regularly? If so keep talking to them, but if not, you might want to see your GP for a referral.

    I want you to know that you aren't alone. I to suffer from depression and also anxiety, OCD, and trichotillomania. I see a psychologist and she is lovely. It might be good for you to also see if there are any depression/mental illness support groups near you. If you are under 25 you can also talk to eheadspace with their online chat function. Beyondblue also has an online chat function, and there are also many other mental health lines you can call. They are very helpful and kind.

    One more thing... don't be ashamed of what you are going through. Its okay to not be okay, and there is nothing wrong about what you are feeling.

    Hang in there, and be kind to yourself!

    Chloe_M

    2 people found this helpful
  28. Mary56
    Mary56 avatar
    3 posts
    26 June 2018 in reply to Nettie56
    Hi Nettie, i am in same place. Have been on antidepressants for over 30 years. Five years ago things got tougher to deal with . Saw psychiatrist who more than doubled my dose of current antidepressants- one visit and who was going to monitor me. My wonderful GP who is so understanding. Love her but you are alone. I hate the fact that I need to take them and have tried to come off but I did not like my family to see me this way. I work full time and at times coping mechanism declines. Had a breakdown recently at work and needed time out. I hate what this has taken from me. Good times I could have had with my children when they were young. Everything was an effort. Still is but I am getting tired of fighting. Feel dead inside. The incredible love I have for my children is keeping me going. I am tired of talking with psychologists. Right now I really could not say why I get depressed. Why my moods change in a flash. Why I cry for no reason. I so much want to be the real person in me fighting to express herself. Thanks for this chance of opening up a little
    1 person found this helpful
  29. Chloe_M
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    29 June 2018 in reply to Mary56
    Hi Mary, and welcome! I hope you find some help here :)
  30. Mary56
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    3 posts
    29 June 2018 in reply to Chloe_M

    Thanks Chloe,

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