Living Depressed

Depression is an illness that affects many levels of health. We tend to think first of the drastic changes in mood and vitality: hopelessness, lost energy, confused thinking, broken self-esteem, paralysis of will – and thoughts of suicide. Those symptoms are devastating enough, but even they do not give a full picture of depression’s impact. It is not only a “mental” illness but one that interferes with the functioning of the human body in many ways. The brain and central nervous system, the heart and blood vessels, the immune system, our bones – there is growing evidence of the links between depression and diseases affecting all these.

This section brings together posts about the full range of symptoms linked to depression and how they can affect daily living. Hopefully, that material will help you identify all the changes you may be experiencing. This knowledge, in turn, can set the stage for choosing the treatments that are most relevant to your life.

Depression and Anger: A Destructive Partnership

It took me a long time to understand the connection between depression and anger. One psychiatrist I visited would often ask a simple question toward the end of a session: How’s your anger? I couldn’t understand why he asked. I hadn’t been talking about anger. Depression was my problem. I’d usually respond with a puzzled, Fine. I’d leave his office wondering why he had asked about anger but soon put it out of my mind. […]

Depression Gets Physical: Pain, Heart, Bone and Beyond

Just as I was thinking I understood the full range of depression’s impact on my life, I started finding out about links between the mood disorder and some nasty physical problems. I mentioned in this post the prevalence of pain among depressed people seeking treatment from their regular doctors. But depression can do a lot more to your body than inflict pain. It has been linked to coronary heart disease, congestive heart failure, diabetes and […]

Depressed: No Friends, No Life

Lately, I’ve come across a number of questions online by plainly anguished people, asking: Why do I have no friends, no life? The first time I saw one this blunt, I reacted almost defensively, laughing as I recalled an old film in which a man hires a private detective to find out why he has no friends. Isn’t it obvious? But I knew so well how much the question implied. Lonely and depressed, I had […]

Making Decisions When Depressed

Like so many, I experience depression in various forms, yet each in its own way knocks out the decision control center in my mind. At times, I scramble in anxiety and can’t focus enough to pick out one among many possibilities. At other times, I don’t care about choosing – or anything else for that matter – and I let the alternatives fall where they may. Or I make all kinds of decisions, even life […]

Is It Loneliness or Is It Depression?

It may seem strange to pose this question: is it loneliness or is it depression? After all, many people feel loneliness at the loss or weakening of close relationships because of depression, and most of us who’ve lived with the condition over a lifetime experience those broken connections as some of its worst effects. On the other hand, lots of lonely people are not depressed – sad, most likely, but not necessarily experiencing the classic […]

What We Deserve from Life

What do I really deserve from life? That’s a question that comes up online a lot, even if it’s only implied. And the dismaying but common answer is often: not much. It always saddens me to read that, but it’s never surprising. Those of us who’ve lived with depression for a while know that the first thing to go is self-esteem. I lost it early on and formed the habit of tearing myself down, focusing […]

Isolation

Susan and Dano have presented in comments here two different ideas about isolation that I need to explore more deeply, with your help. This is hard for me to pin down alone. My mind wants to wander, to lose focus, to put itself to sleep because this gets at something I don’t want to face – so bear with me as I try to chain together a few thoughts about what is happening in the […]

Depression and Stress

Part of my recovery consists of putting two and two together. I’ve learned to see links between things I’ve done and felt that I never knew were connected to depression. Blowing up in rage, feeling extreme anxiety, even panic at meeting a group of new people, deep fears and fantasies, memory loss – understanding that all of those problems fitted in with depression was surprising but also comforting. That painful barrage of living began to […]

47 Responses to “Living Depressed”

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  1. Doesn't matter says:

    Living with depression & being told to talk to someone when there’s absolutely noone who can understand or even there to talk to.
    I live in a box. .no other way to explain it.
    Since my childhood I’ve been beaten,sexual abused thought I got past it when I married a police officer, after 20 years I was a closet wife. Went to work paid my bills gave him everything he ever wanted. Auto accident left me disabled, bedridden but I paid my own bills, Sent him on trips, bought him cars etc. After numerous financial lies i asked for divorce. He continued to lie took pension loans behind my back. Now divorced. Cried unable to pay bills I paid his pension loan, lawyer fees ( i had settlement that kept spending while I’m bedridden sick).
    I tried being civil now hes killed 6 cats he told my daughter can stay until home found shelter had room within week. Tossing & destroying personal items he agreed can stay to save storage fees. Has new fiancee but sure she dosent know full story im now crying, hiding feel threatened by him cause had me followed & destroying my grandfather’s things that mean the world to me
    I have friend which he’s threatens cohabitation so im scared to even talk to him. I’m hiding afraid in my tin can cause I can’t afford to rent due to he defaulted so he can keep house I helped save. How is this legal & now threatening to stop alimony. I had a life before him, now he’s destroyed me for giving him everything he ever wanted. It’s sickening I rather die than live like this any longer this isn’t living.

  2. Cristina says:

    I am going through the experience of having a partner with depression. I am trying to find my way back to normal. I do not know what is worse the fact that I cannot help the loved one or the fact that I cannot be well myself. It is the second time he decided to break up and be alone. First time, after 6 months he came back asking to try again and fix it. At that time I was not aware of his problem, I thought it was just the every day stress, at work, usual things that ruin our balance. When he came back he was a lovely person, trying to get me fall in love with him again. After two months, in one day, everything changed. He asked me to leave him alone, that he needed to be alone and fix his problems, that he would hurt me and that I could not help. From the night to the morning….no explanation, no reason, nothing. I am trying to be well, aware that it can affect me very much. However, it is tough, sometimes, I cannot even think of anything good. I hope I will find the strength to fight for my wellness the same way I tried and fought for his well being.

  3. Nick says:

    Hey, John! A very interesting read, just wanted to say thanks. Living with depression is hard, but the most important thing is to never give up!

    • Bob says:

      How does one never give up? After a long period of depression it seems to just turn out the light permanently is the only place to find the tranquility that has been elusive for years.
      I need this to STOP.
      You will not see me on this site or any site again.

      Good Night

  4. Rosey says:

    I always knew something was not quite right with me. I grew up in an extremely violent household due to my brother who was a drug addict, bum and criminal. My memories go as far back as 3 years old, shaking in panic that the “police would come to the house again”. From there, I married a man who I divorced 19 years later. Somehow, I had managed to do well at my job (I attached myself to it, as though the job were my life – I hated my married life). From the divorce, my husband got virtually everything, leaving me to start over again. Two years later, a I met a wonderful guy and life was good for about 9 years. Then, with my depression (and menopause) and my numbing myself with alcohol, he left. I lost out financially again, big time, even though I put a lot of money into the home we shared. Now I’m trying to survive on disability, renting a house, have no car, and usually go 2-3 weeks out of every month with absolutely nothing to live on. It’s a miracle that I’ve maintained my faith in God, who I know is bigger than all of this. My battle is knowing that everyone I’ve ever helped have turned their backs on me. My brother (of the 1% group – multi-millionaire), and some of my friends who are well to do don’t get it. I was there before they did well, but they are not there for me. Depressed? Yeah, you betcha.

    • Maria says:

      Omg I don’t have email nothing how I feel for you I cry as I type this you sound just like me!!! I wish I could meet you or write to you again I have no email damn it

  5. hopefuldadof5 says:

    We have been married for 27 years. It wasn’t until about 5 years ago that i realized my wife suffered from this illness when it had progressivly worsened to the point that our children were significantly impacted. I’m committed but I have come to realize as I’m seeing in these posts, SHE has to recognize her deppression and do things herself but she won’t even admit it so we can even think about help and improvement. It is having catastrophic consequences for our family. Because of her lack of self-esteem, trust issues and fears, any attempt to suggest she might consider she suffers from deppression or get help, triggers an ugly response of denial and lashing out. I’vetried all that I can think of and am at the end of my rope. Family help doesn’t work becuasse they live so far away and she puts on a very different face to them and will never admit she or our family is having troubles to keep them at bay. I tried to a couple times and the backlash was so horrific and visible to our kids that I won’t try again. Any suggestions on how to get her to recognize her condition is depression and we can get help?

    • Christina says:

      Dear dad of 5,
      I am in the same situation with my husband of fifteen years. He was soooo good at hiding the depression it took me until he was practically debilitated by it to finally see it without his happy disguise. He was the same way denial, angry. Telling me he feels this way because I am always critiicizing him, telling that he did not have a problem with the way he feels and if I do not like it I could leave. At that point he was having suicidal thoughts and plans but there was still no issue. They only issue was his wife bugging him to please get help because she thought it unfair for her children to have to bury their father before they were out of high school. My first attempt at getting him to a clinic worked in that he went. I explained that he may be feeling this way due to a thyroid imbalance and he should go in and have that checked out. He went in and the clinician clearly knew he was in need of help. He refused,medication,counseling but did get a physical. Next I broke down basically one day and explained to him that I do not know what to do to help him or our relationship anymore and that I made an appointment for me with a psychologist and I wanted him to please come with me. Worked for a minute, he went few times but clearly so depressed that while still refusing to try medication he would never recover. Our third appointment he just sat there mute unable to answer her simplest questions. By the end of the appt. the therapist said there was no reason for us to return if he was unwilling to make any changes to relieve the depression. I lost it when we left there, let him have it. Told him that was the most embarrassing thing I have ever been through, why waste her time when we could have cancelled the appointment and she could have spent her time with someone who really wanted help. I told him if he was no longer going to participate in this life I needed to leave because I was going to end up feeling depressed if this relationship continued. I deserve to be happy as does everyone. Over the next week he tried to do better,fake happiness which is so obvious to us now that it is just sad to watch. I continued to make a plan to leave. At some point the next week he said he wanted to try and fix this. I agreed to help him but he needed to do it the way others had been recommending not his way which had not worked for the last 20 years while he was hiding it. At no point did I ever feel like I wanted to say I was leaving but until he was face to face with his wife leaving or trying medication as recommended by everyone he has seen did he make a choice to change. Do not get me wrong it is not great now. He has been struggling with side effects from one and was reluctant to switch to another due to change being too scary. Now when he lashes out at me that I have him on this medication my response is do not take it. It was his choice he could have said good bye to me and been miserable ever after with his depression but chose to try and I give him credit but I also know we are no where near happy.
      Honestly as awful as I have felt saying to him that I will leave it has been the only thing to get a little movement toward getting help. Even then I had to give him a deadline to decide whether it was medication or divorce. And had to push for an answer on the deadline. One thing that reduced his angry lashing out at me was to send him a text when communicating. Gives more time to respond and he would often open up over a converstion throughout the day. Also no longer keep her depression a secret with her if you are. I have let our family know exactly what he was dealing with so they no longer bought his happy act. Well not his parents, they think it is good for him to pretend that nothing is wrong maybe it will get better that way. Has not worked yet. Enough about me, could go on forever. Good luck and I hope all ends up ok for you and your wife.

  6. Pamela says:

    Thank you for sharing the articles. Very informative and inspiring. It is indeed of great help for someone who’s experiencing depression.

    Pamela

  7. Lacy says:

    Anyone living with a depressed person should have the tips of making such people’s life easier. It is actually the role of those around them to take make sure that these people’s temperaments are maintained. Taking accountability with such people is greatly rewarding as it makes an individual realize how much they meant to the victims and vice versa.

  8. Melanie says:

    John,
    Thank you for this gift. You have captured into words, the thoughts and feelings that I have endured and carried alone and for so long; I profoundly connect to your experiences. I have been suffering from depression for the last ten years. In the last 2 1/2 years, my depression has taken an incredible toll on my health and my relationships. I have been obsessed with leaving my husband and two young children, as I am convinced that they are better off without me. I have also been diagnosed with Type-2 diabetes (I read your post on the link between depression and diabetes). It will be a long journey before I can recover, but I have faint hope that I may be able to change my perceptions; all thanks to you. I have just ordered your ebooks and I hope that I will be able to awaken my lost self.

    Thank you,
    Melanie

  9. Robert says:

    I suffered from depression, accompanied by social anxiety and panic attacks for most of my twenties.It took a long time to receive any professional help. Initially I was prescribed anti-depressants which were very useful in helping to rebalance my mood to a point where I thought life might be able to continue. Whilst they also had some pretty unpleasant side
    effects, in my case they were the first step in my recovery from what had become a potentially life-threatening condition.

    I was incredibly fortunate in that a wonderful individual, who also happened to be a brilliant counsellor, moved in to a house just up the road at this time of my life. Going through counselling was the second step in my (very gradual) recovery. As the years have passed, I’ve realised that if one can succeed in beating the awful affliction of depression, the experience can teach you much about yourself and others. Indeed I am stronger and more resilient as a result it.

    However I still have to be mindful of my mood, as occasionally I can feel it sliding downwards. These days,though, I am much more aware of the early earning signs which helps a lot in taking positive action early on.

    My message is that YOU CAN beat this horrible condition, even though that may seem impossible when you are in the depths of it. If you can make even small positive changes as often as you can manage, these can add up. Help may come from unexpected quarters when you feel all is lost. Never give up! “If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”

  10. amber1537 says:

    I feel my depression comes from myself. I hate the way I look and talk. I try so hard to love myself and be happy but I just cant. I hope one day I can face my demons and be who I really want to be

    • FiresideScarlet says:

      Please don’t dismay. I’ve had depression all of my life, and I know from experience that it does get better, it can get better. Although I’ve been hesitant and downright stubborn with the notion of joining groups and keeping physically active, it really does make a difference. Now, I go walking, hiking, out to restaurants, movies, and all kinds of things with others. We go to art shows, potluck dinners, pubs, night clubs, jazz performances…anything is better than sitting at home. Even when I’m feeling low, I put my “game face on” and go! When I’m out no one knows that I’m depressed, because for a period of time I feel great! And the more you do this, you make memories, and you build up a lot of positive memories to think about. This, as well as journaling, meditating, walking my dog, volunteering and listening to my fabulous music, keeps me mentally healthy, and always looking forward to something new to do. My calendar is booked, not full, because I don’t want to stress out, but full enough that it reduces the time I spend alone and thinking about me. Find free events and join an active group where you live. You can find a group at meetup dot com. Not sure if you are allowed to post web sites here, so I wrote it like that. Good luck!!!!

      • Charles says:

        +1 some of the most helpful times I’ve had has been playing touch rugby and playing cards with friends.

        Maybe look up local social sports leagues or your local card and board gaming store?

        Ditto the journal writing helping also. Depression hangs around and comes back every two weeks or so for me but these things are helpful in my experience. I’m sorry and I understand that feeling of utter helplessness and self hatred. I often have episodes were I slap and hit myself around the head 10 or 20 times and very pervasive endless self critical and abusive mental loops.

  11. Barbara says:

    My father’s alcoholism and abuse brought me to the point of depression, anxiety, and psychosis. I’m fortunate to have had a lot of help dealing with all three issues. This has really given me an insight into the depths of the human spirit.

  12. phoebe says:

    Does anyone else get spring depression? I don’t remember feeling like this last year, but I know the year before around this time (FEB-APRIL) I had it. My depression and anxiety get really bad. I’m crying a lot and have no motivation or energy. My negative thoughts are out of control. I am beginning to hate this time of year (which is actually a really beautiful time of year)!

    • Nora says:

      Phoebe:

      At a recent appoint, my nurse practioner told me that researchers are finding a link between hay fever and depression. I am not sure that this is the case with you, but it might be something to consider looking into. Unfortunately, I don’t have any other information on the studies. When she told me, I was like…oh, that’s interesting. She asked me if I had hay fever. I used to, but I don’t now, and depression has stricken me for a longer period than the few months of spring. Thankfully, I am not getting treated for depression and am feeling much better.

      Sincerely,

      Nora

    • Swordfish says:

      This time of year is actually the time where people in the Northern Hemisphere are the most deprived of Vitamin D. Vitamin D3 is mostly synthesized by being exposed to sunlight (dietary sources are negligible in comparison). February-April is a time when you have not been exposed to intense sunlight for a few months.

      I highly recommend reading “The Depression Cure: The 6-Step Program to Beat Depression without Drugs”.
      http://www.amazon.com/The-Depression-Cure-Program-without/dp/0738213888?tag=storiedmindco-20

      This book goes into more details about dietary supplements, bright light therapy, and more. Every step is supported by clinical studies.

  13. joanne says:

    Hi my dad has been a miner all of his life and had a good position in the heading training people etc.My brother also works at the same pit and wants to do what my dad does where the moneys good,but has to do night shifts. Aposition come up and my dad took it as he would have been working and trainning his son.He could not sleep and went back on shift work. Then decided to give night shift another go, after 2 weeks of hardly any sleep he decided to go back on shift work but they had give his job up, so it ment he was in back up going any where they sent him.Last night i found out he can not live with letting his job go what he has worked for all of his life, he can’t sleep he’s lost weight, and can’t stop thinking of what a bad mistake he has made. I have told him working with machinery and driving when tired is dangerous. He told me he fell asleep at wheel other day and my brother had to grab steering wheel. He is making his self ill , we as a family can not stand seeing him like this. I’m so worried about him can you please help me.

    • shilps says:

      Dear Joanne ,

      I am touched by your story .

      This is a common problem people face upon retirement
      The brain is so used to the work that they just cant get out of it ,its a matter of habit , emotional attachment and their identity .That is the only way he knows to live and probably now after so many years of work that is the only thing he can do and is so good at .
      His sense of security is attached with it and he is feeling as if someone has snatched away that from him .

      What u can do is that dont let him be alone.Some one should be with him to give him emotional security .Speak positive and appreciate him and express gratitude for what he has done for ur family. That way u can keep watch on him without letting him feel that he is being watched.
      Also find out what were his interests that he has not pursued or that he wil like to pursue
      and help him to get engaged in that.
      He can be also engaged in some sort of training activities /community work as that will give him his sense of usefulness and worth and also keep him busy .

      Explain to him the dangers involved in work and that u all need him healthy and safe forever
      Help him to mix up with other retired people in your area .
      Let him play with kids /teach them something
      He can start to diary his experiences / learning

      He can also learn some new skillsets for safer employment suitable for his health

      Gradually explain to him that now he has to change himself and if not willing ,some one has to take a stand and tell him straightaway

      Hope that helps…!!
      Take care of urselves
      Love
      Shilps

      Also remembered the movie “October Sky”.Please see it if possible

  14. Will M says:

    My partner of 5 years walked out over a week ago. Now she does not even email me.
    I now understand why she was unhappy but it was gradual and I didnt know how to fix it at the time.
    I’ve told her I would do anything to work on our relationship. I want her to come home, I love her unconditionally, I can’t even be angry at her. I have never felt this bad for so long. At least I know she is ok with friends. Being abandoned not knowing what she does it tough.
    She says she needs space, time to think and gives me no hope of even coming back, she says she does not know. Doing nothing as she wishes prevents me from trying to make it better, so frustrating.
    I know reationally that she needs to be without me, but for how long? How long does a woman need to decide? Every day is hell. She doesnt tell anyone what she does, I have no way of convincing her that Im serious about working on our relationship, i thought we would grow old together.
    i can’t imagine being without her, I don’t want to be with anyone else.
    Is there any hope, anything that I should do?

    • K says:

      I’m sorry to hear your story Will. Unfortunately there is nothing you can do ‘to make it better’, she needs to fix herself. The depression is making her push you away and you are going to have to be very, very patient. If you contact her, do not mention the relationship and how much you are missing her, as this will probably only serve to make her push you away even more.

      The Depression Fallout forum is a wonderful site from which to gain support in this awful situation. All the best, K.

  15. I have recently started a blog on aging and depression; it’s more like a weekly journal. Have some readers that are friends and relatives, no comments. I am paralyzed by isolation, depression, anxiety, have been living in an apartment attached to my son’s and daughter-in-laws house which is good as far as our relationship is concerned but I have literally forgotten how to do anything for myself. We will be moving in the next 9 months into two separate condos, about 8 blocks apart, and I am terrified. There’s no social interaction in the building and my energy for getting out and trying to meet people is very low. I feel close to giving up.

    Can I post on this blog? Maybe some of the posts I would put on my own.
    My website is aginganddepression.blogspot.com or the full title is Aging and Depression: From Darkness into Light. Is there any way you could take a look at it and give me some pointers. I long for contact with someone, anyone.

    Thank you
    Patricia Robertson

    • shilps says:

      Hi Patricia ,

      I read some postings from your blog. Dont feel depressed .You are always taken care of by the universe and God loves u much beyond ur imagination .

      I also found spirituality and meditation very useful to remove depression
      Also some other things like exposure to sunlight , deep breathing exercises ,listening to meditation music , drinking lot of water , eating the right food , eating lot of fruits and nuts ,meeting loved ones will help u .

      Focus on what u want and not on what u dont want
      What u focus on increases .

      So in ur blog start counting your blessings .
      Note down what depresses u more and avoid doing that .Observe urself continuously
      Note down what makes u happy and do that more ..!

      Forgive all those who have hurt u , as by not letting go u are hurting urself
      Dont spoil ur now for what has gone .
      For what has gone is only a memory now.
      Release all the emotions one by one everyday ..
      Bless all your enemies…
      Thank all the hard times they have given u as u have gained a lot from that too
      even if u are not aware of it .
      At highest level , we all are spirits and so no one can harm anyone .
      So its the role that people are playing in this life to act in a certain way to give u certain lessons in life and that also is agreed by you (as they say) before we are born .

      Express gratitude for improvement in health if any , for what u can still do
      Thank all your organs and express all that they have done in detail
      Express memories of great moments in your life
      What are the good lessons u learnt from ur life
      Thank all people who have helped u

      Express what u would like ur life to be from now onwards..!

      Take care of urself
      Love
      Shilps

      • shilps says:

        Hi Patricia…

        Hope u will be reading my reply and it will be useful to u and others who read it .

        Since u can use the internet , u can learn something new everyday
        That will keep u healthy and motivated

        Also u can share the practical knowledge u have acquired like
        Small tips for bringing up kids ,Relationships ,Marriage ,Cooking

        Or u can share practical experiences :
        Funny Incidents in your life , Great People u have seen and what u liked about them ,

        If u can list out things u think one should do at different phases in life ,
        it will definitely help the next generation

        You can also write about :How u handled certain situations gracefully , how were the difficulties in life overcome by u or your loved ones, what was their mindset , experiences of having helped people or received help and your feelings that time,
        realizations of existence of God, etc…

        Some one somewhere may be needing this information and ur knowledge will
        be useful to them

        Memories get overwritten as we get new perspectives and learn
        to practice forgiveness, gratitude , compassion ,acceptance ,appreciation ,Love

        Also when u find some usefulness of ur life ,some purpose you will get the energy ,circumstances and ability from life to do it ..!! 🙂 Your health will improve too .

        “When u find usefulness of ur pain
        U will realize nothing has gone in vain ..”

        Every moment in ur life is not just about ur life
        u are a part of the universe …it takes a lot of resources and efforts of
        different components of universe to keep u alive
        Appreciate the gift of Life!!

        ur life is not just ur life…share it with others and feel one with the universe
        ur body is not ur body …u are the God of all thats there in ur body
        and u can act to forgive ,love , be grateful ,care and serve every part of ur body

        Let this mind create some value for the world , Let this body be at service of this universe
        and it will receive all healing energies

        Now u dont need appreciation , compensation ,rewards for ur work
        Let the work itself be a reward!!
        Feel joy in Giving !

        Think of what u would like to give back to the world
        and evaluate what is possible for u now
        I am sure u will be able to Just Start Doing it …!!

        Take care…
        Lov
        Shilpa

      • saurabh garg says:

        I am 26 year old. please suggest me I always thinking of die ,I think what benefit of living life and fear one day I become old and die by heart attack.and life is very small.

        • CJ says:

          This is for you, Saurabh Garg. It’s also for ANYONE and EVERYONE who may be thinking of suicide as a “way out” of your suffering. That is not an answer. Life can be long, satisfying, and very beautiful! But please don’t set your goal right away as “finding happiness”, not yet anyway. In the beginning just set your goal as dealing with those dark times and getting relief from suicidal thoughts. Be kind and gentle with yourself, and love your SELF and the beautiful gift of your life. There is lots of beauty around you, just look and see.

          Please get immediate assistance and find someone who can help you when you feel this way; they will refer you to helpful professionals who will coach you, listen to you, give you resources, and get you on your way to a happy and fulfilling life. But you have to do some work also, even though it can seem impossible when you’re really down in a dark place. I’ve been there, too. First, make an appointment with a doctor and TELL THEM you think you have Depression and want to see a professional for a diagnosis and possible ongoing talk therapy. They will later talk with you about using medications, and it will be up to you if you take them or not. You do NOT have to see a Psychiatrist at first. You can visit a Psychologist, a Social Worker, a Minister or Priest or any other clergy you may know of, but start with someone trustworthy and with valid credentials.

          Go easy on yourself; you don’t have to be perfect. Find ways to lift up your mood that suit YOU. Go for a drive in the countryside. Walk in the city gardens. Go for a spin in the park on your bicycle. Visit an animal shelter and see all the dogs, cats, bunnies and other furry animals that will make you smile. Bake some cookies. Visit a fond auntie or uncle. Watch a comedy flick. Phone a friend who always tells you a joke. Go for an ice cream. Listen to upbeat music. Get on the treadmill and work up a sweat or lift a few weights. Go down to the riverside or to the beach and appreciate Mother Nature. Buy some flowers. Practice Yoga if you don’t already. And then, if you need medications, well, go for it. They DO help. Yet they aren’t the only ticket back. Your life choices can make a huge improvement in your outlook.

          When you’re active and exercising, a lot goes on in your body to make you literally healthier and happier. Just a few of the hormones released in exercise are: endorphins, dopamine and serotonin. They all play a part in making you feel really good, alive, and vital. This is where you want to be, but you’ve got to do the work.

          Best of luck. Live long and be at peace!

          CJ

      • C J says:

        Anyone who has lived with depression ought to know that it’s an everyday struggle but the key is to never give up hope. Believe in yourself. For most people, a combination of talk therapy … I recommend a counseling psychologist, not a psychiatrist … and medications will help enormously.

        After that, eat really, really healthy foods, swim, walk, practice yoga, get a pet, listen to upbeat music, read funny books, get out in the sun … whatever makes you feel inspired, alive, lively, energized and motivated.

        A few years ago, I would ignore my housework and my appearance, stayed in bed half the day, and almost quit socializing. Now, I’m doing all the things I used to enjoy and new things as well. Depression didn’t get the better of me, I got it under control and it doesn’t weigh me down any more.

  16. Rita says:

    Hi there
    I have a partner for has been previously in three relationships which broke down, and re married etc..he has in all 4 children and 3 grandchildren. I hv now been with him for 5months, and within this time he has had three lots of depression, and he cuts me out, and sends heartbreaking messages to me by email and mobile. It takes about 4 to 5 days to come out of it, and when he does he is really sorry about it. He tells me sometimes he wants to commit suicide etc… I am new to this , and dont know what to do to help him. I have said to him, never to send me messages like this again. i hv asked him whether he has mention this to his GP but he said no, what do I do or say to him. I find that the repetition of this is too close together , and it may be worse, the way I see it. Let me know.
    Regards .

  17. Sophie says:

    Hi,
    Im an 18yr old girl whom just finished my hsc. Ive had depression since i was 15 but it keeps getting worse.. Ive attempted suicide more than a few times and ive seen a couple councellors but nothing seems to help. I tried talking to my friend at 16 but it got spread all over school that i was attention seeking. After that talking to people seemed impossible. I feel as though someones watching me all the time. Sometimes i can sleep all day and then sometimes not at all. I dont know what to do? How do you get better? It seems impossible..

    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Hi, Sophie –

      It really is possible to get better, but it can take time to find a way of dealing with depression that works for you. It’s always good to start with a checkup to rule out physical causes, like a thyroid problem. Have you seen a doctor who can do a thorough evaluation and diagnosis? I know it can take time to find a counselor or therapist whom you trust and have confidence in, and it can also take time to find an effective medication, if that is thought to be appropriate for the worst symptoms. But you can find both. There are therapy methods that have helped me and millions of others, especially with the patterns of thinking that make you believe there is no hope for getting better. There is hope. It is important to stay connected with people who really care about you – they can’t be your therapists, but spending time with them just to hang out really can help, even if you don’t feel like it. It’s good to learn as much as you can about depression too. You can start with other posts on this blog about recovery but also look at the many other sites, books and videos I mention in the Resources section. And please feel free to stay in touch here when you have more questions or just to sound off.

      All my best to you —

      John

    • Swordfish says:

      If you have tried conselling and/or medication and haven’t seen any change, I highly recommend you read “The Depression Cure: The 6-Step Program to Beat Depression without Drugs”.
      http://www.amazon.com/The-Depression-Cure-Program-without/dp/0738213888?tag=storiedmindco-20

      This book starts from the insight that our western way of life is toxic to our mind and bodies. Fortunately it is possible to improve our situation with exercise, dietary supplements, sunlight exposure, etc. Every step is supported by clinical studies.

      The only part of this book that could be improved is the chapter about stopping rumination (negative thought loops). I would recommend mindfulness meditation.
      Article: http://www.fastcompany.com/3009764/dialed/the-big-chill-out-how-meditation-can-help-with-everything
      Video with meditation expert Jon Kabat-Zinn (author of the book “Wherever You Go, There You Are”):
      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3nwwKbM_vJc

    • FiresideScarlet says:

      If you need a friend who has experienced this all her life, please get in touch with me. I’m here. There is help, just ask your doctor for a referral. I don’t know who you’ve talked to but psychiatrists aren’t that good for depression. I’ve seen a psychologist, and also a social worker. There are many different kinds of therapies out there. One suggestion: laughter yoga! It is REALLY therapeutic! Just keep looking and NEVER give up on YOU. You are alive and you are beautiful. You deserve to love yourself. That feeling of someone always watching you is something that I have experienced. It can go away; mine has. Personally, I think it is a form of self consciousness, but if it gets out of hand, it can lead to some kind of paranoia. Don’t worry, it can be helped and you can control it. I used to have panic attacks, and I know that they arose out of exactly that feeling. I was overly self conscious and always felt someone was staring at me. This I think is called “hyper vigilance”, at least my therapist mentioned this once. Try relaxation methods, yoga, deep breathing, calming music, meditation, and so on. You are not alone in this, it is HUMAN to have these feelings!! Even if someone IS looking at you, what harm can they do to you? Ask yourself “What is the worst that can happen?” Confront that feeling and you will gain control over it. Eventually it will subside.

  18. Nat says:

    Hi i just found this site and think your feedback and help seems really good so i thought i would share… I havent wrote on any sites before but i am struggling and worried. I am 23 and have suffered with depression since i was 18 and anxiety since i was 14. I have been on and off tablets, started seeing a therapist last year but stopped going because i couldnt even make myself go to that. Right now i am down and scared and feel so negative about my future. I recently got a temporary job after being made redundant in february, felt okay when i started on a steady level but the last month i started with the depression and then my anxiety increased and panic attacks. I had some days off work, spoke to them and saw occupational health (with it being the nhs they were quite helpful) been in the last 3 weeks – it is only weekends though which makes me feel even more rubbish that im struggling even with that! Ive veen to the doctors again on tablets but never really feel like im taken seriously. I thought i was doing a bit better apart from in the week just feeling like in completely wasting my life and time. But this weekend i couldnt do it again. I will have list this job now, feel like such a failure and crap person. I still live at home and they just get annoyed at me. I have a boyfriend who ive been with for 5 years and really happy with him but feel guilty for what he puts up with. I have extreme self esteem issues. Sometimes i get so angry. Im sorry this is so long! Its hard to make short im really sorry. Just trying to give as much info as possible. Just also add that i suffer with ocd which worsens with the anxiety, i have quite bad eczema which drives me mad and makes me feel ugly and i pull my eyelashes. I sound like such a case! I dont know what to do about jobs and myself. I need a job like everyone i need money. I just feel so stuck.

    Thank you for reading this. I really appreciate it!

    natalie

    • shilps says:

      Dear Nat ,

      U are stll very young dear and thats the most precious gift u have now…TIME
      Start counting what u have and be grateful for that ,appreciate urself for that and be grateful to life .Things like:

      Having a boyfriend for 5 yrs is a great thing!!
      Having experienced a love relationship is a wonderful experience
      U have a family which is at least allowing u to stay with them
      U are staying in a country where women have freedom
      U had landed up with a job which means u have the capability to get employed..
      U worked for few days rite…?
      U are able to overcome ur attacks and be able to blog here..!
      U made an attempt to see a theapist….
      U are able to identify ur problems
      U still have the desire to get over this……That is the most positive thing I can see!

      Congratulate urself for this all…
      U are a tough fighter that inspite of all odds u have still managed somany things
      Now list down what u want and believe that u will get it
      ” I am mentally healthy and capable of doing what I want to do now”
      ” I am financially self sufficient ”
      “I receive love ,respect and support from my family and boyfriend ”

      Negative self talk lowers self image and so convert all negative words u use to positive affirmations .

      Help someone …Kind acts raise self esteem
      Love yourself …Only then others will love you ,
      Keep watching motivational movies and talks from net

      Tell ur self ” Whats happening is a part of universe and i am not the only person experiencing this . I am continuously protected by universe .I am in harmony with nature
      My body received healing energies and gets healed quickly
      I am strong and healthy .”

      Identify what u really want to do in life and all procrastination , fears ,obstacles will go away automaically…Be patient !!

      Love
      Shilps

      • nat says:

        Hi again, thank you for your reply and all the positives you pointed out. It.was a while back now i was feeling.that low, and its strange when you read it back. I have been signed off work for 6 months and seeing my doctor, getting a better routine with my tablet and kept on with them with out gaps etc. Aand they really do help. I use to not like the idea of a tablet to make you happy but i realise now it is like having any illness you take medicine and it helps.. Will never cure but makes a huge difference. I do worry about coming off them but step at a time, making most of feel good right now. I still hve my moments worries anxiety but not at the level it was last year when iwrote.

        Reading back i feel like i soinded really ungreatful for the things i have, and i promise im not. I realise and knew then how lucky i am for my boyfriend, family and age etc. And they make me so happy but as you know when depressed it doesnt matter for some reason you just arent happy. Which then made me feel so guilty and hate myself even more. Especially being young and thinking why am i like this?! Then feel even worse for that. Everything is just grey and youre in a sort of bubble a grey bubble. At the time you wish your well self and positive self could pop in and talk to you.. If you know what i mean! Anyway, appreciate you writing back and for the video. I love to find natural help. The worse you feel the worse the eczema is. At the moment its a lot better, more under control like the depression and anxiety.

        This is a great site and helped me express when needing to, just want to say to people in that place at the moment.. Even though i know you have probably heard it all before and it might not help right now but keep repeating to yourself “i wont always feel like this i WILL feel good again”. Cos you will, take any help you can, talk, see someone, take medication if need to. But it will pass, might come back for periods in life but you wont always feel that low and can get under control and find lots of ways to help.

        My thoughts to everyone on here

        love
        nat

  19. heather says:

    I just started new medication, and I have seen an increase in panic attacks and anxiety. My husband isn’t supportive and is using my illness as a threat. Go take your pills…if I say or do something wrong. Even said I am worse than his ex wife….I am so so broken

    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Hi, heather –

      I think you should talk to your doctor about the medication and tell him that you can’t tolerate the side effects. As far as your husband using your illness as a threat, that sounds like a lot of anger and abuse. Can you discuss this with a therapist or someone you trust?

      John

  20. edna nieves says:

    hi im married with a person who get a bid depression bc he lost his son like 8 years a go i was in depression too bc i lost 7 ppl in 2 years but went iwant to talk to him he dont have the tipe i fell alone i had 4 tenager and everytime went i go to them they never had time to listen to me can u help me out what i can do.

    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Hi, edna –

      It’s really hard when no one in your family will listen. Is there anyone else your husband would be able to listen to who could talk with him about the depression? Sometimes another family member can help or a clergyman. It’s often hard for a man to talk about depression or hear about the effect of his depression on his family because he could well feel that he has failed to handle his own feelings or failed to be a good husband and father. It helps to approach the subject without talking first about what’s wrong with him – but instead about stresses he’s under – sympathizing with how difficult things are. I can’t tell what would be appropriate, but just remember that men can feel a lot of shame about an emotional problem.

      John

  21. Ravine Hotel says:

    I am looking around on the net searching for the best way to Living Depressed and your website happens to be extremely professional. Nice article.

  22. Doing all this-fixing myself-seems too, too, too tiring…

    • John Folk-Williams says:

      Hi, clynically depressed –

      I know. That’s the problem with suggestions for self-help – you feel you can’t begin to practice them. I’ve always tried to find the smallest starting point – I have a post somewhere that describes a moment like that. I stood up from my chair and walked out the door into the sunlight. I could at least do that when I felt a certain way. It was a start. I hope you can find something like that at least.

      John

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