Here’s how to deal with depression.
You can download my guide below, but here’s a snippet of it for free.
How to Deal With Depression | Take My Mental Health Medication Every Day
Obviously, this doesn’t apply to everyone, but it definitely applies to me and many others. I suffer from depression, anxiety, OCD, binge eating disorder, anger issues, sexual addiction, and probably some other shit I don’t even know about.
Between year 1 and year 8 of my sobriety, I refused to take any medication for my mental health issues.
I suffered. My workplace suffered. My wife suffered. My family suffered. That’s what happens when I don’t take my medication the way I’m supposed to.
During those years, I definitely had plenty of periods of happiness, but they were the exception rather than the rule. Today, happiness is the rule. This is why I put this action so high on my list.
It saved my life.
I want to make sure that you understand that medication can be a long, trying process. It took me years to find the right combination. It took years of working with my psychiatrist, of trying various medications and doses, years of not giving up.
This came after years of untreated depression before I got sober and decades of untreated depression when I was a kid. This came after 2 suicide attempts.
I wouldn’t say that I’m cured.
Rather, I would say that I’m treated. It can come back if I’m not careful.
That’s why I do these other things below. Depression is a tricky bitch. I have to work hard to fight it. It goes beyond medication.
I also want to mention that medication doesn’t work for everyone. For some people, the actions I list below are enough to treat their depression. For others, they need more extreme measures, like ECT (Electroshock Therapy) or Ketamine therapy.
There’s nothing wrong with having to take more serious approaches to treat depression. I know people who have done the above to try to treat their treatment-resistant depression.
Some have gotten good results. Others need a combination of therapy, medication, and some of these more advanced methods of treating their depression.
The main thing I can say is this—don’t give up. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
Sometimes, it just takes a while to find it.
I readily admit that meditation is something I’ve never been perfect at. I once had a daily meditation practice, but it’s more like once a week now.
I’ve found that both are important for several reasons. Meditation calms me. It can help me prepare for the day, deal with a bad day, or just get through a difficult situation.
Meditation was really difficult for me at first. My head doesn’t shut up—ever—but I learned over time that it’s not about clearing my mind. It’s more about chilling out and letting myself take a break from the struggles of each day.
I urge you to try meditation and give it time to work. That’s something I can’t stress enough with depression—don’t give up.
Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem, even if temporary means years.
You can get through this.
Writing Helps Me Deal With My Depression
For most people, writing means journaling, and I think this can be useful and healing, but for me, writing is fiction, nonfiction, and blogging. No matter what I write, I feel like I’ve accomplished something, like this piece right here.
I pour myself into everything I write.
There’s something beautiful about writing because, no matter what you write, it’s art. I think that art can help a lot of people through their depression, no matter what form it comes in.
For me, it’s writing, but if it’s journaling for you, that’s art too, just something that’s personal.
I love creating something beautiful and putting it out into the world to see if it means something to someone else. I try to write every day.
I’m no scientist, but I’m certain that the act of creation has power no matter what you’re creating.
Writing down your problems and your feelings similarly has power. It helps to get the poison out while creating something that has meaning, even if the meaning is just for you.
I definitely don’t do a ton of exercise, but I try to exercise three or four times a week, even if it’s just something simple like walking my dog.
This helps me deal with my depression in ways I can’t fully describe.
I especially like to exercise outside if I can. Even if it’s just a round of disc golf, it can be enough to get the blood flowing a little, get some endorphins going, get some vitamin D, and get me out of the house.
I spend the majority of most days in front of a computer, so getting out, getting my eyes off the blue lights and onto something natural, getting fresh air–these things are healing for me.
Exercise doesn’t have to be crazy, but there are studies that show that 30 minutes of exercise a day can make a huge difference in how you feel. I’ve found this to be true.
Plus, it gives me a feeling of accomplishment so that, when I’m really depressed, I can point to it and say, “Well, at least I did something positive today.”
It helps. It’s how I deal with depression one day at a time.
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