This section of the site covers a range of ideas and thoughts on how to overcome depression.
Is it possible to overcome being depressed?
Yes it most definitely is. We know this is true because lots of others have successfully overcome their depression. If you’re living with, and surffering from depression this is great news for you. If you know that it's possible to overcome it, you can then work towards your complete recovery.
Does it seem possible for you to overcome it?
If you’re stuck in the middle of feeling depressed it will probably feel as if it’s not possible for you to recover. You probably can’t see a way forward from where you are now to where you want to be. Each obstacle may seem almost impossible to overcome without a huge amount of effort.
This is because when you’re feeling low, you tend to see the world through ‘murky specs’
A Depressed mood can make everything seem bleak, dark and difficult. That’s not how things really are; it’s just how they seem.
Are you determined to beat depression?
You need to be really committed to finding ways to overcome that constant depressed feeling. Proper commitment and effort will give you the best chance of long term recovery. Taking a wholehearted approach is the only way you'll successfully overcome this seemingly unsolveable problem. What’s important is that you take full responsibility for solving the puzzle of how to get you feeling better.
You don't need to know all the answers before you make this commitment to your recovery; it doesn't mean that you have to know exactly how you're going to do it. You'll have to start the journey to recovery in order to work out the 'how'.
Make a commitment to yourself that 'what' you will do is beat it. As you turn that commitment into positive action you'll be able to work out 'how' to overcome it for yourself.
Working out your recovery plan is going to be a bit of a puzzle. You need to identify the right pieces and try them to see if they fit properly for you. With this approach you'll find enough pieces to create a happy and resilient future. You don't solve the whole puzzle at once - you do it one small piece at a time. You do this by learning to overcome one small problem at a time.
What not to do when dealing with depression
Some depressed people fall into the naive trap of waiting for somebody or something to find them and sort out all their problems. You might think that if all your problems were magically taken away, then you’d be instantly happy.
This is not necessarily the case. There are plenty of healthy, wealthy, well connected people who still suffer with feeling depressed all the time. Your happiness is not totally reliant on external circumstances. Your happiness relies on you learning how to be happy and well within your current circumstances.
Another thing to avoid is taking anti-depressants and expecting them alone to magically change your life into something you enjoy. Anti-depressants should be taken alongside you helping yourself, not instead of.
Overcoming persistent gloominess and cultivating a happy life is a 'job for life' that requires a certain set of skills and habits. It's fair to guess that you don't yet know what these skills and habits are. All you need to know at this stage is that you need to discover what they are and learn how to do them.
What are you waiting for?
It’s easy to think of depression as one big ‘scary beast’ to battle with. When you’re feeling down and depressed the last thing you feel like doing is battling with a big scary beast. ‘Battling' with the problem is tiring and soul destroying.
The best way of dealing with it is to understand that there are lots of small, simple things under your control that you can do you feel better and happier. Another key to recovery is knowing what to 'stop doing' in order to feel better. Learn to overcome and change those habits you have that don't support a happy life.
Overcoming depression can be easier than you think.
The truth is that persistent mental gloom can be beaten if you consistently do lots of small constructive things to improve your mood and wellbeing. These small actions, when carried out regularly will turn into automatic habits. When your new auto-pilot habits are running for long enough it will add up to you being happier and more resilient.
Beating depression is a big job that can easily be tackled in small regular steps..
"How do you eat an elephant? ...One bite at a time!"
What causes depression?
Depression happens as a result of several factors that build and come together over time.
These factors are different for everybody. They are as diverse as people are. No two people have exactly the same lifestyle, habits or personalities.
If a chemical imbalance did exist it’s not certain whether this is truly the cause of depression or the effect of other causes.
Human beings are so complex that we will never fully understand the complex workings of our minds.
It’s convenient to over simplify things and say ‘it’s a chemical imbalance’ because then a simple pill can be prescribed to ‘balance those chemicals’.
Are you looking for the simple 'quick-fix' cure?
You might be looking for a simple solution to cure depression, but the truth is a quick and simple solution doesn’t exist. You will have to find the combination of depression solutions that will work for you, in your special circumstances.
Certain behaviours and habits can create factors that can lead a person into depression.
Factors that can lead to depression include:-
- High stress
- Poor time management
- Low self esteem
- Poor communication skills
- Lack of uplifting human interaction
- Lack of suitable exercise
- Negative self talk
- Poor eating habits
- Overuse of drink/drugs/smoking/other addictive substances
- Pessimistic habits
- Poor self care
- Unsuitable living, working or sleeping environment
Factors that can help you overcome depression include:-
- Lower stress - by learning to overcome high stress
- Good time management - by learning to overcome poor time management
- Good self-esteem - by learning to overcome low self esteem
- Good quality uplifting interaction with other people - by learning to overcome isolation
- Daily physical activity breathing fresh air - by learning to overcome lethargy
- Supportive self-talk - by learning to overcome destructive self talk
- Healthy eating habits - by learning to overcome poor eating habits
- Cutting back on addictive substances - by learning to overcome cravings
- Focusing on what’s working well - by learning to overcome negative thinking
- Looking after yourself - by learning to overcome self neglect
- Having a healthy work, living and sleeping environment - by learning to overcome your resistance to change
These obviously aren’t complete lists but they are good examples of things that can add up to depression if enough of them were allowed to get out of control for long enough.
Ask yourself some good questions
We like to think that happiness is just something that we are entitled to and should just happen. We imagine that it works that way for other people. The reality is for most of us happiness needs working at. It needs a plan and it needs action.
Happy people share some common behaviours, habits and thought patterns. Their life tends to include more factors on the second list above.
Each of these ‘Happiness enhancing factors’ can be examined and incorporated into your life – one step at a time.
How long will it take?
Well, when you 'eat an elephant' it doesn’t just disappear after the first few bites. You just have to keep munching away until the elephant has gone!
(Apologies are now due I believe to any vegetarians or wildlife preservation enthusiasts. Let’s quit using the elephant analogy now...)
Think of your mind like a garden
Getting rid of depression is like weeding an overgrown garden; Cultivating happiness is like planting new flowers, trees and shrubs.
For this to happen, the garden needs constant tending and weeding and planting. The dying old stuff needs removing and the new alive stuff needs replanting when the time is right.
A depressed mind is like an overgrown garden full of weeds, dead plants and general rubbish. Nothing can prosper because the available space is all choked up with old dying vegetation. If you want to convert it to a flower garden, you don’t just start to plant flowers. They will probably just die. First you need to get rid of some weeds and start to create space for the flowers to grow and prosper.
To overcome depression it’s useful to think of it as just like converting an overgrown weedy garden into a flower garden. You need to gradually ‘weed out’ the habits that are keeping your depression in place. Then you need to gradually plant new ‘depression busting’ or ‘happiness supporting’ habits to replace them.
If you do enough of this over time you will create the kind of mental and physical conditions where depression cannot be sustained.
There are loads of effective self-help treatments and techniques available to help you overcome depression. We introduce many of them to you throughout our site. The more of them you experiment with and use, the more likely it is that you will beat it quickly and permanently.
Be patient, have an open mind and learn to enjoy discovering for yourself what makes you feel better.
You'll be suprised at how many useful ideas, techniques and strategies you can find to help in your quest to overcome depression.
This site is full of helpful pointers, information and guides to depression solutions. Please bookmarkand visit regularly to learn about ways to speed up your recovery.
Good luck in your quest!
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