Depression Rules

Dark Sky, Photo by Antero Pires, Source flickr (CC A-SA, 2.0 Generic)

O my God, my soul is cast down within me…” (Ps. 42: 6).

There is as yet no known cure for depression, a mood disorder from which many abuse victims suffer.

Depression is a serious medical condition, and potentially fatal, as the recent death of comedian, Robin Williams illustrates.  Depression sufferers should be under the care of a medical professional.

That said, here are a few practical suggestions for coping. I cannot take credit for having developed these, but I have employed them.  I hope they may assist you, as well.

Whatever has caused or contributed to your depression, you are not alone. There is help available. There are people who will understand. Reach out. You are worth the effort.

1. Have a medical work-up.

Depression can be caused by a large variety of factors. Rule out such physical causes as heavy metal exposure, hypoglycemia, and drug side effects.

2. Be kind to your body.

Eat nourishing meals at regular intervals. Go to bed and rise at regular hours (even if you’re tempted to stay up all night, and wander the house). The patterned behavior will help your body (and mind) regain health.

3. Make sure of daily human contact.

The tendency will be to self-isolate. Let friends know you may not have the energy to call them. Ask that they call, text or email you. If nothing else, chat briefly with the mail carrier or store clerk.

4. Exercise.

Research increasingly points to exercise as an antidote for depression. This can involve a walk around the block or something more vigorous. As a secondary benefit, exercise will aid with sleep.

5. Commune with nature.

Spend some time outside in a garden or other peaceful setting. Feel the sun on your face. Admire the roses. Let your mind wander, but gently push aside any worrisome thoughts.

6. Treat yourself.

Pick up flowers on the way home from work. Eat that piece of chocolate cake without guilt.

7. Do something you enjoy or once enjoyed.

This can be a hobby or any other pleasant activity. Read a good book. Visit a pet store and play with the puppies. Slowly your joy will return. Don’t feel you have to force it or that you’ve failed if this takes time.

8. Try something new.

When you can muster the energy, try an activity you’ve always meant to try. Take a few golf lessons. Learn to swim. Don’t “rate” yourself on how well you do. Just participate.

9. Laugh.

Laughter is good for the soul. Watch funny movies; avoid sad ones. Read joke books. Go to a comedy club.

10. Pray.

Pray in the confidence you will be heard. The light will return. Meanwhile, God walks with us through the darkness.

These suggestions are not intended to replace counseling or anti-depressants and other medications.



Filed under Child Abuse, Christianity, Emotional Abuse, Neglect, Physical Abuse, Religion, Sexual Abuse, Violence Against Women

2 responses to “Depression Rules

  1. Such great advice, Anna! These steps sound simple, but I know they help. Sometimes, when I’m feeling down, just going outside and listening to a good audio book helps.

  2. Thank you, Bill. I’ve wrestled with depression for most of my life. Those unfamiliar w/ the illness don’t realize its power.

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