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Coping With Depression
By Ed Needham

What I will NOT do when I'm Depressed

What I WILL do when I'm Depressed

When I feel depressed I will NOT do things that are self- destructive. Some of the things I will AVOID are:

-Eating to ease the pain This only makes the depression last longer. Sweets, caffeine and chocolate especially make depressed feelings worse, since they make your moods swing higher and lower.

-Sleeping too much or too little Sleep is important, but too much or too little makes you feel miserable.

-Staying at home all the time Even if you want to, don't stay at home all day sitting and watching TV with the shades closed. These behaviors will make you more depressed and lonely.

-Smoking more To try not to smoke more is really difficult for some of you when you feel miserable or depressed. You believe that smoking will ease the pain, but it rarely does. It only hurts your body, and costs lots of money that could be spent for things that really make you feel good.

-Taking illegal or non-prescribed drugs This may seem like a solution at the time, but it isn't. These drugs usually make depression worse and last longer. There are no drugs that can replace actually dealing with the issues of depression and a doctors care.

-Drinking alcohol to ease depression This not only reduces the effectiveness of many of the medications you may be taking, but alcohol is a depressant that will make the depression deeper and last longer. Alcohol will rob your body of nutrients that are important for good physical and mental health, and impair your judgment. Drinking to ease the pain can only spell disaster.

-Trying to ease the depression in bars and nightclubs You want to meet people that care and want to help, and although decent people can sometimes be found in bars, going to bars rarely eases the pain of depression.

-Ignoring problems Sometimes when we feel depressed we tend to avoid or ignore issues that need our attention. It is difficult to feel motivated to tackle problems when we are depressed, but if we let problems pile up, we will only feel more miserable and be more depressed.

-Dwelling on problems Dwell on solutions to the problems. If solutions seem impossible, solve a problem that you can solve. It will make you feel better, and make you more able to tackle the bigger problems.

-Don't EVER be satisfied being depressed and miserable! There are positive things that you CAN do that will ease your depression.

When I feel depressed I WILL do things that are constructive, things that will help solve the problem rather than make it worse. Some of the things I WILL do when I feel depressed are:

-Get enough sleep But not too much. Force yourself to get to bed early and to get up at a reasonable hour. Eight hours of sleep is plenty for anyone. More than that usually makes you feel drowsy and miserable all day.

-Start exercising regularly This is probably the last thing you want to do when you feel depressed and miserable, but you'll be amazed at the difference it makes. Exercise works on your depression a number of ways: First, it gets you out of the house and you don't think so much about feelings of depression. Second, you feel good because you know you are doing something good for yourself. Third, regular energetic exercise causes natural chemicals to be released into your body that make you feel good and are not harmful. Regular exercise also makes you look better which attracts people to you.

-Eat good foods every day In order to work right, your body needs certain vitamins and other nutrients that it can only get from eating the right foods. This is true especially in times of stress and illness.

-Get in touch with a REAL friend If you don't have a real friend, then the best friend you have will do . Don't use your friend as your counselor. Let them know you are depressed, but don't dwell on it. Just enjoy your friendship. Don't wait for them to call you, they may have problems of their own.

-Plan activities away from home Go to places where you can meet new and exciting people that will not try to take advantage of you. Enroll in adult education classes, join a bowling league, a social club or other organization.

-Do something for someone else Doing this makes you feel stronger, and gives you a feeling of being needed. By being generous in this way, you are building self- confidence while at the same time making friends. It also puts the emphasis on something other than yourself.

-Make a list A list of days, places, people and things that trigger depressed feelings. This will be a list of things to avoid at all costs when you are feeling depressed. Feeling depressed once in a while is common to all people, but if depression is long-lasting, and affecting your ability to cope with everyday life, then the causes of the depressed feelings must be addressed. Depression that goes on and on will eventually trigger other problems much worse than depression.

-Know when to get help If you have a doctor or therapist, let them know you are depressed. Show them this list, and go over it with them. Maybe they can suggest medication or something you have overlooked to help you understand the roots of your depression. Whatever you do, DON'T let it go on and on. You deserve better than that!

You may copy and use this information, but be sure to give me credit!

E-mail me to let me know how you want to use it. Thanks!

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