Tips for Dealing with Depression

For those survivors, family members and others who wrestle with symptoms of depression or other chronic mental illnesses, some common-sense tips from others who manage chronic mental illness can be very helpful.

For those providing pastoral care, these tips are especially helpful because they support good mental health care approaches but also offer an overview of life practices worth developing – because chronic mental illness is a lifetime challenge that can successful!

These tips do not intend to be used in lieu of good guidance from medical and mental health care professionals, but they do offer a first-person impression of ways to beat the sometimes stifling drag of the illness from someone who not only does so but also is an advocate for others with the same challenge.

From the blog Al Levin’s Mental Health Website, here are nine “Tips for Dealing with Depression.

One thought on “Tips for Dealing with Depression

  1. Thank you for the timely message. Holidays can be a challenge for so many people.

    Shame. Embarrassment. Feeling flawed. Relating to the leper or the woman with the hemorrhage who approached Christ on His way to heal Jairus’s daughter. The Samaritan woman at the well. These are a few things that come to mind as I live and learn to manage symptoms of complex ptsd.

    Medications did not help me. In fact I had adverse reactions to the ones I tried. I decided to utilize a wholistic and natural approach. It is helping.

    Avoiding alcohol is essential as it effects moods and increases depression and anxiety. Limiting sugar and caffeine, drinking plenty of water to stay well hydrated, listening to soothing music, meditations ( many available free through you tube), utilizing deep breathing as a means of decreasing anxiety, attending small groups through church or twelve step or other support meetings, praying the rosary, meditating on uplifting Scriptural verses, yoga as related to trauma release and to connect with the body, learning how to cope with life on life’s terms using twelve step tools, exercising daily to work up a sweat, hot soaks in Epsom salt, aroma therapy using essential oils, singing, reading even in short segments, writing, biking, power walking, cooking…….Finding loving, supportive and available people who celebrate my presence while distancing from criticical, envious and shaming individuals even if I have to lose the old familiar relationships in the process is an act of love. I don’t have to stay in unhealthy relationships trying to change them or to make them work just because they feel familiar. God provides a door. As children we could not leave unhealthy care providers. As adults we are not powerless.

    Gratitude. This is huge. Finding things throughout the day for which to express gratitude is a powerful antidote to depression. Learning to give praise throughout the day even without a choir behind you is another powerfully healing experience. Give praise and thanks in all things. Acceptance. Forgiveness of others and of self. Compassion for others and self. Faith. Trust that at all times God is in control and that our storms will pass. Limit exposure to the news. When seeing tragic events try focusing on the love of God and His presence through the helpers who show up at the scene.

    These are just a few of the self-care techniques I incorporate that work. Practicing good self care has helped me to learn to have a loving and caring relationship with myself so that it will decrease my vulnerability to predators who love bomb to get you hooked. If I am connected to the source of love from inside then I won’t be as likely to fall prey. Healthy self-love helps in experiencing the true from the false.

    Learning how to detach from my earthly parents while seeking connection to God through Jesus and re training myself to see myself through Christ is helping me to recover my identity through my relationship with God and from no other. Knowing and feeling that I am unconditionally loved at all times by God who never leaves, abandons or shames me Is helping to renew my mind from being bombarded with negative self-talk from old tapes. The internal self-critic is leaving.

    Engaging is healthy self-care as I listed above helps me to connect with the love of God at an experiential level and not just intellectually.

    Liked by 1 person

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