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Forums / Depression / SELF HELP TIPS FOR MANAGING DEPRESSION

Topic: SELF HELP TIPS FOR MANAGING DEPRESSION

  1. AGrace
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    10 September 2014

    Hi Everyone,

    Here are some ideas you might like to try for managing symptoms of depression. Of course everyone's different, so let us know what works for you, and please feel free to add to the list...

    Mindfulness – through breathing or engaging the 5 senses

    Distress Tolerance – Accepting Emotions and Self Soothing

    Distraction – Put the thoughts/feelings aside and come back to them when you are ready to deal with them

    Positive Affirmations – Have some affirmations written down repeat them to yourself daily

    Sleep/Exercise/Diet – All 3 aspects of our lifestyle can impact the way we think/feel

    Increasing Pleasurable Activities – Engage in at least one pleasurable activity per day

    41 people found this helpful
  2. ontarioguy35
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    28 September 2014 in reply to AGrace
    Thanks both AGrace and Can't Move Forward, for your advice.  I've actually never heard of this natural sugar found in cantaloupe and oranges.  I'm very excited to give this a try and will definitely post any changes in mood that I notice.  AGrace, I've found that exercise, healthy eating, and sleep have been my main staple to aiding in the management of my depression/anxiety.  On top of this, I've found that my spirituality/relationship with God, has really brought me to a place of peace and forgiveness, which has really helped as well.  I have made many changes in my life, and I find one of the major ones that has really helped me was simply being very honest with myself about who I consider to be at the maturity level I need for friendship.  It's always difficult moving away / growing apart from people, but I've learned to accept these changes, however, to pray for all those around me and in the future, you really never know who will re-enter your life again.  I'm very happy I've found this online community though.  I've been pretty reserved about my depression and anxiety and am really looking forward to sharing and hearing from others about their struggles and success stories. 
    19 people found this helpful
  3. CMF
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    28 September 2014 in reply to ontarioguy35

    Hi Ontarioguy,

    Welcome and you're welcome! I'm assuming you're Canadian?

    I met 3 Kanuks from Toronto when I travelled Europe about 20 years ago. my fondest memories are of the times I had with them.

    No one will tell you about inositol.  it has been recommended by a holistic dr who has done a lot of research about it and its effects. I look forward to hearing how you find it.

    I too looked to my spirituality/God during a difficult time. I would love to hear more about this and about the changes you have made in your life.

    Perhaps you could start your own thread if your'e happy to share this with us?

    Looking forward to hearing more.

    CMF

    2 people found this helpful
  4. white knight
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    29 September 2014 in reply to CMF

    Hi everyone. I'm an athiest however I am deeply spiritual in my connections with animals and our world. My spirituality doesnt extend to humans...only a select few.

    I have mentioned this  several times over the last 6 months. It is a self help, non religious messenger named "Marahaji" real name Prem Rawat. He has many Youtube videoes that, for me, has touched the core of my soul.

    My favourite is 'Sunset" and another "the perfect instrument".  Marahaji's life as a teacher started at age 9 when he stood before his grieving villagers to tell them to stop grieving and start cellebrating the elders life that had passed. By 13 he was on TV. Now he's be in his 60's and flies  his own Learjet around the world meeting his followers that have found their own key to their inner heart through Marahaji's teachings. It may be religious of a kind but not for me.

    Google Marahaji Prem Rawat sunset and start your ride to inner peace. I used to have him on tape in the car. His works dragged me out of depression, made me confident and appreciative of my being. A big fan.

    5 people found this helpful
  5. ontarioguy35
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    30 September 2014 in reply to CMF
    Can't move forward said:

     

    "Perhaps you could start your own thread if your'e happy to share this with us?

    Looking forward to hearing more.

    CMF"



    Hi CMF,

    Yes, I am Canadian :-)  I'd love to share from my personal experience.  I'll start a new thread and share my story.
    1 person found this helpful
  6. CMF
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    1 October 2014 in reply to ontarioguy35

    Hi Ontarioguy,

    I'll keep an eye out for it.

    CMF

  7. missmuppet
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    2 October 2014 in reply to CMF

    Thank u A Grace. I'm really struggling right now & will try putting aside my feelings for a while. Go & be in my happy place & then have a sleep & wake up & start again. Thanks xo

    1 person found this helpful
  8. AGrace
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    2 October 2014 in reply to missmuppet

    Hi Guys,

    Thanks so far for all of your suggestions, it looks like a lot of people have some really positive ways of managing depression a little better. A lot of the strategies I suggested can be researched online, but I thought I'd offer a few suggestions from the ideas I have found helpful.

    Mindfulness - If anyone has a therapist, you probably hear this term all the time. I truly is a great way to really focus your energy on the present moment rather than ruminating about the past or worrying about all the "what if's". You don't have to be at home in bed to practice mindfulness either, as it really requires a present, conscious state, unlike meditation which requires a relaxed, peaceful setting. Mindfully eating a mint or a piece of chocolate is quite simple, and you can do it whenever, wherever. Start by looking at the item, observe it's curves and lines, notice it's colour. Feel the item, is it rough or smooth? Hard or soft? Is it cold or warm against your skin? Smell the item. Now place it in your mouth. Again notice it's texture, notice the taste, notice the sensations it brings about in your mouth - perhaps more saliva. Does it melt easily or remain firm? This only takes a few minutes, but already you're more focused on the item than all of your other stressors.

    Distress Tolerance - The simplest way is to focus on soothing yourself. You can create a self soothing kit and put it in a small box or a zip lock bag, something that you can keep with you for when you need it. You might like to come up with your own ideas for what to include, to add to this, here are some suggestions. You can make a stress ball using 2 balloons and some rice. (Put a handful of raw rice into the 1st balloon. Cut 3-4 holes into the second balloon. Stretch the 2nd balloon over the 1st balloon.), include some photos or images of happy memories or people that make you smile. Write down a few positive affirmations on a small piece of paper & include this. Put a few drops of your favourite scent onto a piece of card and include this. You can also include quotes, pictures of pets, a piece of soft or stretchy fabric.

    I hope that this is useful for you, and I look forward to us continuing to build on the list of tips.

    AGrace

    8 people found this helpful
  9. missmuppet
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    3 October 2014 in reply to AGrace

    I watched one of my favourite movies "August Rush" with a friend yesterday. I love the feel good ending & was a nice distraction. So afterwards I felt like I could start afresh with a change of my thinking. :-)

    1 person found this helpful
  10. Rubicon
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    17 October 2014

    The most helpful advice I've ever been given was given by my Dad. He suffered from depression for years. Now he's the most positive, energetic person I know. The advice is this: Check Your Thinking. 

    It may not mean or sound like much, but it has been my crutch.

    The idea is this: Bouts of depression often sneak up on you. You need to try and get them before they get you. You can do this by consciously assessing your thoughts every now and then. It's quite simple really:

    1. What am I doing/thinking?
    2. Do I really want to be doing/thinking this?
    3. If  the answer is no? Let's do/think something else.

    The reason? You are the sum of your thoughts. If you are thinking about sad things, you will inevitably become sad. If you expose yourself to sad things you will inevitably absorb that sadness. Your 'spirit' is the product of what you feed and do with your mind.

    There's a great quote from the movie High Fidelity(2000):

    What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music? 

    The effect your environment can have is well document for extreme cases. Look at PTSD for example. What about the moderate cases, like music preferences, or a lack of friends? If you're mind was a tea cup. Entering a war zone would be like dropping that cup and watching it shatter. And although a sad song is not a violent fall from height, it is a tiny hammer. One swing might not do much, but one hundred will and one thousand will do more. There are many ways a tea cup can break.

    All I try and do is avoid the tiny hammers : ) 

    Or as my Dad says it, "check your thinking."

    Good sleep, regular exercise and a healthy diet is just mandatory.

    25 people found this helpful
  11. AGrace
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    21 October 2014 in reply to Ellmo

    Hi Guys,

    I also want to add to this list:

    Set Realistic & Achievable GOALS and reward yourself for achieving them!

    Even if your goal for the day is getting out of bed, if you achieve this reward yourself with something nice. Rewards are a great way to reinforce positive behaviours. We offer them to children, but I don't think, as adults, we offer them to ourselves often enough. Don't beat yourself up over not achieving a goal either. We're only human:) If you don't achieve your goal ask yourself why? and decide whether it was realistic enough given the set of circumstances within which you had to achieve it.

    Someone once told me you should always have something to look forward to, it's the simplest way to gain motivation. Ask yourself what do I have to look forward to today? If the answer is "nothing" then it's time to start planning something. I look forward to my cup of tea (and cigarette) every morning. On a larger scale, I also plan a holiday or a catch up with friends regularly.

    "Wishing is pointless without knowing what you wish for,"

    AGrace

    14 people found this helpful
  12. HA1
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    21 October 2014 in reply to AGrace

    Hi AGrace

    thanks for that added suggestion.  I guess my big reward is late in evening which is when I feel best, and I allow myself to stay awake even though I am very tired.  I put on a pot of coffee at 4 or 5 in the morning, and also reward myself by sitting in the garden while it is still dark and waiting for bird life to awaken.

    I used to have a list of goals, at one stage it had 20 items, that I crossed off over a period of a few weeks.  Felt good.  Nowadays though my motivation is so terribly bad, compounded by tiredness that it is really difficult to even react to potential rewards.  For a person of simple tastes and demands, I will now try and figure out a reward that will get mo motivation going.

    thanks for the post

    K

    4 people found this helpful
  13. Pounce
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    11 November 2014 in reply to HA1
    Thanks for some interesting suggestions guys.  I'm not sure about mindfullness.  I find that too much inner contemplation brings that dark cloud back.  Am still having trouble with motivation.  right now I need to motivate myself to buy groceries, otherwise I won't have any food!  That's the only task I've set for myself today, and I still haven't left the house!  I remind myself that I can probably get oysters while I'm there, but that reward so far has not been enough
    4 people found this helpful
  14. C_J
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    29 December 2014

    Hi,

    New to the forum but not depresion and troubles in the family life.

    I will be looking into the Inositol too. Thanks AGrace.

    My situation is far more than a depresion issue for myself, it includes mental issues my wife "struggles" with at my cost as well as others now.

    "Struggling" in that she refuses to accept there is anything wrong with her other than "mild depression and anxiety".

    My situation is a huge and overwhelming one. It could almost make for a movie.

    I am a believer in God but come from a family of athiests. Things that have happened to me in life have made it un-deniable that he is real and that he wants a relationship with his creation and proves himself to us if we let him.

    I have 2 kids and my good night prayer to them is short and very meaningful & is something also encouraged from the bible. I would guess that these topics are sensitive so I will not expound on it, just that,

    each day is a new day. Start the day not looking at yesterdays problems.

    Just as important is to realize that sufficient unto the day is the problems there of.

    Dont add to it by trying to make things worse for one's self. No one knows what tommorrow brings and yesterday cant be re-lived.

    Drop the self condemnation at the end of the day and better still dont pick it up at the begginning of it. It can be an automatic habit to do.

    It was for me and still can be if I dont remind myself.

    I am not in denial that I have a sensitivity to depresion and mood swings but was delivered from its crippling grasp just before I married. After 7 yrs things took a bad turn, trying to deal with my partners "character" & issues that went with that, along with other of lifes hurdles that all came to a head at once took me down (after a long stint of stability reached through finding God).

    It is only now that the peices to the puzzle of all that hapened then and continues to happen in the relationship sense are coming together to make sense. One of my big resolves is that there is no answer in ending things in the life sense. That only causes more pain for others. There is a great wealth of energy to be had from considering others before one self. In a balance this is meant. Not one extreme where you destroy yourself, nor where one only thinks of one self and destroys others.

    Finding a balance would be one of my biggest goals.

    Communication and unconditional love is key to finding balance.

    Sorry for the big input but hope it is helpful.

    5 people found this helpful
  15. CMF
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    16 January 2015
    I was never one for gardening but have now found pleasure in it. I get depressed at times due to financial pressures. Single mum, 3 kids, huge mortgage etc.  I know the solution could be to sell my house and buy something else, reduce the mortgage but I am scared of the move. Will I like a new area? Will I have enough to buy something else not to far away? I couldn't handle that stress at the moment. I have slowly been fixing things around the house and spending time in the garden so if I do make the decision I am ready to go. I Think of it as preparing for when I'm ready. I now love looking at my garden, it looks tidy, refreshed and I'm proud. It makes me feel good in general that I've achieved this, I'm in control. Even if I don't move for another 10 years at least I can enjoy it. 
    5 people found this helpful
  16. bb_official
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    18 January 2015 in reply to PhilG
    beyondblue's clinically-trained moderators often work offline (invisible to you) on issues relating to suicide or self-harm. At the same time, general supportive comments from the community are encouraged. If you have concerns around suicide or self-harm, please phone our support service on 1300 22 4636.

     
    1 person found this helpful
  17. CMF
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    18 January 2015 in reply to Zoomah

    Yes vitamin D is a big factor in combatting depression but I wanted to add that apparently the body actually absorbs vitamin d through the shins so the best thing to do is expose your legs between your knee and your ankle.

    Dandelion tea is also a natural remedy however as it detoxifies the body if you are taking meds it may rid the body of any meds too quickly, before they can be absorbed .

    thx for the turmeric tip!

    2 people found this helpful
  18. CMF
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    18 January 2015 in reply to PhilG

    Hi PhilG,

    sounds like you're a sensitive, caring person to feel the pain of others by reading their (our) stories  

    life you start your own thread and tell us about yourself and how you're feeling you will find a lot of support  of course if you prefer to call that's fine too  everyone here is here to help.

    hope you find what works for you  

    take care

  19. Milo.
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    11 April 2015 in reply to zailleh

     

    1) Use motion to improve your moodMotion is a higher vibrational state than sitting or lying down is.  This is one of the reasons why roller coasters and skateboarding can be so much fun.  If you’re feeling down, do something that involves motion to improve your mood.  You can go for a drive, go bike riding, or even go roller skating.  The faster the momentum, the higher your vibration will go.

    Give it a go.

     

    6 people found this helpful
  20. Guest138
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    8 May 2015 in reply to CMF

    Hi I also have 3 children.  My husband left last week. Tonight it seems all very final. I'm struggling with everything right now. I'm depressed now after trying to recover from his affair almost 5 months ago. The months before that was the happiest of our marriage since children. He really seemed to care but it's false.Now he's playing us all like puppets on strings. It's overwhelming me the tasks ahead. Selling the house. Caring for the kids when I can't care for myself even. 

    Someone said to me that we get what we focus on. Well we don't. My focus for 15 years was our family. Now it's all blown up. I'm numb. I don't care to make a list. I've got 1000s of lists and they amount to nothing. I just feel nothing. 

    Thankyou for listening. Sorry I'm so depressed. 

    Kate

    1 person found this helpful
  21. HA1
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    9 May 2015 in reply to Guest138

    Hi Kate (“David Shepard”)

    Welcome to the beyond blue forum & thank you for reaching out to us.  You will find a lot of friends here that will be well placed to understand what you are going through, and offer support to ease your way through the difficult times.  

    When I read your post this morning, I was a bit worried about you.  Such a sudden change in circumstances is very distressing.  How was your night last night, did you manage to get any sleep?  I hope you are feeling a bit better today.    

    I guess I cannot pretend to understand fully how you night feel, but I think I have a fair idea.  Many many years ago, my then partner also ‘walked out’ on me following an affair.  It had a very bad effect on me.  But I’ll leave my past right there.   

    I can understand that it can feel like very overwhelming all the things that must be done to adjust to the new circumstances.  Particularly, given that you have three children (how old are they?).    Can you tell me whether you have spoken to a doctor about how you feel?  This might be a good idea – let the GP know what you have gone through and how you are feeling.  You don’t mention whether you have already been diagnosed with depression – have you?  

    Do you have a support network that you can lean on?  If you start feeling really sad, remember that you can call the beyondblue support line anytime 24/7 on 1300 22 4636.   

    There is so much to talk about, but I will leave it there.  Can you please get back to us so we can provide you with a little more support.  

    (Could I also I suggest that, now that you have made your first post, you start a new thread, one that is dedicated to you and the issues you are facing – perhaps under the forum category of Grief Loss and Separation.  That way there is less chance of your post being lost in the volume of other posts.)  

    Please take care

    K

  22. beyondjazz
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    12 May 2015 in reply to AGrace

    I love this post!

    I have one very specific 'mood booster' - I listen to my favourite music which is Hardstyle (it's like rave music) and go as hard as I can for 10 minutes on the cross trainer at the gym. Guaranteed to get the endorphin's pumping! All I have to do is get myself to the gym, which is the hard part. Me & my sister have a saying: Put on your runners. If you put on your runners, you will make it to the gym :-) 

    Other than that I find cleaning calms me down if I'm angry (throw washing around!) or cooking allows me to really focus my attention on something outside my own head, which is a huge relief sometimes. I find cooking is almost 'reverse mindfulness' - I focus on chopping everything perfectly, stirring etc, and the best part is I have yummy food at the end!! 

    2 people found this helpful
  23. WallPop
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    1 June 2015 in reply to Pounce

    Hi there. My Counsellor is trying to get me working with Mindfulness but at 61 years I honestly don't know how to apply it. I did earlier tonight start a New Thread - DEPRESSION/STRATEGIES as I have become concerned about not being able to master these self help props that my G.P. and Counsellor are working toward. I have much difficulty with it and no I can't prompt myself with rewards much either. I know this perhaps has not been much help to you but hopefully it might help to know we are not alone. It can be a difficult path to tread. I do hope you managed your groceries. I still haven't today turned on the computer to attend to some necessary Bills!!!

    2 people found this helpful
  24. HA1
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    1 June 2015 in reply to WallPop

    Hi again WallPop

    In my view ... mindfulness can be as simple as you want to make it.  I like things simple; so the most memorable experience of mindfulness I have experienced came quite unexpectedly.  

    I went for a walk along the beach of a very quiet costal stretch.  I decided to close my ears to all sounds bar the waves crashing in on the beach.  I walked for over an our and heard nothing but the waves, it was beautiful.  Sure I had to concentrate on only that one subject and ignore all else (e.g. I walked with my head bowed and eyes partially closed).  After an hour or so, walking and listening, the sounds of the waves became so loud and took over everything around me.   I continued for a while and then shook myself off my 'trance'.  I ended up with a feeling of complete relaxation and a bit bewildered.  But ohh so good.  

    You can try it on the beach, the forrest or whatever.  Just listen and focus on the sounds around you.  You can even do it having a shower (I just read the other day, lol!).

    I will look up the thread you started.

    Take care and good luck

    K

    2 people found this helpful
  25. Dan1970
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    13 July 2015 in reply to CMF

    Dear 'Can't Move Forward'. What is the clinical evidence for your assertion thatInositol have anti-depressant qualities? The only evidence of therapeutic effect was a double blind study of 13 individuals in 1997 which indicated a effect greater than placebo. This has not to my knowledge been replicated and the meta analysis was unable to find  statistical validation for its use. Can you please direct me to the articles that support your assertion.

     

    2 people found this helpful
  26. yggy
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    9 August 2015

    Hi All,

    what a great threat!

    I made a movie yesterday on my iphone selecting lots of happy photos from the last 6 months of the people I love and myself and included a soothing background music that I love. It made me feel better making the movie, and I am planning to use it the next time I go into a down spiral.

    I made movies before with inspirational quotes - mainly for sports training - I might make one with uplifting quotes for the future.

    I created a folder on my iphone with apps (anxiety, sleeping and rest meditation, PTSD coach, movie and quotes) so I can quickly find distractions when things go wrong.

    Not tried and tested, but the PTSD coach app made me think in that direction.

    1 person found this helpful
  27. SBeehappy
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    17 August 2015

    Hello!

    I like tea also, I love all teas for my anxiety and bouts of depression, including dandelion, rose, chamomile and lavender teas. I will try tumeric, also! When I am feeling low I like to amp up my mood with excersise or yoga, and when I am feeling anxious I like to focus on deep belly breathing and getting out of my thoughts. I tried mindfulness after advice from psychologists, but I've got an even better one -mindlessness! It's just being mindless and doing things without thinking, haha! It's a humorous spin for those who can't or don't like mindfulness. I love everyone's responses, and am always looking for natural ways to get through life happily :)

    6 people found this helpful
  28. ChubbyBoo12
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    12 September 2015 in reply to missmuppet
    Thanks for the suggestion . I will look for that movie. 
  29. Shelley anne
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    28 February 2016 in reply to Naturopath

    Hello Naturopath

    I too am trying to heal myself with the right food and a more active lifestyle. But I am having trouble with food addictions, mainly refined sugars. I have been taking barley max powder, which is dried barley leaves. Have you had any issues with food addictions? I am not taking any medications at all, I don't want extra chemicals from the meds in my body.

    Anyway I just wanted to say hello, and ask you if you had experience with the sugar addictions....

    Hugs, if you like them

    Shelley xx

     

  30. Chris m
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    12 April 2016 in reply to AGrace
    Agrace's i like add musicto your list i love listen music when walking i do 15,000 step today
    1 person found this helpful