Facebook Pixel

Alleviating My Depression One Step at a Time

By HERWriter
Rate This
Mental Health related image Photo: Getty Images

Although depression afflicts many people, it’s important to focus on the little (or big) changes in life that can make depression more bearable.

My experience comes from my diagnosis of dysthymia, which is a form of depression that lasts at least two years and is characterized by “less severe symptoms” and sometimes major depression episodes, according to the National Institute of Mental Health website. I’ve had depression since I was about 10 years old, but recently at age 21 I became more proactive in my treatment. Even though I’m close to graduating from college and wish I had pushed myself sooner, there is no shame in working on yourself at any stage in life.

I’ve written about how diet, exercise, sleep, therapy, relationships, communication and stress can all contribute to depression, and I wanted to share how some changes in my life have helped me and could help you.

The small changes I have made recently are to see a therapist consistently, work on social relationships, have a healthier diet, exercise more and take breaks when necessary. All of these are gradual steps, because with depression it can be difficult to commit to too much at once. However, I have already noticed that my mood has improved and I haven’t had any major lows.

Therapy is a basic first step on the way to recovery. For me, it was a hurdle to find an affordable therapist, but it was worth the research. My therapist lets me vent and try to see my thoughts and problems in a new way. She makes me feel that there’s nothing wrong with me and that I have problems just like anyone else. Although there are more structured therapies available, even just talking out your problems with the right therapist can get you moving in the right direction.

Diet is also a natural step in the right direction. Food and liquids are such an important part of feeling good, according to multiple studies and experts. I’ve managed to cut soda mostly out of my diet, although a new problem is eliminating sugary drinks in general. I’ve also tried adding more salad and fruits into my diet, reducing processed foods and too many carbs, although it’s still a work in progress.

Add a Comment1 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Thank you for sharing your story. i am trying so hard to beat this darn depression. it's been almost a year now, my life has gone down hill, but somehow I seem to hang on to school. I'm in my 4th semester now, at age 40, I've struggled most of my life by negative influences, men, dirty dogs. i've dedicated the rest of my life in to empowering the lives of other woman who are struggling with drug addiction, homelessness, and prostition. places where I have found myself in the past with no hope. I used to to be a huge inspiration to many woman in the highest drug area in my city, the things I once told other woman, I am unable to tell myself. With negativity and racing thoughts impacting my life and choices, I am willing to do anything to beat this depression. i have recently found myself able to listen to myself and realize that this is not me, my head tells me that I am unable, incapable, not worthy, when I know damn well, I am so capable of twice as much as any average person, I am great, and that if anyone on this earth is strong enough, if would be me. I tell myself loudly, that this is bull crap, and I am tired of my crap, and I continue to fight, why allow my brain, and other negative influences guide my steps and determine my future. Depression is difficult to pull out of, just like a bad dream, it's hard to wake yourself out of sleep, but it's possible. Anyone experiencing depression, can take a good look at thier thoughts, and evaluate wether these are unrealistic negativity, is this really you? how much longer are you going to allow depression win the fight going on your brain? I am just not willing to allow depression to steal my happiness. I am not willing to allow depression to affect the people I love any longer, and rob me of the quality time and love that they all deserve. I am great, and I am strong, depression can take a back seat for today, for the moment, and hopefully for a lifetime. today I will take that walk. today I will smile, today I will not cry. because I am a woman, and I am worth it. I am a fighter, and i am a winner. Stand up to your depression and face it in the mirror. If I can do it, so can you. thank You to all woman sharing thier experiences that tell me that I am not alone, and tell me what helps. i hope you have a great day, and less unrealistic sadness.

April 11, 2011 - 1:05pm
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.