A Self-Help Approach To Depression

Depression is nothing new. It is, though, a state of mind that affects most of us at some time or other, hopefully only fleetingly. Finding out who you are and why you react to situations in a certain way is a helpful first step to protecting yourself against future attacks of depression. Control what you allow to enter your brain and you control your future.

But what exactly is depression? Why do we suddenly find ourselves stuck in a sea of inertia, unable to think positively, unable to hold on to positive thoughts, frozen in a zombie like state of inactivity? Even experts disagree on the core causes of depression and the methods of treatment. Should they be palliative or something more uncompromising?

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This is of course no help to us if we are immersed in the thickening fog of a bout of depression. If we ever find ourselves in a state of depression we must find and build from within the strength, the motivation, the wish and the will to conquer this debilitating mind set. First of all we have to accept that we allowed ourselves to drift into this parlous way of thinking.

We need to understand that we are not alone. Read the newspapers and watch TV and over and over again there are accounts of people we would probably regard as ’having everything’ checking themselves into this or that clinic for help with some problem or other.

Why is it that a situation which is a mild irritation for one person can lead another to almost suicidal tendencies? The answer is because we are all different in some way. Once you understand why you react the way you do to certain situations you may then set about arranging your life so as to avoid those situations in the future or at least be better prepared to handle them when they do confront you.

Understanding yourself and why you react the way you do to situations with which you are faced is a prime initial requisite for self help with depression. Learning, understanding and accepting that we can control what we allow to be accepted as fact by our brain is the next step. So often an initial perception turns out to be inaccurate.  Generally speaking nothing is ever so bad or, as good as it may at first appear.

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What is important is to understand that it is possible for us to move to a position where we take preventative steps to ensure that we stay clear of infectious negative thoughts in the future. Negative thoughts are the seed pearls of depression. These negative thoughts and internal video recordings of past failure and disappointment clog up our brain.

In depression, negative self-talk must immediately be replaced by constructive self-talk and optimistic thinking. There are many self-help courses available today centred on such an approach, which is also known as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, or CBT. Try running a search on personal development or something similar and you will find many, many sites offering help and assistance much of which is free of charge.

There are also sites offering self-awareness questionnaires which are designed to help you focus on any deep seated negatives which may be holding you back from achieving your life dreams. This may then be used by you as a platform from which to launch your new beginnings. Self-help for depression is all about taking that first step to control your future thoughts and activity.

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However, in the interest of being realistic, everyone is different, and a self-help approach won’t work for everyone. Sometimes medication is needed and used in tandem with counselling. This is often the best and most effective approach. In fact, there are some people who are required to use this approach before it spirals out of control.

For those who wish to start with self-help, and even for those who have only started seeing a mental health professional, you can do a few things to get a head start. Get your diet and exercise plan sorted. This site will help you with that, so do subscribe. Ensure you get enough sleep and have a balanced lifestyle. Make sure your social support is in place.

And most importantly, if you ever feel suicidal, get help immediately! I can’t emphasize this enough. Anyways, once you finally get professional help, your therapist will take you through the process and help you through it. Help is always at hand, so never feel alone. All the best.

Resources for helping overcome your depression:

 


Also published on Medium.


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