Handling Depression and Living Your Life

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You may not have much energy, but by drawing on all your reserves, you should have enough to take a walk around the block or pick up the phone to call a loved one, for example. Taking the first step is always the hardest.

Stress - How To Deal With Stress - Emotional Health

And it can substantially boost your mood and energy for several hours—long enough to put a second recovery step into action, such as preparing a mood-boosting meal or arranging to meet an old friend. Getting support plays an essential role in overcoming depression. On your own, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy perspective and sustain the effort required to beat depression. At the same time, the very nature of depression makes it difficult to reach out for help.

You may feel too exhausted to talk, ashamed at your situation, or guilty for neglecting certain relationships. But this is just the depression talking.

Living with Depression: How to Keep Working

Staying connected to other people and taking part in social activities will make a world of difference in your mood and outlook. Your loved ones care about you and want to help. Look for support from people who make you feel safe and cared for. Make face-time a priority. The simple act of talking to someone face to face about how you feel can play a big role in relieving depression and keeping it away.

Find ways to support others. So find ways—both big and small—to help others: volunteer , be a listening ear for a friend, do something nice for somebody. Care for a pet. While nothing can replace the human connection, pets can bring joy and companionship into your life and help you feel less isolated.

Caring for a pet can also get you outside of yourself and give you a sense of being needed—both powerful antidotes to depression. Join a support group for depression. Being with others dealing with depression can go a long way in reducing your sense of isolation. You can also encourage each other, give and receive advice on how to cope, and share your experiences.

In order to overcome depression, you have to do things that relax and energize you. Pick up a former hobby or a sport you used to like. Express yourself creatively through music, art, or writing. Go out with friends.


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Take a day trip to a museum, the mountains, or the ballpark. Aim for eight hours of sleep. Get on a better sleep schedule by learning healthy sleep habits. Keep stress in check. As a result, I discovered and now share the same opinion that someone once expressed to me, "Those who matter don't mind and those who mind don't matter or something like that. Annamarie Sebastiano This was very helpful to me. I work in retail, which is always crazy busy. As I look back on my long career as an Executive Assistant and over 20 years in the mortgage business, part of me is just tired of working. Finding the right fit in a job is essential to me.

I am just realizing that in more than several companies, I have taken a leave of absence for depression. That, in itself is depressing to me. I need a social network. I never really stayed in touch with people I've worked with and am looking for people closer to my age who can understand.

I had some great friends, but they are about 20 years younger. So now, they have their own families. I am committed to get on track to have some enjoyment in my life. Ally Street I like the suggestion of breaking down tasks into segments and taking a break in between. I work in mental health and have attempted to do just that and have received some very odd responses. It amazes me how the stigma of mental illness is still so prevalent. Christina Burr Great article. I am currently a master's student in a clinical counseling program but this will be a second career for me.

I have an MBA and have worked in a business setting for 14 years and in management for the past 9 years. I have also struggled with chronic depression for most of my life. One of the areas I want to focus when I complete my studies is mental health awareness, education and compassion in the workplace. This needs to be a topic that is talked about more and managers need to understand that it is an illness.

Neal Benzel This article assumes everyone suffering from depression works in an office setting and has some flexibility in accommodating their illness. I work in a warehouse at a very physical job that doesn't allow me any downtime. For me the physicality of my job and the fact that there isn't any downtime, helps me push through any potential depressive episodes.

Please don't forget that depression doesn't discriminate. It effects all socio-economic backrounds. So please don't assume that it only affects people with office jobs. Most people don't even work in offices. Sarah Wersan Emily, thank you for writing about this topic. In addition to Bipolar I, I have great difficulty figuring out office politics and work relationships that are new. I have held most jobs very briefly. At this point, I have not worked for about 5 years and don't know if an employer would hire me considering the above plus the gap..

Still, I would like to be a productive member of society. I just haven't figured out how to do it yet.

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Unless NAMI or some other mental illness site has a career page not to work there but list place that are educated in mental illness to be safe working there to apply for jobs that will work with you as you are working for them. The stigma associated with mental illnesses add to the complexity of this disclosure.

Its best to address any decisions that may have implications with your mental health providers. When symptomatic with active disease its difficult to make any decision. Unfortunately, it is often difficult to reverse a job termination due to poor performance. Employers may have a legal obligations for accommodation on prior disclosed conditions. I was my own worst enemy, always attacking myself for perceived flaws or failings or God forbid imperfections. I could offer compassion to other people and animals and even the earth -- but to myself?

At least, not until I actively worked to cultivate a sense of self-compassion. Lots of other people are fighting similar battles. When I opened up to people about my struggles, I was constantly amazed at how many shared them -- particularly people who seemed elusively happy and well-adjusted.

Robin Williams and many others who are sharing their stories in the wake of his death is a prime example. In a society where image is everything, people are experts at putting on a happy face, but there's lots of pain simmering beneath the surface for plenty of folks. I've never regretted opening up to others, and in several notable cases, it earned me some of the best friends I've ever had. There's a reason meditation has been around for thousands of years. It works. My brain was such a chatterbox. I used to shut it up via booze or food or other temporary and thoroughly ineffective attempts at self-medication.

But meditation has helped me learn to calm or at least dull the roar of my unquiet mind. Guided meditations come in many guises, and doing them on a daily basis has brought a whole new level of peace into my life. Social media can exacerbate a sense of alienation. When I was feeling bereft of all hope and human connection, looking at pictures of other people partying and having fun and beaming wildly was maybe not the best idea. If you have low self-esteem as almost anyone with depression does , seeing other people's expertly crafted and deliriously happy-looking online personas tend to perpetuate these feelings.

6 Life-Changing Tips From People Living With Depression

This isn't just my anecdotal perspective -- they've done lots of research that demonstrates Facebook makes us unhappy. It stunts our real-life social interaction, it makes us envious of others instead of grateful for what we've got , and so on. Spending too much time alone is a bad idea. Depression made me feel like the Phantom of the Opera -- but without the creepy stalker behavior and awesome musical score.

I desperately wanted to remove myself from civilized society and frequently did. Of course, hibernating alienated me from exactly what I needed most -- the company and support of friends and loved ones. There is no final destination. Even though I talk about my depression like a dreaded ex, I'm not speaking from some unattainable pedestal of perfection.

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There's no such Shangri-La. Life is a journey, and happiness stems from the journey itself. It's about finding joy in the here and now -- in this very instant. I'll have low moments again, undoubtedly, but there's happiness to be found even in the darkest hours, and that's something I never came to grips with before.

Exercise is an amazing antidepressant. It's the ultimate in irony that one of the most effective treatments for depression requires motivation -- and depression, by its very nature, saps all motivation. When I was at my lowest, the absolute last thing on earth I wanted to do was get up and move. But regular exercise has worked wonders on my mood. Harvard Health Publications has reported that exercise can be as effective as taking antidepressants -- and the effects can potentially last even longer. There's no quick fix. Antidepressants can help you feel better almost immediately, sure, and that can be a hugely helpful option if you're in the depths of despair.

But long term healing takes work.

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