How to help yourself with depression?

How to get out of depression: tips from doctors and psychologists

Depression is a serious and severe mental disorder, which is difficult to overcome by your own efforts. It manifests itself as lethargy, decreased performance, loss of good mood, joy and desire to live. The tips of psychologists and doctors can help you learn how to get out of depression and return to life.

10 ways to overcome depression by yourself

Depression is a disease that appears due to a disturbance in the work of the brain. It occurs due to insufficient amounts of neurotransmitters:

  • norepinephrine;
  • serotonin;
  • dopamine.

A depressive state can occur in a variety of situations:

  • from failures at work or in school;
  • or as a result of severe fatigue;
  • lack of communication, loneliness;
  • due to dissatisfaction with their wealth, appearance;
  • after a breakup or an infidelity of the other half;
  • in the absence of understanding between people;
  • the death of a loved one or a pet.

Postpartum depression often occurs in women. It is caused by a serious hormonal malfunction, sleep problems and a difficult period in life. Six months after the birth of the child, such depression passes by itself.

Important: You should distinguish between the stages of depression. With a mild form of illness it is possible to help yourself, but with a severe form you can not cope without the help of doctors and taking medication.

How to get yourself out of depression and learn to enjoy life again? Simple tips from psychologists will tell you what to do and how to cure the disease at home.

A change of scenery

Commitment to standard patterns of action impairs neural connections and contributes to the development of prolonged depression. To relieve melancholy, change established habits:

  • Take a different road to work;
  • Visit an unusual institution;
  • Go to a new restaurant and order an unfamiliar dish.

New experiences, unfamiliar places, and conversations with people outside your social circle will help you cheer up and feel better.


To overcome discouragement and deal with bad thoughts, get a person to understand themselves. Try to understand what may be the cause of the depressed state. Analyze their relationships with loved ones, the degree of satisfaction with work, place of residence, the material condition and appearance.

The method of “pluses and minuses” has proved very useful.

  1. Take a pen and a sheet of paper, divide it in half.
  2. Write down on one side the things that bring you joy and pleasure.
  3. List on the other half all the things that make you uncomfortable.

After completing the list, review the components of your life. Increase the number of things that bring you joy and eliminate anything that causes negative emotions. Quit a job you don’t like, move out of a boring city, break up relationships with people you don’t like.

Changing your lifestyle is difficult and painful, but it allows you to change your life for the better.

Combat negative thinking

Negative thinking, perceiving the world in dark colors – the main companion of depressed and depressed state. During depression, a person tends to see only the negative side in the actions and events around him.

To get rid of negative thinking, do the following:

  • listen to positive music;
  • Watch good family comedies;
  • Talk to optimistic people;
  • Don’t get hung up on your own problems;
  • give up perfectionism; allow yourself to be imperfect.

A personal diary will help you cope with negativity. Write down in it all your pessimistic and gloomy thoughts, and then study and analyze them in detail.

  1. Why this thought occurred, what contributed to its emergence?
  2. Is the negative mood justified?

Taking up a favorite hobby

When depressed, a person doesn’t want to do anything. Rest is an important part of treatment, but giving in to apathy is unacceptable. Get out of a long depression help hobbies – a pleasant and uncomplicated activity that previously brought pleasure and joy.

Types of hobbies used in the treatment of depression can be different:

Draw, knit, repair appliances, write poetry – do anything that can trigger a positive response.

Important: If at first you don’t feel joy and pleasure from your hobby, it’s a natural process: apathy prevents you from enjoying active activities. Do not leave the activity, and soon you will feel relaxation, comfort and positive emotions.

Also, a hobby helps to increase self-esteem. If a person realizes that he succeeds in a particular activity, he feels more confident and successful.

Little joys

Even during depression, there are still things that make a sick person happy. Pleasure is provided:

Don’t deny yourself these small and pleasant weaknesses: put aside hobbies and work, and take up the simple things that interest you now.

Important: Don’t feel guilty about enjoying yourself. Joy and a sense of satisfaction are exactly what will help you beat the disease.

Taking care of yourself.

During depression, it becomes difficult for the patient to take care of his or her appearance. The person may forget to brush their teeth and comb their hair, wash their hair and change into clean clothes. Take care of yourself, even if you have to do it by force, it will make you feel better.

Men should shave and brush their teeth more often, take care of the appearance of hair, change clothes more often, wash and use deodorant. Girls should not neglect cosmetics, manicures and hairstyles if this was part of their daily grooming ritual.

Attractive appearance helps to increase self-esteem and regain self-confidence, which makes it possible to get rid of depression.


Socializing with people is difficult and not very pleasant for a person with depression. Human companionship can be replaced by contact with a pet – a pet will help you feel loved, useful and needed.

In addition to helpful companionship, the constant care of a pet allows you to switch from your personal problems to other thoughts. It prevents you from dwelling on depressive ideas and eliminates homesickness and negative thinking.

Adherence to a daily routine

For good health, you need to sleep 8-10 hours a night. Lack of sleep, which is common in people with depression, reduces productivity and worsens mood. Excessively long sleep also harms the body by causing lethargy, lethargy and apathy and reduces mental abilities.

Sleeping pills and folk remedies can help fight insomnia:

  • honey;
  • chamomile;
  • peppermint;
  • cumin;
  • fennel.

→ A review of the best sleeping pills

Coping with excessive sleep can only be handled by getting up through the force and taking a cold shower.

A routine will help you improve the quality of your sleep and speed up falling asleep and waking up. Go to bed and wake up at the same time, within half an hour. It may not be easy at first, but over time your body will get used to falling asleep and waking up at the hours you set.

Athletic Exercises

Fighting bad moods is realized by systematic sports exercises. Sport activates the production of endorphin and serotonin, the joy hormones responsible for good mood. Lack of serotonin leads to depression, so physical activity is a great way to eliminate it. Exercise helps to raise your self-esteem.

Do not put a lot of strain on yourself, start with a light daily exercise, stretching all muscle groups. If exercising seems too simple, complicate the program a little by adding interesting exercises to it.

You can also do the sport you like: skating or skiing, tennis, soccer, yoga or fitness, exercise classes.

The main thing is not to overexert yourself. Overexertion will increase depression.

Walks in the fresh air

Sunlight and fresh air are important components of therapy against depression. Saturating the brain with oxygen and increased production of the neurotransmitter serotonin caused by sunbathing help suppress the depressed state.

Walk daily, at least 10-30 minutes, in the morning and evening. If you want to replace slow walking with daily exercise, increase the duration of your walks to 40-60 minutes.

Important: Avoid walking on rainy and cloudy days, so as not to aggravate your condition.

Proper nutrition

Eating disorders are common for people suffering from depression. Some tend to overeat, some consume only sweet and fatty foods, and some refuse to eat.

You can solve the problem by balancing your diet:

  1. Eat more vegetables, fruits and greens.
  2. Eat nuts and dried fruits.
  3. Don’t deny yourself chocolates and sweets.
  4. Drink plenty of water and herbal teas.
  5. Eat fish, lean meats and liver.

Cut back the amount of simple carbohydrates, carbonated drinks and too fatty food by 2-3 times. You should not completely abandon your favorite foods – this will worsen your mood.

The perfect diet option would be a Mediterranean diet – it contains a lot of omega-3 fatty acids, which stimulate the recovery of the nervous system.

Communicating with your loved ones

Confidential communication with friends, close acquaintances and family members can save the person who is depressed. Despite the discomfort and negative feelings that contact with people may cause at first, it is the environment that helps the person to fight the manifestations of depression.

Do not discuss the problem – such conversations will not alleviate your condition, but only make it worse. Talk on distracted topics – discuss hobbies, discuss the movies and books you’ve seen, talk about things that interest you.

Important: Talking about pleasant and interesting things increases the joy hormones in the blood.


Antidepressants, tranquilizers and ancillary symptomatic medications can help get rid of deep clinical depression.

Groups of medications Effects on depression Examples of drugs
Tricyclics Regulate the amount of biogenic neurotransmitters: norepinephrine, dopamine and serotonin. Eliminate disturbances in the brain that provoke the onset of the disease. Azafen, Doxepin
IMAO Melipramine, Befol
SSRIS Fluoxetine
Melatoninergics Melitor
Other antidepressants Trazadone, Mianserine
Tranquilizers Relieve severe emotional tension, relieve insomnia, fear, anxiety, and panic attacks. Diazepam, Phenazepam, Hydroxyzine
Normotimics Get rid of severe mood swings, prevent the development of suicidal tendencies Valpromide, Carbamazelide.
Neuroleptic drugs Relieve tension and fear, improve concentration, and increase performance and endurance. Quetiapine, Olanzoline, Clozapine
Nootropics Strengthen the brain’s cortico-subcortical connections, increase brain activity, and improve attention and memory. Pikamilon, Nootropil, Glycine
Sleeping pills Eliminate insomnia of any form, increase strength and quality of sleep, accelerate falling asleep. Donormil, Andante, Melaxen
Sedatives Relieve stress, relaxation, relief from stress and increased anxiety. Improve sleep. Persen, Novo-passit, Corvalol, Valerian, Passiflora.
B vitamins Stimulate the synthesis of neurotransmitters, improve CNS function, increase mental ability and performance. Milgamma, Neurobion, Neurorubin, Vitagamma

Only the doctor treating the patient should prescribe suitable drug therapy. Improperly chosen antidepressants may aggravate the disease.

What shouldn’t I do?

When depressed, it is strictly forbidden to do the following things:

  1. Take alcoholic beverages. The use of alcohol destroys neural connections in the brain, dulls the work of neurotransmitters. Instead of alleviating the condition, it will only worsen the symptoms of the disease.
  2. Self-selection of medications. When choosing antidepressants, many factors are taken into account: age, weight, general history. Choosing the wrong remedy can worsen depression, and a mixture of inappropriate medications can provoke shock, coma, or death.
  3. Focusing on the bad. Negative thinking is a sure way to sink deeper into a depressive state. To cope with illness, you must learn to look for the positives in the things and events that surround you.
  4. Interfere with yourself to rejoice. People with perfectionism and low self-esteem who suffer from depression tend to blame themselves for small joys. Don’t shame yourself for enjoying yourself – it’s the positive emotions that will help beat the illness.
  5. Surrender to apathy. Lack of desire to do something is the norm during depression. Engage in work, hobbies, self-care and household chores through effort until you feel better.
  6. Resting yourself. Rest is an important part of treating depression. Carve out more time for sleep, entertainment, and activities that make you feel good. If possible, take a vacation for the duration of your treatment.
  7. Overeating and malnutrition. Nutritional deficiencies can lead to fainting and poor health, and overeating can cause obesity, cholesterol, and cardiovascular problems. Keep your diet in moderation.
  8. Refuse to socialize. When depressed, you don’t want to communicate even with your closest people. Overpower the craving for solitude and talk to someone.
  9. It is not serious to take the illness seriously. Depression is not a prolonged attack of bad moods. It is a severe illness that should not be ignored. Depression doesn’t go away on its own-if you want to feel better, make an effort.
  10. Being afraid to go to a doctor. People tend to avoid psychotherapists and psychiatrists, believing that only schizophrenics and psychopaths visit them. Do not worry about such stereotypes, if you feel bad – be sure to consult with a specialist and follow the treatment regimen.

Fighting with depression on your own is difficult and not always effective. Travel, sports, hobbies, giving up bad habits, eating right and communicating with loved ones can improve your condition. Severe depression is impossible to get rid of alone – you need to consult a specialist: a psychologist, psychotherapist or psychiatrist. Also effective are group classes, psychotherapy and antidepressants chosen by your doctor.

15 ways to fight depression

Self-help ways to combat depression on their own can defeat mild forms of depression. In more serious cases, “amateur attempts” are unacceptable, a specialist must be supervised, and natural remedies can be a good support for the prescribed measures.

Change your lifestyle

Although therapy and medication are the key methods of controlling depression, much can be done on your own without waiting until medication therapy is necessary. Changing behaviors — physical activity, diet, and lifestyle — can be an effective natural way to overcome depression.

Fighting depression is a war fought day in and day out, not just during those weeks or months when medication is expected to work. Medication is medication, but there are ways to support yourself.

Create a habit.

If you are depressed or have experienced depression, you need to prevent the onset or recurrence of a similar condition. Depression knocks people out of a normal rhythm of life, deprived of orientation to the extent that one day begins to imperceptibly flow into another. And this lack of order, in turn, can only worsen depression.

It’s very difficult to wake up in the morning and not have the slightest idea what you’re going to do all day. So a person is boiling “in his own juice” in the power of despondency, hopelessness and heavy thoughts.

A sense of control over what is happening can give a developed habit. Psychologists confirm that it helps, and that the lack of a sense of control makes people feel worse.

Lifestyle changes.

1. Exercise. Everyone knows that physical activity improves mood. You don’t need to run a marathon or exhaust yourself with heavy physical activity – it won’t do any good, it won’t lift your mood, and maybe even make it worse. Nor does it matter what type of exercise you choose. These can be specific aerobic exercises that are good for the heart (if, for example, they are recommended by your cardiologist). But a simple half-hour walk for mental health may also be enough.

2. Nutrition. There is no special diet or nutritional regimen “for depression,” but a basic healthy diet in general offers tremendous benefits.

Nutrients are a necessary component in the fight against depression. After all, it is a physiological process, similar to healing from a physical injury. Without the right set of nutrients, medications for depression won’t work effectively enough.

Warning. Check with your doctor to see if the medicine you are taking can cause weight gain. If so, you will need to pay special attention to nutrition. If depression is related to eating disorders (anorexia, compulsive overeating) regular consultations with a specialist are necessary.

3. Sleep. Although sleep problems are a symptom of depression, they can also make it worse. Some people who suffer from depression sleep too much. But many more depressed people suffer from insomnia. Either way, something needs to be done.

Just lying in bed and trying to force yourself to sleep while counting elephants won’t help. Better yet, make a habit of going to bed and getting up at the same time every day. Organize and make it a habit to get a healthy night’s sleep.

4. Strive for a goal. Nothing keeps the spirit going like reaching a goal. The challenge is to set realistic goals. You don’t need to set global goals or write a 20-page list of feats. Start with small but realistic tasks, the completion of which will give a sense of small but victory, and therefore a sense of satisfaction.

5. Responsibility. When a person has a hard time on their mind, their natural impulse is to step back, to give up all of their responsibilities at home and at work. This feeling must be fought. A sense of responsibility will not let you lose heart. Just do not need to force events: if you are not ready to go back to work or to study, it is normal. Think about part-time work. If it seems too difficult, consider the possibility of uncomplicated work. But don’t give up – seeing the result of the work done will give you a sense of satisfaction.

6. Relaxation. Don’t think that pleasure or relaxation are things that happen on their own. The only way to make them happen is to schedule them.

Changing the mind.

When a person is depressed, he gets used to seeing the world and himself “in black.” This way of thinking can become habitual and continue for many months after the biological cause of the depression is eliminated.

Automatic negative thoughts are frequent sources of anxiety. These thoughts arise randomly when you encounter a situation that hurts your feelings. They can be related to each other and all together poison your life.

Example: your boss has asked you to rewrite the beginning of a project you are working on. Instead of just rewriting, you start “inventing” the reasons for such an order, “deepening” the problem: what if I am not professional enough? What if I get fired? Further down the chain: “I will remain penniless, I will lose my home, my family will hate me, I am a total loser, why should I live in the world…”…that’s it: within a few seconds you are plunged into complete despair.

How do you deal with automatic negative thoughts?

7. Think about it. At first, it will be very difficult to catch the beginning of this negative chain. After all, these thoughts arise involuntarily. It will be easier to remember the “bad day” and try to understand what happened. How did you go from feeling good in the morning to feeling nasty in the afternoon? What events – and what thoughts – lead you to a depressed state of mind?

By recreating what happened, you will understand what automatic thoughts you are prone to and how they arise. Then, in time, you’ll learn to identify automatic thoughts at the right moment and take control of yourself – stopping them before they get out of hand.

8. Pause. When you find that automatic thinking has “turned on,” try to pause, to switch, to unwind. Breathing exercises, or just a walk in the fresh air will help. Break away for a while from the activity in which these thoughts caught you.

9. Use logic. The next time some problem makes you feel terrible, try using logic as a natural remedy for depression. Depression can make you think disgusting things about yourself, often grotesquely exaggerated. Try to imagine this: is it true that no one likes you? Is there any real evidence? True, you may feel like the dumbest and most hated creature on the planet, but what is the real possibility of that?

Other natural ways to combat depression

In addition to creating habits and changing your mind, there are other natural ways to combat black longing.

10. Reach out to friends and family members. When it’s hard on the soul, people you trust will help. Talk to them about what’s going on with you. Sometimes, realizing that a friend can’t just be your “vest” (it’s emotionally very hard, after all), you’ll need to set aside your feelings for a while. And that’s a good thing – by taking care of your loved one’s emotional health, you’ll take a break from your own worries. You can just enjoy your time together with that person.

11. find support. In addition to relying on friends and family, you can try participating in a psychological support group. You might meet people who really understand what you’re going through and help you regain your mental strength.

12. Consult your doctor before taking supplements. Although a huge number of supplements are recommended as remedies for depression, practice suggests that prescribing them on your own is simply dangerous. Always consult your doctor before you start taking a supplement, especially if you are already prescribed any medication.

13. Beware of abuse. Many people trying to cope with depression try to drown it out with alcohol and other substances. It’s no use – you’ll feel even worse after a few hours. If you already have a substance abuse problem, such as alcohol, don’t wait until your depression is over. Get help, otherwise together these problems will “deal” with you even faster.

14. Make a difference. When a person is depressed, he gets as if in a vicious circle, in a rut. Every typical day will go like this: bed, TV, computer. Psychologists believe that in order to get rid of depression naturally need to force yourself to do something different, something completely new. Go to a museum. Grab a book and go read it on a park bench. Sign up for a foreign language course. In general – break the pattern.

15. Don’t ignore serious signs of depression. While using natural ways to fight depression on your own can help, they have their limitations. People have enough resources to help themselves, but these resources are not infinite. And when a person is so immersed in depression that he or she cannot cope with the depressive state on his or her own, of his or her own volition, when thoughts arise that the world would be a better place without him or her, he or she needs urgent professional help.

And one more thing: make time for pleasant things

Experts advise a depressed person to make time for things he likes. You have to do things that entertain you,” they say.

Clearly, when you are depressed or recovering from depression, entertainment seems impossible. The things you used to enjoy are no longer enjoyable. One of the insidious problems with depression is that it teaches a sense of hopelessness, a denial that there might be something enjoyable in life. It is this feeling that you have to struggle with.

So, as strange as it sounds, you’re going to have to work to have fun. Schedule activities that you used to enjoy. Even if you “really don’t feel like it,” keep going out with friends. Keep going to the movies and playing tennis. In time, enjoyable things will become like they were again.

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