Tips for Beating Depression

Deborah Gray Health Guide
  • I have to confess something - I think making New Year's Eve resolutions is generally a waste of time. January 1st is just an arbitrary date. In the same way that going out on New Year's Eve and Valentine's Day can cost you much more than it would any other night, I think that working ourselves up into a lather about making and keeping New Year's Eve resolutions can be detrimental.


    And one could argue that when you're depressed, the last thing you need to worry about is keeping some ambitious resolution. After all, your day to day duties are enough of a burden and pretty hard to keep up with, and anything more complicated can seem unsurmountable. I'll never forget how, when I was in a major depression, I let my car registration lapse and got a huge ticket, about a week's pay.

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    So I do understand how you may be saying to yourself, "New Year's resolutions? Is she on drugs to even be bringing up the subject?" However, there are some things you should be doing, if possible, to help get yourself out of depression or enhance your treatment, so it's worthwhile keeping these in mind (no pressure).


    1. If you don't have one already, find a good psychiatrist. I think this is the single most important aspect of successful depression treatment. Not only should your doctor be knowledgeable, but he or she has to care passionately about finding a successful treatment for you. A doctor like this will be your cheerleader, encouraging you to try another antidepressant if the first doesn't work, finding you a good therapist and just in general, being positive about your chances for successful treatment enough to keep trying when you feel discouraged or negative. I have always found the best doctor recommendations by asking a doctor I trust for a name. So I asked my family doctor for the name of a good psychiatrist, and then asked the psychiatrist for the name of a good therapist. Doctors who are caring and have high standards tend to recommend similar practitioners.


    2. Make sure that your physical health is good. Keeping yourself as healthy as possible will help your body fight depression. If you haven't had a general physical in at least a year, make an appointment. If it's covered by your insurance, have the doctor order blood tests for all vitamins and minerals to ensure that you are not deficient.


    3. Get some exercise. This can make a difference no matter how mild or severe your depression. If you're not in good shape, start out with something gentle like yoga, tai chi or walking. Exercising is one of those things that can be tough to get motivated to do when you're not depressed, so yes, it's hard to keep this "resolution." But exercise can give you an immediate lift, so you really don't have to focus on it as a longterm goal. Just focus on feeling temporarily better in twenty or thirty minutes as your incentive.

Published On: January 13, 2010