DOZEN for DEPRESSION:
Things to Do When You're Depressed
from the book
Depression is a Choice:
Winning the Battle Without Drugs
by A. B. Curtiss
and verbalize to yourself that you are depressed as soon
as possible.. "Oh, I know what this is. This is depression.
Okay, I can handle this."This will start to break up
the tendency to identify with depression as "your life"
instead of seeing it as it really is, a body alarm system
gone out-of-whack. You are not your depression. You are
you, and your depression is just your depression. It is
something that is happening to you. You should not be something
that is happening to it.
a mental list ready, ahead of time, of neutral or positive
thoughts to think instead of the thought "I am depressed."
A nursery rhyme, a mantra, a prayer, a word. Even row, row,
row, your boat works. Or yes, yes, yes, yes, yes. Any downer
thought strengthens the mind-set of depression. Any neutral
or positive thought lessens the power of depression because
it is a break in your direct neuronal connection with depression
for as long as you are able to think it.
just the opposite of what you normally do when you are depressed
to break up the depressive mind set. If you normally sigh
a lot, every time you start to sigh, sing a few "la,
la, la's" instead, or say "ho, ho, ho" as
if you were Santa Claus. If you normally sit in the dark,
turn on all the lights. If you normally curl up immobilized
in the fetal position, get up and dance. Your depression
will not want you to dance. Do it anyway.
to recognize and verbalize the habitual thoughts that come
with your depression. When you catch yourself in a habitual
thought have a substitute thought ready to replace it. Now
try and replace the habitual feelings with a thought. Concentrate
on the thought instead of the feeling. Scream the thought
in your mind, if you have to, as if you could drown out
the feeling with the thought.
one item to personal grooming that would ordinarily not
be done just for "work" or "around the house."
It doesn't matter how small a change. The goal is strengthening
the process of doing something our depression doesn't want
us to do in order to exercise our will over depression.
Already we will feel less powerless.
around for the next task at hand. Do the thing closest to
you and your second task will already appear clearer. There
is great sanity in knowing that you although you might feel
utterly abandoned and lifeless in your depression, Life
will never leave you without the next thing to do.
a small thing. Don't try to clean the house. Just clear
off a small part of your desk. Don't try to jog for a half
hour, just start jogging and commit to the first five steps.
Then you can commit to five more steps. Again the idea is
to force your power over the power of your depression.
someone you know is not home and leave a cheery message
on their answering machine. The very cheerful sound of your
own voice will break up the habitual mind-set of depression.
Don't talk in a weak, sad voice. Talking in a weak sad,
voice and sighing are habits of depression, they are habits
you should break immediately.
your house and go someplace where you will have a chance
to hook-up with regular life in some small way. Just open
the door and walk out. See where you go. See what happens.
Depression is not regular life. Depression is a state of
alarm that gets stuck in itself like an auto horn that keeps
blowing. Isolating yourself is another habit of depression
that you should start to break.
up jokes on the Internet. Laugh out loud. Smile. Force the
corners of your mouth up. Whether you feel like it or not.
You are not laughing and smiling because anything is funny.
You are laughing and smiling because it breaks your direct
neuronal connection with your depression. The longer you
can laugh and smile, the bigger the break.
your depression. Paying attention to your depression maintains
a direct neuronal connection to your depression. Paying
attention to anything else breaks the direct neuronal connection
to your depression for as long as you can pay attention
to something else.
don't think about yourself. You are not really thinking
about yourself when you are depressed, you are just thinking
about your depression. The way you don't think about yourself
is to think about someone else. Send someone a silent blessing
or healing. Imagine their pain melting away, their tumor
disappearing, their wound healing. Remember, being depressed
is going in the wrong direction. If you take just the smallest,
tiniest baby step in the right direction and you will see
that you have just turned yourself 180 degrees around.