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Monday, December 15, 2014

(Unconventional) Ways To Cope With Depression

Photo by keeva999 via Flickr
There are a lot of people out there offering advice on how to cope with Depression. With all of the different techniques that you can try to relieve the symptoms of your Depression, how do you decide which ones to use?

The coping techniques that you should use are the ones that work for you. Kind of a no-brainer, right? What I mean is that just as each of our Depression experiences are unique, so too are the coping techniques that will work for us.

The majority of the advice out there pertaining to coping with Depression includes things like eating healthy, exercising, sleeping well, and using relaxation and meditation techniques. In all honesty, when I was in the midst of one of my darkest episodes of Depression, none of the standard advice was helpful (or even do-able). Exercise, eat right, and sleep regularly? Yeah, right! 

Now I’m not saying that this is bad advice. Some of the advice out there is great, and maybe it works for some people. But for me, it was as if the people giving this advice didn’t understand that when you’re spiralling out of control into a deep, dark place (called Depression), you can’t do any of the things that will make you happy.

So, here’s what I did: I did what I felt would make me feel better. I didn’t force myself to do the things that I was “supposed” to do to feel better. I did what I wanted to do.

Here is my go-to list of coping techniques that helped me through some severe episodes of Depression:

1.    Cry
2.    Sleep
3.    Eat comfort food
4.    Watch Sex and the City re-runs (or Dexter, or Family Guy…)
5.    Find yourself a helpful mantra or affirmation (mine is THIS TOO SHALL PASS)
6.    Hug or pet your cat (or dog, or bird, or snake…)
7.    If you don’t have a pet, get yourself a nice blankie (I have about 7)
8.    Reach out to someone
9.    Be kind to yourself
10. Write

I did (and still do) all of these things. Yes, sometimes they only offer a second or two of relief, but it's enough to break up the constant pain and misery of being Depressed. These things work for me, and I hope they work for you too.

What are some of your coping techniques?

Don’t forget that someone you may know may be suffering from Depression or Mental Illness in silence. Share this post throughout your social media networks, because you just never know who may need to see it.

Much love,