Non medicinal strategies for beating depression

Depression is a battle of will, you do not always need to reach for the medicine cabinet

Any of you that have experienced depression will know the feeling drags you into a painful inertia. Even getting up seems like an impossible task and you can be reduced to floods of tears with next to no provocation.

If you have not experienced depression yet there is a high likelihood you will experience it at some point in your life as even the best of us go through hard times and those times will eventually affect your mind.

While there are many drugs prescribed to combat depression there is a lot you can do to combat it worsening and taking hold that don’t involve a chemical cure.

The main thing to remember about depression is the things you need to counter it are the very things it persuades you not to do. So that inertia that takes hold and can lead to you staring at the ceiling for hours, is exactly what is stopping you from feeling better.

Get up!

You will hate just about everyone who tells you to do this when it has really taken hold. You will not want to do it. You may feel as if your life is collapsing and there is no reason to get up and do anything, but I can promise you if you do you will feel ever so slightly better.

It will not make all the negative feelings go away entirely. You may still feel awful and negative, but life will feel ever so slightly more manageable, so if you’re reading this article you are already part of the way there. Go you!

If all you’ve managed to do so far is pick up something to read and you haven’t strayed far from the bed yet, now is the time to make your sheets, clean the room, arrange some flowers, go to the shops pretty much anything that involves you moving your body.

Your body and mind are more closely connected than you might at first realise. A gym visit will release endorphins that make you feel good and if you don’t feel up to that yet, and I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t, just some light physical activity will lead you onto bigger and better things. Even the small movement of getting to your feet and moving around the room battles your depression more than you might expect.

If you act, even in a small way it breaks the depressive self-perpetuating cycle that could have kept you in bed for hours, slowly making things worse and worse and worse until you end up lying there for days on end and not even taking care of yourself.

Music and motivational talks can also be a great tools in redirecting your mind and kick starting your body to act in the way you can’t quite get your body to co-operate with just yet.

Online you can find great access to happy tunes and motivational talks, now is not the time for heart felt indie music and heartbroken love songs. Think pumping dance music or eighties power ballads, whatever evokes active and happy memories. Evoking better times may break your train of thought enough to encourage you to swing that leg over the bed and do at least one small task to get you on the right track.

After you act you should find it easier to act again and again until finally things might not feel as bad; still not great, but better, more manageable.

For a first step out of hell, watch this:

And interesting words of wisdom from another Medium writer: https://medium.com/simple-pub/8-african-street-quotes-that-hold-deep-life-wisdom-9dcc2170224c

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Sarah Morgan

I am an experienced journalist. My first joint book on mental health recovery was published in 2011. I was short-listed for aviation journalism awards in 2010.