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So, some folks I know are talking about how depressed they are of late. What do you do with this? What does one do with depression?

Me, I've always been a strong proponent of 'get off your ass and do something' as a cure for depression- it works, generally, for me. And it doesn't seem to matter what you're going to do as long as it's /something/. Just break up the routine, if you will.
What works for you? What's the #1 anti-depressant you deal with that is not prescribed?
  • something like that...

    It really depends on the amount and kind of depression but as a general rule, I'm inclined to agree with you: "do something."

    It's not "get over it" or "suck it up", it's just changing the day even in the slightest and seeing if that changes things.

    Of course, for myself, for the really deep depressions, the "my life currently sucks more than I can bear it at all" I simply wallow in it for a while, and that comes with some hard-won personal knowledge. For an hour or a day or some manageable amount of time, I lose it. If I need to cry and sob and wail at the unfairness of the universe, I do, preferably with a shoulder in the vicinity.

    After that I feel much better and can deal with whatever it was that's bugging me. I make the budgets and plans, cut the deals and do whatever I need to do in order to get through it.

    It's kind of extreme, I admit but it works for me.
  • I'd have to agree that getting out and doing things is certainly an aid in dealing with depression, and such is encouraged as one aspect for the treatment of clinical depression. I'd disagree that it's a cure-all, though. :)

    What I personally do, besides taking my medication and getting out, is reach for catharsis. It can be writing or roleplay or reading or a movie... just something that helps me to let out all the turmoil inside and cleanse myself. Even if it means blubbing myself into a massive headache. I feel better the next day, like I've cleaned out the crap and there is now room for all the new crap I'm going to face. What I get outside of myself can't turn in on me and erode my soul, as it were.
  • Everything, depending on the situation.

    If it is a case of "okay, I have stuff to do, I cannot deal with *place problem here* right now," then I take a few deep breaths, turn focus away or toward myself as needed, force myself to reaffirm my belief in shit, and do the stuff I need to do, with problem on layaway.

    If I have free time, I write, draw, take pictures, meditate, walk, spin, do yoga, light candles, or whatever, delve head on into problem (emotion and all), usually end up with some personal revelation that quickly turns universal through a series of interconnections, and I'm set.

    If I have free time, and the pesky problem just isn't clarifying itself and I am getting frustrated, then it is time to put it aside once again, and do whatever feels right at the time - this could range from screaming my ass off of no good reason, projecting, emoting, getting bitchy, getting it out, so more calm methods can be employed post reaction. Time period on this one varies.

    If that only frustrates me further, I turn to my good friend indifferent sarcasm for relief. I project onto something, anything will do, and employ that sucker. It not only nullifies anger, it directs it onto something inconsequential, is occasionally funny, soothes the soul, and allows for further, more rational contemplation at a later date, or whenever whatever is ready to emerge.

    All a matter of following the flow. I'm employing method #4, and am actually feeling pretty good now that #3 has essentially passed. When the time is right, I can move on, or things will just resolve themselves, as they are prone to do.

  • When I have been on medication it has been because I am so depressed that I can’t do anything to change the situation. It becomes a downward spiral. All my energy is focused on killing myself. What I like about the medication is that it shuts off all of my emotions. Logic takes over. I then know what I need to and I do it without thinking. I don’t like taking medication, but it helps when things get bad.
  • I have two:

    Exercise and talking to people. Generally, if I am feeling low and I go and work out, I always end up feeling better afterwards. I feel like I've accomplished SOMETHING and all those yummie endorphins are worth it. Now, I rarely think to go and work out when I am depressed but I always notice I feel better when I do.

    Talking to people is a no-brainer for me. When I am with people or chatting on the phone with Lana or my sister, I always feel better.
  • Yes, doing something is my usual method as well. Depression tends to immobilize me, so keeping active at something usually keeps it from getting worse, at least. The other day I was running around doing a bunch of errands, but it was a constant battle. I would suddenly find myself just sitting in the car instead of getting out to do the next thing. I had to keep saying to myself "keep moving, keep moving."
  • Hard to say, honestly, since nothing ever really worked *that* well until I was on meds. I have a lovely combo of major clinical and anxiety, so I will often go into an anxiety tizzy spiral when I try to do anything scary or hard like go outside or see people, lock up, end up in near-clinical, do nothing, and then tizzy again if I try to do anything. Fortunately (sarcasm?) I also am ADD; this makes it easier to distract myself. If it's one of those days where getting my act together and dressed and outside is too hard, or I'm afraid I'll wander off directionless and depressed and get lost or hit by a car, then just easing off and reading a nice easy book or playing a video game can get me down from the anxiety spiral, but then I may still be depressive. The general theory of kicking routine in the head and doing something seems pretty sound, but not on those days where if I persuaded myself to leave the house I'd find myself on Waterloo Bridge wondering how tall it was (going out alone not always good, so better to stay in and distract self from stupidity). Being dragged out by people is good sometimes also, as long as they didn't drag *too* hard -- if I can't find my hairbrush and really don't want to face world with hair in rats, please let me take the time to get my act together and brush my hair.
    Being clinical-type, I'm probably the wrong person to ask. The only sure-fire method that worked on me to snap me out of serious clinical was being quasi-raped, which I don't really recommend. Less severe depression I know nothing about, unless it was what I used to think of as 'baseline normal'.
  • What I'm reading here is 'get off your ass and do something works, yes' -- with the caveat of 'it didn't work for me at a point in my life when I had serious depression issues that wanted medicating'.
    Cool, I do the right thing here, then. ;)
  • Effexor

    No.. I'm not kidding.

    "Get off your ass and do something" works wonderfully when my depression is under control by medication. I go to the gym. I find going to the gym feels GREAT and I feel the happy chemicals dancing in my brain when I'm all done and my whole body feels relaxed afterwards. It's a great feeling.

    However.. without medication.. I cannot even think about going to the gym. And I know that doesn't make sense, and I know "You should just do it anyway" is a great and easy thing for someone else to say. However... if my depression is not balanced with medication, I not only physically feel exhausted but mentally drained to the point where even the thought of the short walk to the car to then go to the gym is tedious. Everything is overwhelming. At that point, honestly, I tend to sleep. Which is fine. Sleeping for a night and feeling better in the morning isn't such a terrible thing since lack of sleep often heightens the problem.

    However, sleeping all the time and sleeping one's life away isn't good either. So when it coms right down to it... medication, number one. Then, if I feel down.. I go out and go to the gym, go out and take a drive for a while, just get out of the house and away from sitting in a room with thecat. I go visit my parents in Shrewsbury and take mom out to lunch or watch a movie with them. Being with people is a great help, unfortunately I don't have many people to hang out with at all here and nobody who I can just go hang out with without a good week of planning ahead of time so that's never really useful unless I happened to be depressed on a weekend when I can go to mom's to begin with. Heh.

    So I guess secondary to medication, drives, exersize, just getting out of the house :)
  • I agree with the get off your ass and do something, except that it doesn't work when it's phrased like that.

    Mostly what I have to do is make myself do one thing at a time. I get so overwhelmed by everything I'm not and everything I feel like I've failed at. I've found that making a list of five things that I will get done that day, and then doing them, one at a time. Or doing other things that I need to do and putting them on the list and crossing them off. Just something that gets me remembering that I am productive and it was worth me getting up that day.

    Exercise is always key for me as well. Getting myself up and doing something active makes everything else feel possible. Endorphins are my friend.

    Finally I have to take responsibility for fixing my problems. I can't sit around and say 'I am miserable because X did this, or Y does that, or Z doesn't do both of those things.' I need to do things that make me feel important to myself and give me control of my life.

    Or something like that.
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