Feeling Blue? 6 Ways to Combat Depression

© by Jennifer McLeod writing as jenjen0703, all rights reserved.

Overcome With Sadness

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Feeling Down in the Dumps?

At some point in life, everyone feels blue or depressed. Choosing to remain "down in the dumps" or dealing with the depression is the choice of the person. There are many things a person can do to help combat depression. But, before we go to combat, we need to understand the reasons why we are depressed. Be aware of your circumstances, and keep in mind that we cannot have complete control over everything. In order for this combat to work, we need to let some things go and be willing to focus on the things we can change. No matter what circumstances are playing out in our lives, the way we react to them is definitely something we can change.

There are many elements which cause depression. I would have to write a book about the causes of depression to cover them, as there are that many different causes. However, a few typical examples could be the loss of a loved one (whether it be divorce or death), dissatisfaction to the current status of our life, financial struggles, mood disorders, recent birth of a baby, vitamin deficiencies, or even the lack of sunshine. Whatever the causes of the blues are, here are some suggestions that can help.

If you are unsure if you are suffering from depression, read Ten Signs or Symptoms You are Suffering from Depression.

Do you suffer from depression?

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Fellow Hubbers...

How to Tell if You Suffer from Depression of if You're Just Unhappy

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Depression - What to Look for and How to Help

This hub is written by Denise Handlon and covers many aspects of depression.

Moving on to Combat

1) Seek therapy or counseling. A psychologist is an excellent choice for dealing with depression. Sometimes, depression can be a predecessor to other mood disorders such as Bipolar Disorder or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). A psychologist can determine if psychiatric treatment is needed, or if therapy will be adequate treatment. Meeting with a therapist to talk about issues can help because he or she can give you other perspectives to think about. Also, the information discussed is confidential, so sharing deep and personal information is sometimes easier than talking to friends, as they might not keep the shared information confidential. If psychiatric treatment is suggested, medications can help to stabilize the moods and curb the depression.

2) Keep a journal. Write, write, write. Write about your day, or the fight you had with your spouse. Write about your feelings, especially on a bad day. Write down the circumstances that triggered your depression that day. After you have kept a journal for awhile, you should be able to see a pattern of the triggers that are causing your depression. Also, keeping a journal is similar to talking to someone else, except that the words are written, not orally spoken. In times when I am super-stressed or upset, my therapist taught me how to power-write.

3) Be willing to address issues head-on. I once heard a saying that has stuck with me over the years. "Denial is not a river in Egypt." If you do not address the causes of your depression, it will smother you like a dark cloak of doom. Sometimes, tragedies happen to people, and they have a difficult time facing what happened. Other times, people become accustomed to their "comfort zone" and are afraid to change things. Even if the "comfort zone" is an unhealthy place for an individual, he or she knows what to expect in their zone. Coming out of that zone scares some people because they do not know what will happen next. Facing the issues takes a load of weight off their shoulders and can lower stress levels significantly. Facing the issues is a healthy action because dealing with reality is better than fooling yourself.

Keep It Real: Be True to Yourself

4) Proper eating habits. Vitamin deficiencies are a definite cause of depression. According to www.depression-guide.com, there are many vitamin deficiencies that cause depression and involve Vitamins B2, B3, B5, B6, B12, and Biotin. Lack of Vitamin D can also cause depression. Vitamin D is found in our foods, but it is also found in the sunlight. This is why people get the "winter blues" because they have been cooped up inside their homes and are spending less time in the sun during those cold months (if you are in a geographical location that snows). A well-balanced diet not only helps prevent depression, but also gives you energy to be able to complete Step 5.

5) Exercise. I cannot stress enough how important exercise is. I try to exercise a few times a week, even if it is only a 10 or 15-minute run. When the body works out, it produces what I call "happy endorphins." These endorphins are considered to be a natural stress fighter. Sometimes, exercising when you are feeling depressed or stressed could be enough action to put you in a better mood by the time you are done with your workout. And this does not include the positive benefits from exercise, such as weight loss, stronger muscles, and a healthier heart.

6) Meditation. Meditation helps a person to become more alert and focused. It also helps him or her to be less reactive and more responsive, allowing the person to be able to handle stressful situations with greater ease.

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Comments 28 comments

vrbmft profile image

vrbmft 5 years ago from Yucaipa, California

Wow, thank you for an intelligent hub on depression. I am glad you listed the first cause as LOSS. In fact, just about every cause for depression could be included under loss, even the vitamin deficiency! Losses are huge in our day to day lives, even something as simple as losing one's keys! And when we lose, whatever it is, however minor or monumental or incomprehensible, we must go thru the stages and one of those is depression. And I like the fact you included exercise. Exercise is absolutely miraculous. The exercise routine literally changes your body chemistry the way other forms of medication cannot.

Anywho, I really applaud what you have here and I am glad you did not venture into the whole ridiculous discussion of depression vs clinical depression. What a crock in my book. It's like telling someone they only have a sprained ankle or a broken bone, it's not really a clinically broken bone or sprain. Of course that would make no sense and to talk about depression and clinical depression only confuses people who are in denial about their depression, makes people not want to acknowledge that they are clinically depressed, only depressed as if there is some magical difference. Anywho, I am going on and on here. Can you tell I have some thoughts and emotions about this topic?!

Thanks again

Vern


JenJen0703 profile image

JenJen0703 5 years ago from Cereal City U.S.A. Author

Thanks for the nice comment, Vern. I have struggled with depression and other mood disorders for years. People can learn about depression from a book and talk about it. And others know firsthand what it is really like. I am enjoying sharing things on HP.


lucybell21 profile image

lucybell21 5 years ago from Troy, N.Y.

Really nice hub. I do feel down in the dumps tonite, I get that way every once in awhile. Thanks to my grown kids that , well I will just leave it at that. Voted up on your hub.


Melovy profile image

Melovy 5 years ago from UK

This is a well-balanced hub on depression, and your suggestions are wise. Sorry to see that you have struggled with depression for years; from what you’ve written on your profile you seem to be managing to lead a full life in spite of it, so good for you! I think writing and meditation are two very powerful ways to go because they can lead to change at a deep level - as of course can your first suggestion, counselling. Two processes I really recommend, if you haven’t already come across them, are 'The Work of Byron Katie' or the Sedona Method. Neither is instant an cure, but both make it easier to change our reactions, which as you so rightly say is the key to waving goodbye to depression.

Thanks for following me.


epigramman profile image

epigramman 5 years ago

....I must post this most informative, definitive and essential hub subject to my Facebook page with a direct link back here - and I myself, have certainly entertained feelings of depression, however they may be and wherever they come from - I do not know but this is a good place to start (your hub) in trying to deal with it and learn from it at the same time.

lake erie time ontario canada 2:27pm and thank you ever so much for your royal endorsement of my humble little hubspace - coming from someone as talented as you really means a lot.


JenJen0703 profile image

JenJen0703 5 years ago from Cereal City U.S.A. Author

Thank you epigramman. Feel free to use my articles as you see fit.


Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

I practice #2,#3,#4 and #5 on a daily basis! Fantastic list! Wishing you positive thoughts my new friend! :)


Derdriu 5 years ago

JenJen0703: You offer a cogent analysis of depression, for which you then list effective, practical strategies of control and dissipation. It is interesting what a difference exercise, nutrition and self-analysis can do.

Thank you for sharing, voted up, and all categories too,

Derdriu


MsDora profile image

MsDora 5 years ago from The Caribbean

Good information and advice. The video is also a good choice. Thanks. Voted USEFUL!


Sueswan 5 years ago

Very interesting and informative.

I have heard depression described as surpressed anger.


kenneth avery profile image

kenneth avery 5 years ago from Hamilton, Alabama

JenJeno...great read.Very in-depth and thorough. I appreciate your presenting of this subject which is relevant to me as I suffer from depression, anxiety and panic attacks, even with my medications, I still get the blues and mostly for I can never work again. And for a man, and this isnt a sexist remark, not being able to provide, build, and supply is important and when that is gone, we get hit with depression. I am honored to be your follower. Keep up the great work. Kenneth


mariasial profile image

mariasial 5 years ago from united kingdom

Very good list almost everything is do able ... good work


Cresentmoon2007 profile image

Cresentmoon2007 5 years ago from Caledonia, MI

I am glad you posted this hub. I suffer from mental illnesses that can cause depression. I am seeking out counseling, I am beginning to meditate again, I do exercise, and keep a journal. I do all of the above. I am fighting this thing head on. I'm not giving in so easily but it is very difficult. I appreciate you posting this and I do hope that it comes to some use for people. Voted up.


JenJen0703 profile image

JenJen0703 5 years ago from Cereal City U.S.A. Author

Thanks everyone for the support. I am trying to use the things in my life as examples to educate others, help make things easier for them in their lives. We have to support each other, and I understand what you are saying, Cresentmoon2007.


Tabiee profile image

Tabiee 5 years ago from Pakistan

nice


Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 5 years ago from Georgia

Hello Jennifer, Your hub has excellent information. I think that anemia caused by lack of iron may also play a part in depression. It certainly can drain you of energy and I would think the lethargy alone can cause emotional depression. Very good suggestions on treatment, especially seeking good professional help. Eliminating depression can certainly open new vistas on this life journey. Thank you so much for the information.


sasanka7 profile image

sasanka7 5 years ago from Calcutta, India

Very useful suggestions. I think meditation is the best way to combat depression ignoring everything. thanks


xethonxq profile image

xethonxq 5 years ago

As a professional counselor I can say...GREAT JOB on this hub. Very useful information...easy to understand. Thank you for sharing JenJen0703!!


GoGreenTips profile image

GoGreenTips 4 years ago from Indianapolis

I enjoyed the personal touch of your hub. I too have struggled with depression for what seems my entire life. Only the last few years have brought me relief. I found that it took more than one cure, but a combination of the steps. eating right, exercise. My writing originally began as journal ling and it has taken off into a new hobby here at hubpages and a couple blogs.

Good luck and stay positive!


JenJen0703 profile image

JenJen0703 4 years ago from Cereal City U.S.A. Author

Thanks GoGreenTips and everyone else. Depression has affected my life for years in some way, shape, or form. Exercise is the quickest way for me to cheer up when I am feeling down.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 4 years ago from Minnesota

JenJen-Great tips on dealing with depression! I have bouts of depression and have learned skills to cope with it. Everything you wrote about is very helpful for me, especially moving my body. I feel instantly better after taking a walk, whether long or short.


JenJen0703 profile image

JenJen0703 4 years ago from Cereal City U.S.A. Author

I am the same way, Minnetonka Twin. It is easy for me to lay around and wallow in self-pity, so I get moving around. I either write or exercise, and I love to work out with my Wii. You get to have fun while still working out.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 4 years ago from Minnesota

I hear so many people talk about working out to a Wii. I'll have to check it out as I love having fun when I work out.


JenJen0703 profile image

JenJen0703 4 years ago from Cereal City U.S.A. Author

I love the Wii, there are so many fun games and sports activities. If you get Sports and Sports Resorts, that is a lot of fun and does not require the Wii Fit Plus Board. However, the Board is an awesome experience all by itself. It is a $100 investment, I believe. I hope you like to Hula Hoop, do yoga, dance, do aerobics, and run on obstacle courses.


Minnetonka Twin profile image

Minnetonka Twin 4 years ago from Minnesota

Sounds really cool and fun!! thanks for the great information JenJen :-) I really appreciate it.


JenJen0703 profile image

JenJen0703 4 years ago from Cereal City U.S.A. Author

No problem Minnetonka Twin.


tiffany delite profile image

tiffany delite 4 years ago from united states

thank you so much for this hub...i am glad that you listed seeking therapy/counseling as the first on the list because i think that is really the most important. i tried for a long time to battle it on my own, and yeah, that didn't work out so well for me. in my experience, journaling is great too! blessings!


JenJen0703 profile image

JenJen0703 4 years ago from Cereal City U.S.A. Author

Therapy definitely helps with depression, Tiffany delite, and sometimes an anti-depressant added to the mix helps, too. Thanks for stopping by and reading my hub!!

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