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Dealing With Depression and Serious Mental Health Issues

Updated on February 5, 2014

What Is Depression?

Depression is a serious mental health condition caused by unstable and unpredictable mood swings. In severe cases individuals may suffer from bipolar or manic episodes. With bipolar or manic depression individuals have a tendency to experience extreme mood swings. These mood swings usually begin with extreme highs characterized by hyperactivity and excited behavior followed by a down crash in which the individual may feel helpless, suicidal, extreme fatigue and a lack of interest in anything.

Upside Of Depression

Extreme Highs

In this stage known as hypermania individuals may be highly productive and tend to engage in risky behavior including sexual activities or overindulging in illegal substances. Other characteristics may include rapid speech and irresponsible behavior such as going on major shopping sprees and maxing out credit cards.

Downside Of Depression

Extreme Lows

Highs are always followed by lows and like they say “what comes up must come down” During the low stage individuals feel extreme sadness often resulting in non productivity. They tend to sleep in for days at a time, ignoring phone calls and calling in sick to work. During this stage the depression feels like it will never end. Everything feels like it’s a hassle. Even a simple task like brushing your teeth can become quite an effort.

The Sad Truth About Depression

The sad truth about depression is that it will never go away completely. It’s like a cloud that floats away and then comes back periodically to rain all over your parade. The only hope is to learn how to manage your moods or better yet how to cope when your having them. Unfortunately many do not learn how to deal with their episodes and they either end up homeless or institutionalized.

The Good News About Depression

The good news is that you can lessen your episodes by creating your own cocktail cure and by this I mean a combination of changes that you can make in your life. Only YOU can determine what needs to be adjusted in your life to make you a much happier person.

These changes could be many things such as adjustment with your medication, daily exercise, weekly therapy, change in diet, career change, finding a spiritual connection with the god of your understanding, enjoyable hobbies etc. Getting rid of what does not work and trying something new is a good start here.

What You Must Understand When Dealing With Depression

We are all wired differently and that is why there will never be a cookie cutter solution to depression. Everyone must make their own adjustments in life.

Two things you must understand.

#1. There is never going to be one thing that will help you with depression.

That's right!!! If you are taking medication and maybe going to therapy once a week, this alone will not bring you to true happiness. You must make adjustments in all aspects of your life.

Every little change you make will have a big impact on your stability.

  • healthier eating choices
  • exercise regimen
  • healthy social life
  • career choice
  • medication if necessary
  • therapy
  • spiritual connection
  • fun hobbies
  • positive thinking

#2. You must be patient and hang in there!

No matter how much effort you put into changing your life, you will not feel the true results overnight. Happiness will come but It takes months even years to adjust to whatever changes you decide to make so hang in there. There is an old saying that goes like this. “If you find yourself in hell keep going”. The only way out is through and when you begin walking through your struggles, you’ll begin to see what makes you tick, what makes you happy and what makes you miserable.

Whatever you enjoy doing, start incorporating more of that into your life. Get rid of people, places and things that bring you down and begin surrounding yourself with people, places and things that make you happy. This certainly will be no easy task but in the end it will definitely pay off I guarantee it.


If you are among the many that are taking antidepressant medication then you must remember one thing. This is only part of the solution. It's not a good idea to rely on medication alone without taking any action to improve your life. This would be like covering up a wound with a band aid but not treating the painful infection itself.

My Personal Account With Depressioin

When I was much younger I had no idea that I even had depression. I wasn’t diagnosed and never really gave any thought to my irrational behavior or my mood swings. It was only later on in my 30’s that I started to realize the similarities in my behavior and others that had been diagnosed with bipolar or manic depression.

After many doctor visits, I was diagnosed with manic depression and put on antidepressants. This seemed to stabilize my moods for a while but eventually I found my depression coming back with not much going on in my life either. Basically I just went to work everyday and did not do much else with my life. I made no effort to improve anything at all.

That day finally came when I decided to make positive changes in my life. It took years to finally feel the results from all of my hard work. I had to change everything including my social life, the lousy job I had, my life at home, my outlook on life etc.. EVERYTHING had to change and it did.


Change Is Good

Everyone is responsible for their own true happiness however they may find it. Here is what I found:

  • My own exercise regimen (weekly hikes all over Arizona)
  • Made a serious career change with a job I actually enjoy showing up for
  • Found my own spiritual connection with the higher power of my understanding
  • Changed my social network and began hanging around more educated people that were living happy lives
  • Sold my ugly car and bought a new one
  • Found creative outlet through writing and art

Today I can honestly say that I don't get depressed nearly as often as I used to. This only became apparent after years of making adjustments in my life and trying new things that made me happy in life. Don't get me wrong however, I still have my moments of depression but it's not nearly as often or as intense as it used to be. What I'm saying is that I'm able to manage my mood swings now and still function in society. I am a much happier person today.

Answering These Questions Can Help You Determine What Changes You Need To Make.

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    • janesix profile image

      janesix 3 years ago

      I used to enjoy hypomania. Now I know it just leads to mania, which is really bad.

    • jpcmc profile image

      JP Carlos 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      It's always best to keep tabs of what triggers one's depression. Likewise, putting a handle on how people feel helps manage the emotions.

    • Anthony Moreau profile image

      Richard de Mey 4 years ago from Scottsdale, Arizona

      Hi Denise im so glad to hear that you have managed this horrible beast. It's good to hear from people that deal with depression but are still able to function and live life. It's tough at times we all know, but the effort sure is worth it. I believe when we all share our personal struggles with each other it helps the ones that are still suffering and haven't figured out how to manage their depression.

    • denise.w.anderson profile image

      Denise W Anderson 4 years ago from Bismarck, North Dakota

      It is great to hear how someone else conquered their dragons (Depression, Rage, Anxiety, Guilt, and Other Negative Self Esteems)! I, too, went through a period of time where I didn't understand what I needed to do with my life. Medication worked for a while, but then other health issues came into the picture. Depression is like a chronic illness that must be managed. For me, it is necessary to do things daily that make a difference overall. Like you, diet, exercise, hobbies, being around good people, and controlling my environment all make a difference. Great job!