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How To Guide for Beating Depression, Five Major Goals

Updated on January 13, 2019
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L. Cargill, Medical Laboratory Scientist, ASCP. Retired blood banker and laboratorian. Loves to write about a wide range of subjects. Enjoy!

Setting Goals to Beat Depression

Depression affects men, women and children
Depression affects men, women and children | Source

Living With Depression

Living with depression is doable. No, you can't just toss your feelings aside and 'shrug things off'. But you can set some goals for yourself regarding your depression. You can learn to deal with depressing episodes and make yourself stronger and better.

It does not matter what caused your depression. You may have been raped as a child, abused and beaten or neglected. You may have had to endure many injuries both physical and mental. You may have lost key members of your family at an early age. The causes of depression are as varied as the people who suffer from depression.

At some point, depression affects all humans. There are just too many horrors in the world. No one can escape them all. People with certain metabolic conditions can suffer from a chemical imbalance in their brains that presents as full blown depression.

Depression is probably the most widely occurring mental health complaint in the world. When you are depressed, it is hard to cope with the seemingly non-depressed world. But there are steps you can take to have a good life, even when dealing with depression.

The First Goal of Living With Depression:

Get Professional Treatment.

Right off the bat, if you are suffering from depression, you need to get help from others. Your goal would be to discuss your depression with your doctor. Even if you only go to see your family physician, they have the power to prescribe anti-depressive medications that will correct your brain chemistry.

Trying to tough it out on your own can make everything worse. The longer you delay treatment, the longer you will be depressed, so make an appointment the very morning you wake up and feel waves of depression. The symptoms are easily recognized:

  • What is wrong with me?
  • Why can't I sleep?
  • Why do I have these terrible nightmares?
  • Why can't I face the day?
  • Why do I feel like I want to crawl into a dark hole and stay there.
  • Why do I feel worthless and marked for doom and gloom.
  • Why do I blame everyone else for my bad feelings.

All of these things and more are symptoms of the depression experience. And it is an experience. Depression can strike quickly, seemingly out of the blue, or it can build on itself with the sufferer becoming more and more depressed each day.

A doctor is the only person that can effectively treat depression. You think you can do it and say to yourself, "I'll get over it and feel better soon", and you may actually improve a bit. Then on another day, your brain will tell you that you need outside help. Something is just not right.

Anti-depressant Medication Works

Pill boxes can be a huge help when trying to take medications
Pill boxes can be a huge help when trying to take medications | Source

Goal Two of Living With Depression:

Follow the Doctor's Advice.

Do not stop taking anti-depression medicine on your own. Take it for as long as it is needed. Your brain may need those chemicals in order to maintain balance. Sometimes people take the medicine just until they are feeling better.

Stopping some anti-depression medicine cold turkey can make your depression much worse than it ever was. Brain chemistry is not an exact science, but advances have made this type of medicine much more patient friendly. The medicine is to correct an imbalance in the chemistry of the brain, not a cure-all for your parents beating you as a child.

Goal Three of Living With Depression

Learn to Talk to Yourself

Some of us have been taught that we are what we eat. Psychologists now know that we are what we think. Descartes, a noted philosopher, once stated, "I think, therefore I am". This is valid in the truest sense of the word.

If we think about all the bad things in our lives and buy into the terrible things that people have done to us, then we are telling ourselves that we do not deserve happiness. We tell ourselves that people are our enemies. We think we are less than human.

Why not learn to talk to yourself and give yourself a look at reality? The truth is that you have every right to live and breathe on this planet. You have the ability to make your own decisions about things. You especially have the ability to decide who to associate with and who to discard as a friend.

If you have a friend or family member that makes you feel depressed for whatever reason, then stop giving them the power to influence you. Tell yourself not to listen to what they say. Tell yourself to be the happy person that you know you can be.

How To Deal With Depression Video

Goal Four of Living With Depression:

Take Out the Trash

Get rid of anything, everything and anyone who is causing you to be depressed. If you have debt problems, then declare bankruptcy. If your spouse is abusing you, you need to divorce them. You must get yourself away from the sources of your depression.

It is extremely difficult to do things like this, but you must put distance between you and what causes your depression. If you can't divorce your spouse, for whatever reason, then try for a temporary separation or mandatory counseling.

You must make this a goal or you will continue to suffer from depression. There is just no other way around it. Abused children must be removed from their homes. Abused animals must be sent to animal shelters. A depressed person is not strong enough to withstand continued exposure to whatever triggers their depression.

Perhaps with counseling and medical intervention a person can become strong enough, but for the short term, getting rid of the major problem is the goal to shoot for.

Finding a Friend Who Loves You

Dog Love - It's Fabulous!
Dog Love - It's Fabulous! | Source

Goal Five of Living With Depression

Learn to Accept Life's Benefits

Depressed people have lost hope in life. They can't see their lot in life as being good. They only see the bad stuff.

But there are many good things in life. Discover what makes you smile. Find your 'happy place'. Kick depression in the pants.

Breathe deeply of the life giving air. Do what you want to do, not what someone expects you to do (or not do). Find strength in yourself. It isn't all that hard. Half the illusion of being happy is simply to act happy. Enjoy the world while you are here.

  • Give and receive love.
  • Smile, even if you don't want to.
  • If helping others makes you happy, then do so.
  • If being a beach bum makes you happy, then be one.
  • If eating too much makes you really feel good, then thumb your nose at those who call you names.
  • You are NOT responsible for the happiness (or good manners) of others. They must learn to be happy on their own. You may help, but it is all up to them to be happy.
  • You do not owe the world anything.
  • They world does not owe you anything either, but benefits are available for those who choose to find them.

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© 2012 Lela

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