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Coping with Depression: A Mental Health Illness

Updated on September 4, 2013
Copyright- Nick Wolf
Copyright- Nick Wolf | Source

Diagnosed With Depression

I have been diagnosed with depression. I have been living with depression for the past year. It's not fun. I was diagnosed at the age of 19. I am now 20 years old. If you are reading this and you have also been diagnosed with depression then you know how emotionally overwhelming, painful, confusing, and draining depression is. I know what it is like to be so hopeless and sad, to the point of wanting to no longer live. I'm writing this article because I want to help my fellow humans that are also dealing with this illness. Since I want to reach out and helps others that have also been diagnosed with depression, I would like to give you a few ways that have helped me cope. These ways may, or may not help you, but my hope is that this article will be beneficial for anyone who is living with this mental illness.

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Depressed Feelings: You Can Overcome Them!

When one is depressed they tend to feel hopeless and worthless. They feel sad, angry, confused, and scared. They think that they will always be this way. Depression can also lead to the thought and possibly the attempt to take one's own life. But taken from my personal experience with dealing with depression, I have found that one can keep living even while being diagnosed with depression. There is hope. You do have purpose. You are not alone.

A depressed person may feel like their only option is to die, but trust me, they do have the ability to overcome the chaos and confusion that depression brings.

Copyright-Nick Wolf
Copyright-Nick Wolf

#1 Focus On Your Own Well-Being

My first tip to cope with depression is: Focus on your own well-being. This may seem selfish to do, but it's the truth. Focus on yourself becoming healthy and being able to live life to the fullest, again. Below I will list a few ways in which one can put this point into affect in their everyday lives.

Have a "Dream" for Yourself

  • Do you have a dream career or experience that you want to achieve in life? Well then I encourage you do focus on making it happen. Be more positive with yourself and know that you can accomplish anything with hard work, perseverance, and integrity. Be confident with yourself and look forward to achieving your dream!
  • Make a list of your dreams and what you want to do with your life. (For example: Become a doctor, author, sports announcer, musician, artist, nurse, dentist, teacher, entrepreneur, live in Hawaii, etc.) It's your dream. Focus on you and what you want, and don't let anyone hold you back!
  • Don't give up on your dream!

Make Personal Goals for Yourself

  • I'm sure you have personal goals for yourself that you want to reach. Just like the dreams, know that you can reach these with hard work, perseverance, integrity, and confidence.
  • Make a list of personal goals that you want to achieve. Break it down in days, weeks, months, years, etc. whatever works best for you. (For example: Overcome depression, have a full-time job, get a college degree, finish reading a book, etc.)
  • Remember you can reach any goals that you have for yourself. Remember to be patient and confident with yourself.
  • Take one day at a time.

If you focus on yourself and what you want to do with your life, it will make coping with depression a lot easier.

(Don't be completely self-centered and selfish, but know that focusing on your own well-being should be your main focus on your road to recovery.)

Copyright-Nick Wolf
Copyright-Nick Wolf

#2 Do Things That Make You Happy

My second way in which I have found a way to cope with my depression is by doing what makes me happy. So, do things that make you happy. This may seem cliché but if a depressed person does things that make them happy, it will help them tremendously. You are your own person, so cling to anything that makes you happy. (I encourage you to find healthy things, that will be beneficial both for your physical and emotional health.) Do things that put a smile on your face, make you laugh, and gives you a sense of peace and contentment. Below is a list of ideas that you may want to try to help you understand what I mean:

  • Listen/ play music
  • Sing
  • Watch a comedy. (movie, tv show, stand-up comedy performance, funny YouTube video)
  • Go out to lunch with a friend or family member
  • Enjoy nature
  • Read a book
  • Write a book
  • Write a song or poem
  • Spend time with close friends
  • Spend time with your family
  • Play a sport
  • Take your dog on a walk
  • Find a scenic spot to relax (For me I go park my car above the harbor in my town and enjoy the view)
  • Reach out and help others

There are plenty of other ways that can make you happy. This list is just some examples that have personally me become happy.

Copyright-Nick Wolf
Copyright-Nick Wolf

#3 Self- Expression

My third and final tip to help cope with depression is: find healthy ways to express yourself. What exactly do I mean by that? I mean, find specific creative ways in which you can express yourself. Personally, I have found writing poetry the best way for me to express myself. Letting my emotions out on the paper through words is a very helpful way for me to cope with my depression. I have learned that finding an outlet is a great, healthy and benifical way for one to cope with their depression. Expressing ones feelings and emotions through any type of art is a great coping mechanism. Below are a few ways to do this:

  • Write Poetry
  • Draw/ paint pictures
  • Create music

(Don't worry about how anything sounds or looks. You are finding a way to express yourself. You're doing it to find an outlet for your own self, not anyone else. )


I hope you are able to take any of this information to help you or someone you know cope with their depression. Remember: Focus on your own well-being first and foremost, Do things that make you happy, and Find a creative way to express yourself. And remember that coping with depression is not easy. But with patience, perseverance, integrity, and confidence you are more than able to live with this illness. Don't give up. You are not alone.

Amazing Song:


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    • nwolf93 profile image

      Nicholas Wolf 3 years ago from Dana Point, California

      @ChristinS , Thank you so much for your feedback and encouraging words. I appreciate it. :)

    • ChristinS profile image

      Christin Sander 3 years ago from Midwest

      Voted up and shared. I agree with these techniques, especially with putting your healing first and making yourself a priority - that is huge. We are so often told that to focus on ourselves is "selfish" and the truth of the matter is we have to be whole ourselves to be able to help others.

      As an aside, I was severely depressed as a young adult, often contemplating suicide. As I got older and learned more coping techniques I eventually beat it. I am very joyful and at peace in my life now, even in times of struggle. It does get better with effort and you can be free from the grip of it if you keep going. You obviously have the persistence and devotion to not let depression beat you. Good job!

    • nwolf93 profile image

      Nicholas Wolf 4 years ago from Dana Point, California

      @ thewritingowl Thank you for your feedback. I appreciate it. I have definitely found peace through writing and now I know what I want to do as a career.


    • thewritingowl profile image

      Mary Kelly Godley 4 years ago from Ireland

      Good advice. It is hard to think that you will recover when you are in the depths of depression but there is always a way back with help and guidance. As you say often people have lost their way and it is a great help to focus on something that you have always wanted e.g. for us writers it is the self-expression and inner fulfillment that comes from writing. For someone else it might be to run a marathon or see some of the world. Voted up.