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How to 'Snap out of' Depression

It is not helpful to suggest to a friend who's depressed that they 'snap out of it.'  If you are depressed, here are a few ways to bring yourself out of it.

Difficulty Level: hard      Time Required: varies


Here's How:
  1. Walk or run.  Exercise helps your body produce natural antidepressant chemicals.
  2. Spend time with people doing something you once enjoyed.
  3. Call a friend or relative you've lost touch with.
  4. See your family doctor for meds and a possible referral to a therapist.
  5. Notice whether you have expectations that set you up for depression - how you think things 'should' be.
  6. Be sure to get enough quality sleep - but get up after 8 hours or so.
  7. Eat a balanced diet and aim toward moderation in eating.
  8. Talk to someone or contact Befrienders.org if you have suicidal thoughts.
  9. Pick one or two small tasks that are easily accomplished and do them.
  10. Be sure that your surroundings are well lit - consider a S.A.D. light if you get depressed in winter.
  11. Consider complementary/alternative treatments - but discuss them with your M.D.
  12. Avoid alcohol and street drugs - which can make depression worse.
  13. Take a bath or shower, shave, and put on clean clothes.
  14. Do yard work or clean the house.  This can bring a sense of accomplishment.
  15. Do volunteer work.  Helping others can boost self-esteem.
Tips:
  1. In working with a doctor or therapist remember that you are partners.  Don't expect them to do all the work.
  2. Surfing the web - in moderation - can help, but be careful that you aren't spending too many hours in front of the computer.
  3. Face-to-face support groups and therapy groups can also be really helpful.

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