Seeking help for depression is a start. When nothing is working, taking action to overcome depression each day will keep you in recovery. Not all the suggestions listed here will work for everyone. Depression and recovery from it are an individual process. Take what you like here and leave the rest.
If you've already tried medications, counseling and prayer and nothing has worked to help you recover from depression, try the following:
1. Have you stuck with your medication? Medication for depression may need to be adjusted or changed. Work with your doctor and be honest with him or her about your feelings and symptoms. Take the self test to track your depression on a calendar and share this information with your doctor.
2. Take a look at the resoures page. Select a book in order to get started putting good information and healing thoughts inside yourself. If nothing is working, you've probably been depressed for quite a while. Take time to surround yourself with positive and helpful beliefs, ideas and information. This will be a tremendous source of strength for you when you are overcome with despair. 3. Try art therapy. Sometimes words can't express the pain within. Art therapy can be a way of getting what's inside out. This link shows how art can help with expression in order to take action to bring about positive change in your life. 4.Check out Dr. Mark Hyman’s website (Click on lessons 2-7) or books based on natural healing. You could have more than one medical issue which is compounding a diagnosis and your recovery. The way we eat everyday dramatically influences our health – including mental, emotional and physical health. Give yourself six months to a year to see results. Although you may see results in a few weeks, continue the healthful routines you will be learning in order to maintain your mental, physical and emotional health. 5.Start a book study group. Meet once each week. Start with one of the books listed in “Resources” on this website. Participants don’t need to be depressed to attend – just interested in the book. Not only will this give you something positive to look forward to, it will bring new energy into your home or apartment. Although the books listed on this website have been chosen in order to deal with depression, even having a book group based on popular literature will give you an opportunity to be around other people which can be good for you if you are having trouble reaching out. Post a note on the bulletin board at the library if you don’t know anyone to form a group with. Your local library probably has a free meeting room where you could get together. 6.Make a list of all your experiences and insights from God each day. Perhaps it’s an answered prayer, a new way of understanding or maybe even something that worked out surprisingly well – acknowledge God’s hand in it by writing it down. On days when your faith or memory is short, you’ll have proof of the good things happening in your life. Keeping track of these will help change your focus from hopeless to thankful. 7.Many physical issues can be traced back to stress. Take your stress seriously and learn to de-stress. One way to de-stress is remembering to breathe deeply six times each day – it’s also free and easy! Another way is to make a list of troublesome issues – crossing off ones over which you have no control. 8.When you catch yourself worrying, stop. True, this is easier said than done. In Believing God, Beth Moore encourages readers to wear a special ribbon to help themselves remember (a special message or negative habit to give up) in order to focus on trusting God. Be confident that God has given you what you need to succeed. God is with you and will make more available to you in His time. While you’re waiting, show God your measure of faith by believing Him. 9.Learn to enjoy life. You’re depressed, but how would you teach or show someone else to enjoy life? What gentle advice would you give them? Can you follow your own advice? Can you become a student of your own “learning to enjoy life” class? Pray about it. The advice you come up with will be inspired by the Holy Spirit. Trust that God’s Holy Spirit will guide you.
11. Stay aware of how your joy is taken from you. Some people give energy while others take it away. Do you have relationships which are harmful and need boundaries? Also, the devil has many tactics – a huge bag of tricks. Become aware of how he uses depression, fear, worry, anger, anxiety, stress, addiction, manipulation, past abuse, trauma, accident, injury, insecurity, and more in order to keep you down. If you are down, you can’t be as useful in God’s kingdom.
12.Although not specifically endorsed by My Help 4 Depression, a resource discovered recently by our staff is the Emotional Freedom Technique.