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  • Tanisha Herrin

Five Ways to Manage and Cope with Severe Depression

Look for calm beyond the storm.

Severe depression, also known as major or clinical depression, can be a challenging struggle. There are days feelings of sadness seem too much to bare. You don’t feel like getting out of bed. You can’t stop crying. You don’t want to be bothered. You’re in a deep hole that makes it hard to get simple tasks done. Your pain is so heavy you don’t want others to know what you’re dealing with because they may not understand. So much energy is needed just to stay focused. There are many others dealing with the same confrontation day in and day out. Here are actions others have found helpful for managing severe depression.

1. Don’t give up and don’t be afraid.

Keep moving forward with perseverance and courage. Don’t let difficulties get in the way of seeing better days. You’ve got learn how to push through the hurt and deal with the pain instead of assuming it will pass on its own. Take it one day at a time and remember tomorrow is another chance to try again. Times like this are a reminder of how significant it is to have courage. As A. P. J. Abdul Kalam said, “When we tackle obstacles we find hidden reserves of courage and resilience we did not know we had. And it is only when we are faced with failure do we realize that these resources were always there within us. We only need to find them and move on with our lives.”

2. Go easy on yourself.

Keep trying but don’t be too hard on yourself. Give yourself a pep talk to be reminded of the effort you’re putting in with good intentions. Tell yourself things you would tell someone else you think highly of. Give yourself credit for making an effort to try even if it fell short. Pushing through despair means you are still striving; you have yet to give up. It shows you have unique strength you established on your own. There really is something in you thriving for the better.

3. Gain strength from your accomplishments.

Recall past moments when you were proud of something you did. Think about things you accomplished you didn’t think was possible. What was the hardest thing you have ever done in your life? What are things people say you do well? Think about what you have accomplished and what they taught you about persistence. Use these moments to think about why you are a special person. Your strengths and achievements validate your abilities; meaning you are capable of doing even more.

4. Take your mind off the pain by doing something productive.

Revisit a hobby you haven’t done in a while. Get into activities you loved doing. When you don’t feel like leaving the house, call a friend for conversation. Do a calming activity such as an adult coloring page, painting, or a word search. Go outside and tidy up the yard. Clean up at home. Watch a funny movie or television show. Consider productive activity to avoid letting your mind settle in a dark place.

5. Practice deep breathing techniques, meditation, yoga, and other forms of exercise.

Breathing techniques can help calm your nerves. Meditation can encourage your mind to be in a better place mentally. Yoga and light exercise also stimulate the brain and calms your nerves. It may not be a permanent fix, but it can help your mind focus on doing something that is good for you or productive.

Additional Actions You Can Do

Take your medication and follow through with instructions. Discuss with your doctor about dosage changes or other prescription options if the medicine is not producing results. Share your feelings with a counselor or therapist; they can help you decide a path that is healthy. Get adequate rest and eat healthy foods. Get in the company of positive people. Write out your feelings in a journal. Take time to invest in you because you are worth it.

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