Ways to Try Self-Treating Your Depression

Ways to Try Self-Treating Your Depression

1. Sleep should come first. In another video I described how sleep deprivation can mimic many symptoms of depression in adolescents. A quick google search for “how can I sleep better” will give you ideas. It’s worth spending time and creativity to experiment with different tricks to help your sleep hygiene. I recommend my clients track their sleep with a fitbit or cell phone app so they can see how many hours they’re actually sleeping per night and setting goals accordingly.

2. Next is exercise. Research shows exercise is equally as effective as antidepressants for treating depression. Sometimes you need both, but exercise is an important place to start. About 30min 3-5 days a week is enough. You could run, do burpees, ride your bike or follow a yoga video on youtube.

3. Next we have to address your anger. Many times depression is anger turned inwards. Your environment may not be conducive to expressing anger, so in response you’ve learned to be angry at your self instead. It’s important to get that out and use up the feelings. Writing is my favorite. Write a list of everything you are angry about. You can paint the feeling of anger, you can listen to angry music, or you can go boxing. The same is true for sadness. Look for creative ways to use up your sadness, not ways to ignore it.

4. Don’t isolate. Depression makes it very easy to withdraw from others. It’s helpful to force yourself to go out and spend time with other people.

5. If you’ve done these things and you’re still not feeling well, it’s a good idea to seek professional help and work with a therapist and/or psychiatrist.