I struggled with undiagnosed depression for almost fifteen years before I got it under control. This isn’t unusual but it’s awful. What I learned from my fight is that the way through to the other side of depression is different for everyone but there are certain things that are worth trying as you piece together your approach to healing from this condition.
MK Carroll is someone else who has dealt with depression. She recently wrote about my book, Crochet Saved My Life, and her experience in contributing a story to the book. In her post, she has identified some key things to suggest for people who are trying to help themselves through depression. She suggests:
- Medical care if it’s available. Her experience (and one I’ve seen as well) is that it’s tough to find good mental health care and can even be impossible if you’re uninsured. But if it’s an option, it’s important to find a good psychologist/psychiatrist to come up with the right treatment for depression for you.
- Diet. MK Carroll found that it was really important to eat healthy in order to feel healthy. We each have different sensitivities. This wasn’t a huge issue for me but I do know that a diet with lower amounts of sugar, caffeine and alcohol does typically feel better for me.
- Exercise. MK found that exercise was important to her mental health and I’d say this is generally true. A lot of people have told me that just walking every day helped them a lot. I did yoga, when I could muster the energy to move, and that was helpful for me in many ways.
- “Applying good moderating skills to my thought processes”. MK had to learn to do this on her own. It’s something that can also be learned in therapy or through a meditation program.
- Crochet. MK shared her story with me specifically because I was looking for information about how people used crochet to heal from depression and other health issues so of course it makes sense to include it in our depression wellness plan. She says in her post, “Crochet can be an excellent way to do things for others, get involved with positive social groups, and meditate.” Learn more about crochet for depression from the book.
I would also add that it’s really crucial to come up with a good support system that you can reach out to when you’re going through depression. I had a few good friends, family members and my psychologist and that was immensely helpful.
What else would you suggest for coping with depression?