Friday, October 21, 2016

21. How to Fight Depression

I told Justin last night, “Make me call the doctor tomorrow. My depression is not getting better on my new meds. Right now I feel terrible. Tomorrow morning I'll feel better and put off calling the doctor again.”

Since the meds haven't been working, I've been relying on some of my old methods of dispelling depression. None of these works 100% of the time (or I wouldn't need the drugs!), but I've had varying degrees of success with each at some time or another.

1. Loud music. My genre of choice is worship music. There's nothing quite like belting out praise songs when I'm stuck in a depressed fog. (Check out my favorite worship songs here.)

2. Escapism. This probably isn't a healthy way to cope, but it tends to be effective. I get out of my head by getting into a good book. 

When in pain, distract the brain
3. Get out of the house. Maybe this only applies to me because I'm a stay at home mom, but it's too easy to wallow if I just sit at home. Going somewhere – anywhere – almost always lifts the spirits. Some of my favorite places are the library and thrift stores. If it's nice we go to the park or find a pool to hang out at. This is one of the reasons winter wreaks havoc on my depression. I'm stuck at home in my doldrums.

4. Projects. This is probably a personality thing, but I love organizing and de-cluttering. Sometimes, when I get in a funk, all I need is a good project to do – purging toy boxes, re-arranging furniture, organizing my craft closet. It helps so much to engage my mind and be productive all at the same time!

5. Angry clean. This is a combination of a couple of the above. Sometimes I turn on my music really loud (country music is the best for cleaning) and start scrubbing things. I don't know why it works. Something about releasing pent up tension, I guess.

6. Read/Pray the Psalms. David was depressed a lot. I search for verses about seeking joy and pray them for myself.

Psalm 5:11 “But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy.”
Jesus help me to find my refuge in you. Enable me to rejoice and sing for joy.

Psalm 19:7a “The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul.”
Lord, use your word to revive my soul.

Psalm 19:8a “The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart.”
Let me love your word so much that it causes my heart to rejoice.

Psalm 31:7 “I will rejoice and be glad in your steadfast love, because you have seen my affliction; you have known the distress of my soul.”
God, I don't have nearly the amount of distress David did, but you see me just the same. Thank you that you know me and you're here with me. Let the knowledge of your love fill me with joy.”

Psalm 33:21 “For our heart is glad in him because we trust in his holy name.”
Psalm 34:18 “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.”
Psalm 38:9 “O Lord, all my longing is before you; my sighing is not hidden from you.”
Psalm 40:16 “But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you”
Psalm 42:5 “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.”
Psalm 51:12 “Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.”
Psalm 55:22a “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you . . .”
Psalm 70:4a “May all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you!”
Psalm 90:14 “Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.”
Psalm 105:3b “let the hearts of those who seek the Lord rejoice!”

See also: all of Psalm 13

7. Sleep. If all else fails just shut out the world and go to sleep. I usually feel better when I wake up.

I've heard people say that exercise relieves depression. I wouldn't know about that. I just get more depressed when I exercise because I'm reminded of how out of shape I am. Haha. What say you? Any other great ideas I'm missing?

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  1. "Get out of the house."

    Totally. I find my anxiety and depression fester if I stay home too many days in a row, even if I don't want to go out anywhere. I made myself a "three day rule" where I have to get out of the house by the third day for my sanity no matter what (pre-school has been helping because I usually don't go home after and just take the little kids somewhere).

  2. Getting together with a friend who understands and can encourage and listen. Another stay at home mom perhaps? You can take turns going to each others house for coffee in the morning. No judging of house cleanliness or lack of time for a shower. :)


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