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Besides taking medication, what can I do to relieve depression?

The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) recommends the following strategies to ease the burden on yourself while you are depressed:
  • Be around other people. Isolating yourself from others is not healthful or healing.
  • Divide major tasks into smaller chunks, set priorities and do what you can.
  • Do not accept roles with a great deal of responsibility.
  • Do not accept negative thinking. Negative thinking is part of the depression.
  • Do not engage in self-blame while experiencing depressed mood.
  • Do not expect too much from yourself. This sets up situations of failure.
  • Do not set difficult goals.
  • Each day, find one positive reason to make it through the day.
  • Participate in activities that make you feel better. Exercise, relaxation and socialization are excellent choices.
  • Postpone major life decisions. Don't change jobs, relocate, enter into or end a primary relationship or make major financial choices until the depressive symptoms are alleviated.
  • Recognize that the negativity is part of the depression and probably does not reflect an accurate view of the situation.
  • Treatment takes time. Do not expect to feel better right away.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.