It’s a snappy title and I should get more traffic than normal. More importantly though, is there an easy, formulaic, 5 step method for overcoming depression? The answer is no, definitely not. If there was we wouldn’t be having a depression epidemic.
There are literally dozens of articles with similar headings to the one above. When I see them I immediately wonder if the writer has ever been depressed. Mental illness is anything but simple. Depression describes a broad spectrum of mood disorders, and there are many and varied treatments that provide different levels of success. Any “tip sheet” is by its nature superficial.
At the same time, such articles can be helpful. They aren’t normally written by medical or health professionals, so they provide input from outside traditional medicine. They give many ideas for lifestyle changes; ideas that won’t necessarily overcome depression by themselves, but nonetheless may be helpful to differing degrees for different people.
I’ve put links to a sample of articles below; some good and others pretty poor. I’ve summarized the tips from each so you can easily look further into what interests you.
You might also like to read my previous post What Works for Depression which is based on 2 research studies.
Please feel free to share your thoughts and ideas in the comments section below.
Top 5 Tips to Beat Depression
This is the only article in the 20 or so that I’ve read that suggests researching your illness and keeping a mood diary. Both of these are very underrated strategies that can get a person well on the road to recovery. The writer is also only one of two to discuss triggers. If you only read one of these articles then this should be the one.
Research depression, talk with someone, try different things to get well, mood diary, improved diet.
Ten Tips For Managing Your Depression
Of all the articles that I’ve read this is my favorite. It is well written and has a range of good, helpful strategies.
Sleep, exercise, less refined sugar, reach out to someone else, nutritious food, Omega 3, sunlight, yoga, meditation / prayer, professional help.
10 All Natural Ways to Stop Feeling Depressed
“The Blues” would be a better term than “Depressed” but there are still some helpful lifestyle ideas.
Emotional cycle, being with positive people, reflecting on past successes, gratitude, change of scenery, break in routine, animals and nature, get up and at it, find perspective, take action to help yourself.
10 Chemical-Free Strategies to Trick Yourself Out of the Blues
This writer doesn’t seem to understand depression. A couple of good points, but most strategies are ordinary at best and even bizarre.
Wear blue, take time out mentally, verbalise your anger to a friend, force your smiles, remove clutter, music, experiment with food, a concentration exercize, DIY aromatherapy, get in touch with your primal self through cooking.
Feeling Down? 7 Ways to Pick Yourself Back Up!
Another one that is more about “the blues” than depression, but the writer acknowledges the limitations of his advice. Some good ideas.
Make a list, take action, exercise, clean and straighten yourself up, get out of the house, lively music, talk about it with someone close.
Top 8 Tips for Living with Depression
This writer has a good range ideas, all of which can have an impact on depression.
Support group, manage stress, sleep, diet, control negative thoughts, stop procrastinating, learn to forgive
Top 10 Tips to Overcome Depression
Some interesting ideas, but the tips are a bit light for someone with true depression.
Talk, exercise, cry, sunlight, music, activity, write, balanced diet, affection, professional help.
5 Tips for Staving Off a Depression
Sound tips on how the writer deals with her own depression, before relying on medicine.
Work outdoors, eliminate the triggers, play music, exercise, maintain a positive attitude.
Five Tips for Reducing Depression
This one takes a different angle with the first two tips focusing on the media. There are some good ideas, but the article as a whole is weak in relation to depression.
Don’t read newspapers, turn off the television, be positive towards others, exercise, breathing and relaxation techniques.
Five Self-Care Strategies For Depression
Sound advice which includes exercise and adequate sleep – two of the most important.
Keep active, eat well, adequate sleep, minimize stress, maintain positive relationships.
Top 10 Tips for Beating Depression
This would be the worst article. The writer doesn’t seem to understand depression, viewing it more as a character flaw than a disease.
Develop interests, stay positive, fix your personal problems, create a positive social life, stop bad behavior, be realistic, make changes, become active, fix your diet, control your thinking.