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Ivan Ana-Maria

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How do you actually cope with depression?

I have read some of the debates on 'depression' posted here and contextualized according to the author's experience and interest in a particular issue.
My question, though, comes from underneath possible references and eventual scientific explanations. It is a puerile question inspired by my recent intellectual and existential lethargy and it is an attempt to reach out and try to discuss it with those who have been through a similar situation.
Although I have experienced depression in the past, it strikes me now in a rather inappropriate moment. Depression is never welcome, I know, but I am also trying to see its self-revelatory side, the 'good one', the possible 'fruits' of an unpleasant emotional exploration.
May one actually learn from this? I acknowledge the inherent process of learning about yourself, about acting in a certain way when recognizing your weakness, your impotence. But is there really a 'good' side to depression?

I am now fighting my own monsters, so to speak, while I feel that my life has been put on hold, indefinitely. I am in my final year of master studies and what I am facing now is more than a banal writer's block, it is a paralyzing fear of the future that might prevent me from completing my studies on time (something I can hardly afford).
And therefore I must ask how does one cope with this? I agree with Tina Moore's idea that finding your way out of this emotional abyss is a highly individual process, then how did you overcome it? I am sure that one can learn from this simple act of sharing experiences.
I am afraid that this discussion is initially not based on some academic interest, but I welcome any ideas and suggestions that could shed some light on how to deal with this problem, maybe in a more creative way than in a traditional one.

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  • Jun 5 2012: Here are a few practical ideas I found very effective:

    If you haven't start to exercise regularly. Exercise is one of the most important tools to prevent or minimize depression and to make onself feel more energetic, creative and positive.

    Stop watching TV or at least news. Don't read newspapers that focus on reporting murders and other negative activities.

    Eat healthy.

    Avoid or minimize medications. Their side effects can include depression.

    Get a good sleep. The best way is to get used to go sleep early and wake up early. You will find having more energy and ideas after a good night sleep.

    Have enough light and sunshine. I have read about several scientific studies that suggest as we get older our eye get much less certain specturm of light. If needed use artificial light lamps for a small periods of time but be aware of possible UV rays.

    Connect with possitive people and keep sociallizing regularly with your friends/family, not online but in real life.

    Meditate and frequently remind youself about what you are greateful for this day, week etc.

    cheers
    • Jun 5 2012: Yes I agree to exercising and eating healthily. At least it makes you feel good about yourself.

      Talking to a close peer or family member whom you are comfortable with helps to. At least you get someone to know about your problems and I'm sure they will be there if you need them.

      Or start a blog to write down your feeling and thoughts, or why are you feeling upset. Then as you read back on your posts, you might just as well identify the root of the problems. :)
      Also, writing helps you to relieve stress and if you are not comfortable with telling anyone the problems, it can be a very helpful..
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        Jun 5 2012: Fenni,
        good idea.
        i dint know writing does have an advantage.
        will start practising it!!!
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        Jun 5 2012: Dear Fenni, writing is quite therapeutic and I completelly agree with the idea that it is a gate to your true self. I am sure that one can deal creatively with this emotional burden.
        Thank you for your advice. Thanks to it I actually went to sleep scheduling a 'meeting' with my fear for the next morning. This is really wonderful and exactlly like drawing and painting, it is a way to look deep within yourself.
        Have you ever tried writing as a therapy yourself?
        • Jun 7 2012: Hi Ivan, yes i tried it myself. The blog is private, so there's no chance of anyone reading it. Then I can pen all my feelings down without the fear of anyone judging. As I write more and read back on what I wrote, I find it actually amusing sometimes at what I posted. It's like, you have to find some humility in yourself then you can take life easier. :)
          Whenever you are feeling down, you can just write it down, even if it's 10 or 20 times a day.
          No one would judge you.

          I wish you all the best. :)
      • Jun 5 2012: Fenni, writting is a great idea. I also think that writing about something positive that happened that day or week will help to feel better as well.
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          Jun 7 2012: Dear Fenni and Zdenek,

          I appreciate your enthusiasm about writing, and I completely agree with you both. I think that creative activities (writing, drawing) are ways to access your subconcious, as in my experience I often found myself surprised of what I was reading about myself in my written or graphic past endevors. And even if it is a very personal journey, I am happy to know that there are other people that enjoy its simple and natural benefits. With this in mind I must brace myself for a journey of my own.
          I wish you both all the best,
          Ana.
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      Jun 5 2012: Your suggestions are indeed useful, Zdenek. To a small degree, I have tried most of them. I guess one of the hardest part now is to remain consistent in whatever I choose to do and to stop rationalizing and negating the usefulness of a certain action. To my surprise, although I have never done any sport in my life, at the beginning of May I displayed a theoretical interest in doing sport and I heard myself praising it in front of my friends. Perhaps some part of me was already forseeing and intuiting this critical moment.
      I appreciate your advice and I believe that I am on the right track.
      Thank you for your comment and for all your suggestions.
      • Jun 5 2012: I forgot to mention that going to nature should help as well. Go for a hike, camping, kayaking, skiing etc.

        I think it is the best to start with sport and/or exercise because if you do that regularly you will start having energy and positve thoughts in taking on the rest. =)

        It is great to hear about your sport activity and good luck!

        cheers

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