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What has worked for me

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Hi!  My name is Chris, from Australia.  I was depressed for years.

I tried medication but had funny side effects.  NOT saying that you should stop your medication, but I tried to explore natural less expensive ways to treat myself.

I realised I wasn't sleeping well, maybe if I could improve my sleep I could improve my health and thus depression.  After getting a blood test from DR and sleep study I ruled out any major issues and sleep apnea.  One day, sitting at a lake during a calm peaceful time, I started to just look at myself and my situation.  It then became clear, that I was spending so much time, worrying, and feeling bad for my situation, but doing pretty much NOTHING to improve it.  (besides the Dr).  So I decided to focus, in a gentle way on doing the following FIVE things:


1.  Methodically improving my sleep.  Getting information on sleep, making my room clean and comfortable (includijng washing my sheets regularly and vacuuming and tidying regularly)/.  I bought fresh air plants that were used by NASA pilots (you can google it if interested), to clean the bedroom air.  I bought new bedding.  A new mattress (if you don't have much money, you can contact your local charity centres / ask around and they will usually have a mattress avail for pickup.  If you don't have a matea with a ute just hire one for the day and grab a friend to help you move it).

Then I bought a new organic pillow.  It was the key!!!  I have been having great sleep, its so amazing, before I fall asleep  i can even see my dreams happening while I am awake!!  I went from sleeping at, say, a 3 or 4 out of 10, to a 9/10!!

(not saying that buying an organic pillow will be the key for you, but I hope all this is food for thouight.  The place where you lay your head for 8 hours a night should be pleasant, comfortable and easy to breathe.  Same for your room). 

2. Adding two things that I do at least once a week for health.  I am doing meditation, and yoga once a week.  

3.  Improve my diet.  I gave up refined sugar and caffeine as a good friend told me he had done that and felt so much calmer, and was sleeping better and no longer anxious!!! Well I do too, and no longer get anxious easily.  (YMMV).  Note: finding foods that do not contain refined sugar can be tough in the U.S.  But there are plenty of other ways to add flavour to foods, that taste just as good.  Even sweet desserts can made without sugar

4. Lifting my spirits by meeting friends / joining a meetup group, and ATTENDING it once a week.  This is so useful.  Its nice to have something that makes you feel a part of society.  Volunteering is also amazing at lifiting your spirit.  I helped a disabled person withdraw money once after he asked me, and I tell you, just doing that one thing made my whole friggin morning.  It is so humbling , and such a good feeling to help others in need that you cannot put into words.  Please try it.  Do a course if you have to, so you can do volunteering with people.

5. I didn't become obsessive about any of this. See, even if your depression might not even be cleared by these things.  Just allow yourself to try these things, and enjoy the feeling of gain in control you get from improving your health, your sleep, your life.

Improvements can take time, don't rush, but just start instituting changes in your life bit-by-bit, and you will see they will slowly start to improve.  Life is a marathon, not a sprint.    


Best wishes and may your radiant health, help lift your spirits!



Edited by Christopp

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A great psychologist named Aaron Beck noticed that in depression, the mind is often stuck in a perspective that could be described as "could be better, but isn't better."  Such an outlook naturally produces feelings of dissatisfaction, aggravation, sadness, anxiety and sadness.  In talking to depressed people for years and years Beck noticed that those suffering depression told their life stories in almost exclusive negative terms:   my early life could have been better, my parents could have been better, my fellow students, my friends, my work, my habits, my personality, my looks, my achievements, my prospects, my courage, my wisdom, my goodness.  All could have been better but were not and are not.  

Beck noticed that in depression, positives were absent:  memory of positives, awareness of positives, anticipation of positives.  There seemed to be only memories of negatives, consciousness of present day negatives, dread of future negatives.  It was as though a courtroom trial was going on were there was a judge and jury and a prosecutor but no defense attorney.  

But the question was, why cannot a person snap out of this almost exclusively negative outlook?  It was only with the passage of time that research revealed that in some cases depression was linked to organic pathology in the brain itself.  The pathology could affect, in some cases, the ability of the brain to augment negative views with counterbalancing positive views.  A person with depression could not in every case simply "snap out of it" through effort that aimed at rebalancing thoughts and feelings.  

What helps me is realizing that there can be organic components to my depression in addition to non-organic factors; that depression can be complex.  This helped me to realize that it is unfair for me to judge that others and myself are simply not trying hard enough to get better.  I cannot judge either others or myself because, not being an Infinite Being with infinite knowledge, I cannot know what is impossible for me know:  when, if and how a depression has a biological or chemical components.    - epictetus

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Just did a search on “yoga” to find this post because I know, in past, I’ve felt better when I realize I AM THE UNIVERSE. I mean, this yoga philosophy, and that we are all One is generally a common philosophy, but I am not sure if it helps me with this sickness. I don’t know if my depression is because I feel separate from Higher Conscious, God, Universe, Allah, Whatchamacallit, but I wonder if I stick to my yoga practice, and stay present IN THE DEPRESSION, if I might sorta transcend it. But, that there is goal oriented to escape it. 

Curious if others who have Major Depressive Disorder also practice yoga? 

And, the self-love you took toward caring for your basic needs....sleep, a pillow, yoga, food, gentle-mindfulness, is so refreshing. I’m not necessarily inspired now to change or get rid of the depression, but to work with it. Let it be, give it rest and good food, breathing to connect to Consciousness, maybe even inviting it to show itself so I can dance a little with the Big Black Evil Blob. 

For now, I’ll remove myself from this screen and sip some tea with The intention to connect with Love, Safety, Warmth, Joy. Even with the dark pits of Hell gurgling in my cells. They need some loving too I suppose. Great post, helped. 

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