How can I help myself if I am depressed?

If you have depression, you may feel exhausted, helpless and hopeless. It may be extremely difficult to take any action to help yourself. As you begin to recognize your depression and begin treatment, negative thinking will fade.

Help yourself

Engage in mild activity or exercise. Go to a movie, a ballgame, or another event or activity that you once enjoyed. Participate in religious, social or other activities.

  • Set realistic goals for yourself.
  • Break up large tasks into small ones.
  • Try to spend time with other people and confide in a trusted friend or relative.
  • Try not to isolate yourself, and let others help you.
  • Expect your mood to improve gradually, not immediately.
  • Postpone important decisions, such as getting married or divorced or changing jobs, until you feel better. Discuss decisions with others who know you well and have a more objective view of your situation.
  • Remember that positive thinking will replace negative thoughts as your depression responds to treatment.

What if I or someone I know is in crisis?

If you are thinking about harming yourself, or know someone who is, tell someone who can help immediately.
Call your doctor. Make sure you or the suicidal person is not left alone.

How can I help a friend or relative who is depressed?
If you know someone who is depressed, it affects you too. You may need to make an appointment on behalf of your friend or relative and go with him or her to see the doctor.

Help a friend or relative :

Offer emotional support, understanding, patience and encouragement. Engage your friend or relative in conversation, and listen carefully. Never ignore comments about suicide, and report them to your friend’s or relative’s therapist or doctor. Invite your friend or relative out for walks, outings and other activities. Keep trying if he or she declines, but don’t push him or her to take on too much too soon.