This Reddit thread on overcoming depression is full of insights and perspectives.
From Reddit user @atouchofclass:
You are the only person that can do anything about your condition in life. You know the saying “you are what you eat”? Well, I like to think that you are what you do. If you don’t exercise, then you don’t get endorphins. If you don’t have a daily routine or goals, then you are leading an aimless life. If you don’t talk about your feelings with someone, then you will never get anything off your chest. Those bad feelings will just get buried beneath more bad feelings, so as this goes on you have to work through more painful emotions just to get to the other painful emotions.
The importance of setting routines and daily habits is because they are what gets you out of bed in the mourning. Having daily, weekly, and monthly goals are what gives your life meaning. Life is meaningless, SO GIVE IT MEANING. It wasn’t until I consciously started setting myself goals that life started to make sense. Putting effort into improving your life in any facet is the best step you can take towards conquering your depression (or atleast make it less crippling).
From another Reddit user:
Find a hobby. Doesn’t matter what it is, doesn’t matter if you like it at first. Just do something. Paint, read, write, shoot hoops…try lots of things until you find the thing that works for you. Once you find that thing, limit yourself to doing it for one hour a day, that way you don’t obsess over it.
When you start to think “bad” thoughts, acknowledge them and then let them go. Do not rationalize, do not prove to yourself why these thoughts are correct/incorrect, just let them go without putting any value or reason whatsoever on them. This will prevent the “downward spirals” into darkness and depression.
Trust someone. A parent, a sibling, a teacher, just pick someone who you know will honor that trust. Trust is very hard, probably the hardest thing you can do. But it’s the most important thing you can do to pull yourself out of depression.
Something that helped me was finding something to focus my life around to get me through the worst of it. For me, I focused on meal and snack times. These were consistent things that I could rely on. At times, they were the only things I looked forward to. Focusing on eating, on eating healthfully, on eating enough, on eating things that taste good, helped me to find stability. Stability is important.
I also wrote a lot. I wrote letters, poems, stories, memoirs, etc. It helped me get my thoughts in order, and kept them from building up and destroying me.
I forced myself to be social. I started by being with my family as often as possible. Then I moved on to friends, and finally I moved to socializing with people I didn’t know well. Forcing myself to be with my family in the beginning kept me from being by myself, and by yourself is the worst place you can be when you’re depressed in my experience.
I cut ties with people that were harmful to me. I cut them out without goodbyes, and that’s what I needed. Sometimes, I think you just need to cut the cord between yourself and bad people to feel better.
Reddit user @Dramon:
I got angry.
I got angry that I wasted 18 years of my life being forced into jobs, activities, sports, spend time with “friends” that I hated, especially when my dad was a bully and saying no was a terrifying thought.
Reddit user @Kalaan:
And drop the nice guy shitck. An actual nice guy? That’s a nobody – for you to be who you actually are, you have to grow, and there will be someone out there who will just arbitrarily hate you for that. Maybe you like insects – go learn about them. Own that. You’ll never be friends with someone who was flogged as a child by a bug collector, though. Your roommate has people because he did something about it. If I had to guess, I’d say you’ve tried very hard to cause no Disruption in others lives out of fear of being rude, or something like that. Wrong approach – disruption is okay. Interference is not.
Reddit user @werd_the_ogrecl writes:
– Every negative thing you feel can be attributed to you moving away from a goal. Once you learn what is at stake and move towards it, you then have some control over happiness. (source: Richard Lazerus, Goal Congruent & Goal Incongruent contexts)
– Depression is simply prolonged sadness devoid of hope, that signifies that you PERCEIVE you have limited control over your circumstances. Either address your perception or your circumstances. Understand that somewhere a person in a similar situation is happy. What is the difference between you and that person? You have to take an active role in making yourself happy even if you don’t want to. Motivation starts with you, don’t feel entitled to happiness. Happiness is hard work that rewards itself.
– Make a list called “Shit that would make my life easier.” This list could contain plastic flatware to avoid dishes occasionally, that end table you are missing or any other thing that helps regulate your environment with consistency. If you are worried about your environment you’re not thinking about the things that could make you happy. That’s why that list is important
– Make sure you’re basic needs are met EVERY SINGLE TIME, food, water and most of all support.
– Surround yourself with at least 10 things you have created that you are proud of.
– Make a small list called “My fucking Problems”. On that list write down whats bothering you the most and dont let anyone see it. Write three partial or full solutions for each thing on that list. Dedicate one day a month to aggressively eliminate each thing on that list. Half measures wont cut it, you wont fail because you wont give up. And not giving up over time will give you a sense of security knowing that nothing will slow you down or stop you.
Reddit user @dcxcman:
On that note, get out of your comfort zone. They say the definition of insanity is trying the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result. The things you are doing right now are not working. I don’t mean change everything, but take a hard look at the types of behavior patterns that you engage in.