10 Ways to Help When Your Child is Depressed

Image: Calm Morning by Frank Weston Benson

Calm Morning by Frank Weston Benson

Being a parent is rewarding, but tough. One of the hardest things to deal with is your child’s pain. If your child is depressed, you probably are scared and feel helpless. There are some ways in which you can help your child, though.

1. Recognize that clinical depression is a disease.

Internalizing this fact will help your child in two ways. One, it will hopefully keep you from blaming yourself or your child. This is no one’s fault. Second, if you think of depression as a disease instead of a choice your child is making, you won’t say anything thoughtless like, “Why don’t you just pull yourself together,” or “Stop feeling sorry for yourself.”

2. Don’t freak out.

This will definitely not help your child. Clinical depression can be successfully treated more than 80% of the time. As long as your child has a good doctor and supportive parents, he or she has a very good chance of recovering. Notice that last part – while everyone with depression really needs a good doctor, supportive parents are absolutely critical for a child with depression. Continue reading


Keeping Your Senses Alive When You’re Depressed

When you’re clinically depressed, you may lose touch with a lot of things. Your relationships, the feeling of being present in the world that most people take for granted, and even your sense of self. Losing touch with your senses is is an almost universal experience among people with depression.

It doesn’t have to be that way. You can keep your senses alive. Below is a less than exhaustive list of possible ways to keep in touch with your senses, and all of them can be done from home (with a little shopping). Continue reading


What to Do During the Middle Two Weeks You’re Waiting for Your Antidepressants to Kick In

Image: Harmony in Red (The Dessert) by Henri Matisse

Harmony in Red (The Dessert) by Henri Matisse

Chances are you’re not having quite so many devastatingly low days now. You’re functioning a little better overall, but you’re still not ready to run any marathons yet or run for public office. Don’t worry about it – this recovery takes time, and it happens so subtly you may not notice it till someone else points it out. You’re probably still not eager to spend too much time outside your home, but the cyberworld provides many diversions (you can wander around it in your pajamas, and no one will know). I’ve found that things of beauty are both soothing and refreshing at this point, so that’s where we’ll start first. Continue reading


Recovering from Depression

Image: A Coign of Vantage by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema

A Coign of Vantage by Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema

So you have successfully come out of your depression, either because you have received treatment, or because the depression went away on its own. How can you stack the deck against it coming back? What’s the best way to celebrate this renewal of life?

Keeping Depression Away

Your enemies are stress and illness – either of these can bring on depression, at least temporarily. Your tools for fighting both stress and illness are eating right, exercising, and stress reduction. There’s a good chance that you weren’t paying much attention to your diet or exercising properly when you were in your depression, so this is a good time to get back on track. Continue reading


alt.support.depression FAQ Part 4 of 5

Part 4 of 5

**Self-care** (cont.)
– How can I help myself get through depression on a day-to-day basis?

– What are some books about depression?

Self-care (cont.)

Q. How can I help myself get through depression on a day-to-day basis?

On a day-to-day basis, separate from, or concurrently with therapy or
medication, we all have our own methods for getting through the worst
times as best we can. The following comments and ideas on what to do
during depression were solicited from people in the
alt.support.depression newsgroup. Sometimes these things work,
sometimes they don’t. Just keep trying them until you find some
techniques that work for you.

* Write. Keep a journal. Somehow writing everything down helps keep
the misery from running around in circles.

* Listen to your favorite “help” songs (a bunch of songs that have
strong positive meaning for you)

* Read (anything and everything) Go to the library and check out
fiction you’ve wanted to read for a long time; books about
depression, spirituality, morality; biographies about people who
suffered from depression but still did well with their lives
(Winston Churchill and Martin Luther, to name two;).

* Sleep for a while

* Even when busy, remember to sleep. Notice if what you do before
sleeping changes how you sleep.

* If you might be a danger to yourself, don’t be alone. Find people.
If that is not practical, call them up on the phone. If there is no
one you feel you can call, suicide hotlines can be helpful, even if
you’re not quite that badly off yet.

* Hug someone or have someone hug you.

* Remember to eat. Notice if eating certain things (e.g. sugar or
coffee) changes how you feel.

* Make yourself a fancy dinner, maybe invite someone over.
Continue reading