If you are currently in crisis mode, please call your local suicide prevention hotline, or 911. You can get immediate treatment at your local emergency dept.
Disclaimer: the following information contains resources that I have found helpful over years of dealing with depression. We are all unique, and what works for me may or may not help you. Please consult your doctor.
At this time of year, while the northern hemisphere is deep into winter, the blues can creep up on us. How can we tell if we’ve got the blues or are dealing with depression? This WebMD article can help you decide. https://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/is-it-depression-or-the-blues
According to the Mayo Clinic: …depression isn’t a weakness and you can’t simply “snap out” of it. Depression may require long-term treatment. But don’t get discouraged. Most people with depression feel better with medication, psychotherapy (talk therapy) or both.”
If you think you’re depressed, please see your doctor. They can make sure that your symptoms are not due to a physical illness. Personally, I suggest finding a therapist or counselor to help you work through whatever issues are behind your depression. Pills can help us function when things are really bad, but they don’t fix the underlying issues
Resources For Healing Depression
There are many different types of depression medications. Your doctor will look at your health conditions, other medicines you’re taking, and your depression symptoms to choose one. Depression meds take 3-6 weeks to reach full effect. If the first one you try doesn’t help, there are many more. Everyone responds differently to medication, so it may take a while to find the best one for you. Hang in there! You will get through this darkness.
This article from the Mayo Clinic has detailed information on these medications, and how to take them. https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/depression/in-depth/antidepressants/art-20046273
Making That Appointment
Finding a therapist or counselor is so much easier today than it was 12 years ago, because you can do a Google search for providers near you. Most providers have a sliding scale, if they don’t accept your insurance, or if you don’t have insurance. If you have no energy, and don’t have someone to assist you, ask for a recommendation at your doctor’s office.
I know that making a phone call to a mental health provider can be very anxiety-provoking. In my experience the people who answer the phone are always kind. Briefly explain what is bothering you, and ask to make an appointment. For example, “My doctor says I’m depressed. I want to schedule an appointment.”
It often takes several weeks to get your first appointment, so don’t delay calling. Your doctor’s office can make the call for you if you just can’t do it yourself. Or you can have a friend or family member call for you, but you will need to talk to the office staff before they’ll schedule an appointment.
Finding the right therapist for you
If the first person you meet doesn’t seem to understand your problem, or has a personality that clashes with yours, try another one. It can take time to find a good fit, but it’s worth it in the long run. Remember you are worth it!! You can feel better. It’s just going to take some time.
Keep in mind, however, that therapy is hard work. It isn’t fun to talk about upsetting feelings, and events. However, keeping things bottled up inside is what got me to the place of being depressed. Be prepared for this. It feels like these strong feelings of sadness or anger will overwhelm us, and we’ll lose self-control. That didn’t happen to me, and it won’t happen to you. It just “feels” that way.
Therapy is also a safe place to practice speaking up for ourselves.
Competent therapists will not force you to talk about anything until you’re ready to do so. They’re also committed to not reveal anything you discuss to others. You can rest assured that what is said in private will stay there.
Depression Healing: Phone Numbers
Crisis Hot Lines
Crisis Hotline in the USA 1-800-273-8255
Unable to talk about your issue, you can text instead at this Crisis Text Line in the USA. Text HOME to 741741
If you live outside of the US, do a computer search for Crisis or Suicide Prevention Hotlines in your area.
Depression Healing Articles
This article is a collection of tips from people who have depression. It contains some real gems of wisdom. There are also many more articles written by people living with mental illness on this site.
If you can’t get out to appointments consider Online Therapy. Read this article first: https://www.metanoia.org/imhs/safety.htm
If you’re tempted to think that your depression doesn’t need treatment, check out the effects of untreated depression on your body here: https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/effects-on-body#1
Here’s an article I wrote earlier with tips for coping with painful emotions.
If you struggle with low self-esteem this comprehensive article should be helpful: https://www.449recovery.org/low-self-esteem/
Depression & Bipolar Support Groups
- The Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA) is a wonderful peer-led group that exists to help people with mood disorders.
“DBSA envisions wellness for people who live with depression and bipolar disorder. Because DBSA was created for and is led by individuals living with mood disorders, our vision, mission, and programming are always informed by the personal, lived experience of peers.”
If your depression is from Bipolar disease, please check out DBSA’s bpHope. It’s a website, and also a monthly magazine that covers all aspects of living with bipolar. In my opinion, it does a great job at providing encouraging tips for coping well with your condition. I’ve learned a lot from this site.
DBSA also has a website, and magazine titled Esperanza that covers anxiety and depression.
2. Then there is “NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness. It is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.” They offer education classes, support groups, and advocacy in the U.S.
When looking for faith-based depression resources, please keep in mind that depression is an illness, not a weakness or character flaw. You will find articles on the internet that will state or imply that if you had stronger faith, or stopped sinning that you wouldn’t have depression. Exit these sites ASAP. They will only add guilt and shame, and make it that much harder to heal. Trust me on this.
If you’re a Christian who would like encouragement from another Christian who is living with depression, this blog has been very encouraging to me. https://www.penetratingthedarkness.com/
Depression Apps & Blogs
Want an app to help you track your symptoms or learn new skills? Check out these 5 apps you can use for depression healing: https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/top-iphone-android-apps#depression-cbt
Finally, here’s a collection of the best depression blogs in 2019: https://www.healthline.com/health/depression/best-blogs-of-the-year#1
We’ve covered a lot of territory, but have only scratched the surface of what is available to help you on your depression healing journey. I’ve provided these resources to give you a place to start or as supplements to what you’re already doing.
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I welcome your comments and questions. If you have a resource that you love, please share it below!! Till next time, Kathy