The first thing to realise when looking at self help for depression is that the very nature of depression can make self help difficult. In this case, your best option is to get help from a trained professional.
However, if you feel up to helping yourself, here is a comprehensive list of what you need to do.
1. Get a good understanding of what depression is. Self help for depression is much more effective once you know what you are dealing with. Ensure you know clearly what is going on.
2. Regulate your sleep patterns. Get up no later than 8am and go to bed no later than 11.30pm, even if you can’t sleep. If you have problems getting up in the morning, get someone else to rouse you, or have a friend call.
3. Eat 3 meals a day, whether you are hungry or not, at the right times.
4. Ensure you get outside early to make sure you get enough bright light to help regulate your sleep patterns.
5. Do things to occupy your mind. If you have nothing to do all day, you will tend to ruminate over your problems.
6. If you are facing a big problem, make the decision to put off thinking about it for, say, 2 weeks, or whatever is appropriate in your case. If you cannot put it off, speak to someone else who you know to be a good practical problem solver.
7. Begin a ‘depression diary’. In this rate each day from 1 to 10, where 1 is the worst kind of day, and 10 the best. This will help break down the ‘all or nothing’ thinking that depression can cause.
8. Get as much exercise as you can. Make yourself walk briskly every day, at least. If you have any concerns about your health, see your doctor before beginning this. Research shows that exercise can lift depression.
9. Get some kind of relaxation during the day. If you know how to do meditation, self hypnosis, tai chi or some other mind-calming technique, do it. It will help reduce the physical effects of the depression greatly.
10. Start challenging your own thinking about things. If you find yourself thinking about things in a depressive way, deliberately think in a new way. A good way to do this is to write down the original thought, and then generate some alternatives.
11. Understand that depression is not part of you; it is due to a set of symptoms. These symptoms cause you to feel, think and act differently to normal. Once depression goes, things will be different. And when you have the skills to beat it, it is more likely to stay away.
12. Supplement your diet with pure high grade epa fish oil, this has been proven to help many people & seek nutritional advise to ensure that your diet is properly balanced.