Want To Stop Feeling Depressed? Here’s How
Dear Selfless Esteem,
I feel so depressed sometimes that I don’t get out of bed. My family tells me to snap out of it or they try to cheer me up but it’s not helping.
Singing the Blues
Dear Singing the Blues,
Although your family may mean well, feeling better is not that simple. However, you have taken the first step by seeking help, and that’s huge. 💪
Let’s address safety first. When people feel depressed, they commonly have self-defeating thoughts. If you’re experiencing that, please see the post, “Defeat Self-Criticism.” Such thoughts may evolve into self-harm. For more details, please see the post, “How To Change Self Harming to Self Healing.” If suicidal thoughts surface, call or text the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988. Another option is to use the chat feature at Lifeline Chat. There are also suicide hotlines in each state. Of course, if you’re in imminent danger, call 911. For other countries, please see this list of suicide crisis lines.
You might be interested in the posts, “Finding Hope in Difficult Times,” “Mending a Broken Heart: 8 Methods to Ease Your Pain” and “How Food Affects Mood.” And if your depressed mood is related to grief, see the post, “Coping with the Death of a Loved One.” If it’s related to loneliness, see the post, “How To Be Happy Single.” If it’s related to chronic health issues, see the post, “Managing Chronic Health Problems.” Regardless, read on for 4 recommendations.
1. Get Professional Help.
The first step is getting a physical examination to check if you have any medical problems. Next, find a competent therapist to help you express your feelings and explore the cause of your depressed mood. See the posts, “What is Wise Counsel and Good Therapy?” and “Why You Need a Therapist ASAP.” Your physician and therapist may give referrals to other professionals and resources as needed. Additionally, if you need a crisis counselor 24/7, text HOME to 741741.
2. Identify Your Support System
Your family seems as if they want to help you. Perhaps you also have friends, who can help too. Identify what your needs are and who you could ask for assistance. For example, could any of them help you go to appointments with the doctor and therapist?
If you’re not already a member of a church, consider attending a church service or Bible study to connect with supportive people. You could also join a support group, such as NAMI Connection.
3. Elevate Your Mood.
Sometimes people try unhealthy ways to lift their mood, i.e. starting an intimate relationship indiscriminately or abusing substances. Instead, here are some suggestions:
- Reach out and help others.
- Increase your social interactions and reduce isolation. See the post, “How To Handle Social Events Better” and “Yes, You Can Stop Feeling Insecure! Here’s How” if you have reservations about socializing.
- Boost endorphins through exercise. (Be sure it’s something that interests you, and if someone can join you, even better! And of course, check with your physician first.) See the post, “Is Depression Affecting Your Weight Loss Program?“
- Practice self-care. For more details, see the post, “6 Effective Ways to Manage Stress.”
- Be cognizant of your thoughts and try to find a Bible verse or any evidence to disprove negative thoughts.
- Listen to encouraging music, such as K-Love. The following song, “Again I Say Rejoice,” by Israel Houghton & New Breed always lifts my mood no matter what.
God loves you more than you know (Ephesians 3:19). (For more details on God’s love, see the post, “Why Selfless Esteem Is Better Than Self-Esteem.”) For this reason, express your feelings to Him (1 Peter 5:7). (See the posts, “The Real Truth About God” and “How To Pray in 5 Simple Steps.”) And so, I close with a verse, but this is not the end; it’s a fresh beginning of a lifelong prayer and relationship with God. 🙏
“Our soul waits for the Lord; He is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him, because we have trusted in His holy name. Let Your mercy, O Lord, be upon us, just as we hope in You” (Psalm 33:20-22).
All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the Holy Bible, New King James Version®. Copyright © 1984 by Thomas Nelson Publishers, Nashville, TN. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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