Wednesday September 24th 2014

Dealing with depression: Self-help activities in recovery

Depression manifests itself in many forms and there is no one size fits all in dealing with it. Depression can range from the feeling (like a cartoon character) of a small dark cloud lingering over your head (mild) all the way to a feeling of desperation, like life is not worth living (very severe). If your get up and go has lessened, you are likely depressed. There is no negative social stigma attached to depression. It happens to the best of us.

Dealing with depression

One of the things I suffered with for along time, and universally hear about from those I work with, is the feeling of depression. You see, I’ve been working with alcoholics and addicts for over 15 years, and have gone through the process of depression often myself. Treated and practicing prevention, it can easily be overcome. Here are a few tips I have found helpful.

1. Check for physical causes

Depression indicates that your body chemistry has gone out of level for a myriad of reasons. The number one thing I recommend to people is to go and see a trusted health care professional. Depression is not something to play with, and can lead to death. Few like to admit they are depressed but if you think that may be the case, find the courage to get help. Most forms of depression are easily controlled and a large percentage of the population suffers from some form of depression at one time or another.

2. Know that drugs or alcohol won’t help

For those who are using alcohol or many drugs, please be aware that you are ingesting a chemical depressant into your body in a misdirected attempt to feel better. While you may think you are escaping your darkness, use of alcohol and some drugs (including marijuana) will take you to an even darker place. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out if you ingest depressants, you will likely get depressed or accelerate your chemical depression.

3. Aim for daily balanced living

Daily balanced living is the greatest defense I know to combat depression. Simple things like eating properly and often, getting proper rest, exercising daily, social interaction and a “spiritual foundation” will go along way in maintaining proper body chemistry. If you are medically diagnosed, don’t second guess your medical practitioner, follow their instructions to the letter and don’t make decisions on your own about weaning off prescribed medications. You are not a doctor, don’t decide you know best about how and when to medicate. I’m shocked by how many of my clients do this. Depression is not something to play with and YOU generally do not know best.

NOTE: For anyone reading this article who is interested in balanced daily living, contact me at khbray[at]rogers[dot]com and I’ll be pleased to send you by return a check list for balanced living with no strings attached.

Think you may be depressed?

Seek professional help right away. DON’T DRINK OR DRUG and get on a plan of daily balanced living. Then get the help you need to address the issues inside of you that have led to your depressed state and over use of alcohol or drugs. There is a better way to live and there is reason for optimism!

Depression is common, have the courage to take it seriously and deal with it. I am certainly glad I did!

Photo credit: Geoffroy Demarquet

Leave a Reply

3 Responses to “Dealing with depression: Self-help activities in recovery
Thomas
3:14 am August 28th, 2011

Thank you for your insights. I am a recovering addict and have often felt depressed in my frustration and helpless feelings. I have found some great help with the addictio but there is lingering feelings of inadequacy. Connection with God has been my best source of help and strength. Whenever I have a good connection with God I feel a million times better. I also love that you mentioned balanced living. I have found huge help in doing small things. Eating a little less candy. Sleeping well by going to bed early and getting up early. Listening to better music etc…

Organic depression
1:55 pm November 6th, 2011

Is Homeopathy treatment effective for depression and addiction related issues?

4:01 pm November 7th, 2011

Thanks for your input, Thomas! I have found that, over time, I am called to new levels of commitment in sobriety which keep me growing. Quitting coffee. Yoga practice. These also contribute to the emotional balance that Keith is talking about.

Organic – I don’t know too much about homeopathy for addiction. I think that the human body-mind-spirit system can be sensitive to homeopathy, although it may not “work” for everyone. This may be a topic to explore soon, though. Thanks for the question.

About Keith Bray

I am a Master Life Coach who is ICF certified and a certified addictions coach. I consider myself recovered from the effects of addiction (16 years) but still in recovery mode as it relates to personal growth. Professionally, I am university educated, a former corporate CEO and have been in the consulting business for over two decades. I'm a husband, father, grandfather, friend, uncle son, a trusted confidant and many other things but bottom line, I'm Keith. I hope that I can help SOME out there with ideas that will make you think deeply.