Skip to main content

First Step Ideas

One of the hardest thing for depressed people is to take the first step for getting help.  I know, I've been there.  It took 10 years, 2 episodes with cancer, a break in career progression, and a ton of perceived physical pain (yes, it was not real but I was still hurting).

Here are some tips to start on the depression road:

Ask a friend or family member to help you

to make an appointment and accompany you to see a doctor.  You can see your general practitioner since depression is fairly easy to diagnose.  They can get prescribe an anti-depressant immediately and refer you to a therapist.

Educate yourself about treatment methods by reading.  

Learning about possible treatments (medical, psychological, life skills) is an essential part of developing skills to deal with depression.

For example, there are a lot of misconceptions around what therapy is and can do which can lead to not reaching out, disappointment due to unreasonable expectations, and a plethora of other outcomes.

There are also many medications on the market and one of them will help you if you understand that it takes time to find the right one.

Life changes are also part of the equation.  There may be a necessity to change your diet like reducing sugar intake.  Developing life skills to increase your mental resilience and internal peace is also necessary.


Reduce sources of anxiety, stress, downers

and other types of negative factors that prevent you from making the first step.

Ideas: stop watching news (they are mostly bad news), try to find a good daily routine that gives you comfort, avoid negative people, ask others to help you with stressful activities (money, calls, cooking, whatever).

Increase small accomplishments and reward yourself

Since depression is mainly a state of lack in motivation and interest, it is crucial to find small things that instill a sense of worth.

Ideas: organize a closet, vacuum one room, cook something, take a walk.

Stop rationalizing why you are not ready to take the first step

We all find reasons to not do what needs to be done but they are mostly excuses.  The reality is that we get so used to a substandard state of being that we convince ourselves that things are 'not so bad'.  This is the perpetual downward cycle which will never get better on its own.

change negative language to neutral or positive like can't to could/can
when you catch yourself with 'I am not ready because...' stop the thought and repeat 'I think I can'
answer yourself to the often heard phrase 'why bother' with 'I'm worth it'
keep a tally to record the frequency of your 'rationalizing' episodes/thoughts

The journey starts with your decision to take the first step to conquer your depression.

You can do it! I'm cheering for you!


Popular posts from this blog

Functional but Blue

Many of us with depression are highly functional which makes it even more difficult to decide on getting help. You don't have to go very far to see what I mean.  Michael Phelps is arguably the greatest swimmer in history and also a spokesperson for talkspace , an online platform that offers convenient and affordable therapy. Functional doesn't mean healthy! Finding joy in our everyday activities, looking forward to the next hour and things that are coming, waking up with drive, and feeling no dread/fear/anxiety about what's coming is where your life could be... so start walking the depression road one step at the time. Tip: Put yourself to the test! 1. Ask yourself each evening what portion of the day you spent feeling that you did chores (this is not the activity but the general feeling of having to do rather than wanting to do). 2. Keep tabs for two week. 3. If you spend more than half of your time this way, it is time to change something and feel better. Only

Depression with Bidirectional Illnesses

Depression with Bidirectional Illnesses I've said this before... depression doesn't walk alone in most cases. The importance of this cannot be emphasized enough because the coexistence of conditions often lead to worsening conditions. The constant exposure/experience of the simultaneous illnesses often end up in competition for attention which feed the cycle and make things worse for both (or multiple conditions). While I cannot list all combinations in this post, I'd like to illustrate the point with some common occurrences. Depression and Insomnia It has been proven by research that insomnia is a huge risk factor for depression as well as a consequence of depression. This is not hard to understand. In layman terms, those of us who don't get enough sleep often experience lack of energy, memory problems, and a host of other symptoms that make normal functioning of body and mind difficult on a daily basis. The frustration with not being able to do all the thing

Exercise is Natural Medicine for Depression

I know what some will say... I just can't get myself moving.  If you need motivation, here is a reason why.  Exercise increases neurotransmitters, the stuff in the brain responsible for regulating physical and mental well being. Here is some research you can read. For my money, you don't have to be an athlete or exhaust yourself to get some benefit from exercise.  Start slow and small, then increase intensity as you get better.  The most important thing is to do something every day so you body develops a 'need' for moving.  I'd say you'll feel that 'need' in about 3 weeks at which point it becomes easier to get going.  Developing this healthy habit will help with your depression. Many will also say that exercise takes time which they don't have.  As my mother said, "you have time for what you make time for".  You can do something just about anywhere! If you think that exercising requires money, I'll show you how you can get in sh