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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.


Meanwhile...

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.

Ideas:
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!


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