First - thanks for the support, guys. Things are getting better.
This post might actually help someone. I'm not quite able to get my thoughts organized, so please excuse the randomness.
Depression is like a dog that follows you around; sometimes it's a puppy that bites you in play, sometimes it's the giant three-headed hell-hound. Here's what I've learned in a lifetime of keeping the dog at bay:
sensory stimulation - sometimes it's just a matter of getting outside and getting some sunlight. Listening to music, starting with slow and sad to match one's feeling and then increasing the brightness and tempo, often helps.
sensory deprivation - sometimes you need to get out of the chaos, isolate, be somewhere dark and quiet, but you need to limit the time for this. Strike a balance with the above.
move - rhythmic motion helps. Exercise and dance. Get into a rhythm.
relax - learn how to be calm. Try biofeedback. Get some sleep, but keep a regular sleep schedule; if you can't sleep, keep resting anyway. Don't hide in bed all day, however.
touch - physical contact helps. Sometimes just noticing the tactile quality of things is enough. Massages sometimes are great. Sex, as long as it's not part of your stressors, helps.
concentration - meditation, self-hypnosis, focusing intently on something other than one's problems.
talk - get another point of view, whether just added attention from a friend or structured counseling.
create - making something, whether art or just making a meal.
chemical/herbal/aroma therapies - sometimes medication is required to get through depression. Check the medications and supplements you're taking; some may be adding to the depression.
pray - if you're religious, prayer organizes your thoughts, takes your focus away from yourself, inspires, brings hope.
affirm - boost your self-esteem. See your own value. Be grateful for what you have.
purification - sometimes cleaning the clutter out of one's life (one's schedule, one's house, one's computer) can remove a lot of problems
charity - do something selfless. Volunteer. Get out of your own problems by dealing with those of others.
change - get out of any rut you may be in. Be spontaneous.
play - simple games, puzzles, anything you liked as a child
laugh - sometimes relief comes from comedy; seeing humor gives perspective. If you can laugh at yourself, all the better.
work - "do yourself into feeling better, don't try to feel yourself into doing better."
study - learn something new. If you can, learn something new about yourself.
optimism - look for signs the bad mood is passing.
other people - surround yourself with optimistic, happy people. Imitate them. "Fake it 'til you make it."
rearrange - find new ways to structure your life, your finances, your schedule, your surroundings.
escape - sometimes you have to take a step away. Take a short vacation doing something you enjoy.
point of view - don't see yourself as doomed, fated just to suffer and die, but see yourself as a positive agent of change. Don't see life as meaningless and empty; create meaning, add to life. Don't feel guilty and damned; you have value, you may have made mistakes but you are not a mistake, forgive yourself and others.
As Lori once said, "For a chronically depressed guy with a sucky life, you're surprisingly well-adjusted."
Big change in life today
4 days ago