How to fight depression

How to fight depression

My first idea was to put “How to get rid of your depression” the headline. But this post won’t get rid of your depression overnight. But it can help a lot. There are many ways and tools for fighting depression.

My story

Since I was a teenager I remember having times when I had no motivation for life, my mind was black.

I felt like I had no hope.I thought other people lives were perfect and I was a weird loser with anxiety.

I went couple times to a psychologist when I was 15 years old, wasn’t really my thing.
Luckily I found some release from rock music and started to play guitar.

At 19 I was at the low point in my life.
Things I wanted were missing from my life, Love from girls, acceptance, friends, hope. There was no meaning in my daily grind. Go to a work, come home, be alone, feel sorry for yourself, then go asleep, repeat.

crying man

At my 20th birthday in January I started Finnish mandatory military service. I hated it at first but I learned to communicate with other guys, got some confidence and made some friends.

It is really one of the best things I did, I don’t know if I was alive now, without that. I was so depressed before going to the military.

I m not advertising here to people to go the military, especially if your country is having wars. For me it was the best thing to do at that time of my life, I really needed a kick in my reality. I will write a post about it someday.

me standing in the navy clothes

At age 20 I had sex which surprise surprise gave me a good boost to self-esteem and to my inner well being, I felt like an I normal man now.

I made a couple of friends at the army and was building my social circle. I was going somewhere, my life had a meaning now.

I got my personal rebirth when I was 21 years old. The year 2009 was memorable, I had an okay social circle, I had some sex, I had an okay paid job. In December I got accepted into school to study tourism.

Still, I had a need for something, the need for some kind of connection and completion. Having sex and having some friends wasn’t enough. What else is there?

A lot of the depression in my twenties was self-inflicted. I started partying hard and it got harder when I was 22 when I started hanging out with people who used drugs.

Hangovers, Comedowns, Negative people bringing me down, that was all my fault. I was very young and had this fuck you attitude with life, I wanted to prove something to myself, to somebody up there.

Depressed man sitting on a chair

Over these years I have had short depressive episodes, some anxiety from time to time. I have learned to deal with my depressive episodes. I don’t have self-destructive thoughts anymore.

If you have serious depression talk to a professional, it can be a huge help. I have used these methods in lifting myself up.

 

1.Meaning of your life

This is the most important thing. I watched a facebook live clip from Sean Stephenson and he asked a question from the viewers: why were you born?

Think about that, why are you here, what do you want to do, where are you going?
Get a meaning to your life. When you have a meaning, you will wake up happier and you might even have a smile on your face. I

I want to have some kind of impact on this universe, I want to spread good vibes and contribute to the world and to my society somehow. I want to be a good friend , be a good son, be a good brother.

Man and the universe

Meaning that is the most important thing you must have.

Without meaning living will be pointless. Without meaning why even wake up in the morning?
What will make you get up out of bed every morning?

2.Goals

Setting up goals  is crucial. It makes all the difference when you have that thing that you work for. It gives a meaning to your days, weeks, years. Set some goal, it doesn’t matter is it big or small.

Set a goal for eating healthier every day or going to sleep on time.

3.Exercise

 

I have used exercising as form depression fighting tool since I turned 23. had a really rough year in 2010 and burn out. It was my personal therapy. I went to the gym and got that blood flowing, endorphins, serotonin released.

Boy running on treadmill

 

Exercise even changes your brain. You get the blood flowing into your brain, you feel better and sharper. It a nice feeling. You don’t have to lift weights, cardio is awesome for mental well-being. I love doing 40 min jog sessions, those sessions lift my mood and make me happier.

4. Nutrition

I have made big changes to how I eat, especially after reading an awesome book by Mark Hyman’s ultra mind solution, it delves into nutrition and supplements. No more sugar, processed fat, dairy in my diet. Vegetables are awesome, everybody can agree.

My plate consists of frozen vegetables like broccoli, kale, carrots, cabbage.
Protein and good fats from mostly chicken, eggs, nuts like almonds, cashews, brazil nuts, avocados
Carbs from mostly rice.

Broccoli

5 months ago I dropped 0,5-1 liters of milk from my daily diet and replaced it with almond milk, I don’t miss milk.

5. Supplements

 

I used to think supplements were bullshit but now I m a firm believer in them. I changed my mind after I read Mark Hyman’s The ultra mind solution. Our food is not as nutrient dense as it was 40 years ago, so taking supplements is recommended.

5-Htp:

Increases serotonin. I have used 5-htp and wrote an article about it here. It worked for me but it was short term since it starts depleting your dopamine. Jim Carrey used it treating his depression.

 

D vitamin:

I don’t get much sun since I live in Finland, can’t live without D-vitamin. I have taken 2000 IU, now I take 4000 IU

Other vitamins/minerals with dosages I use for my overall well being
Magnesium: 700 mg

Zinc:15 mg + zinc in multivitamin

Fish oil  (good for the brain, increases serotonin)

C-Vitamin 500-1000 mg

Maca:I love this stuff. Not only it raises my libido (link) it also raises my overall well being. I feel better when I m drinking it.

6. Influences you put in your mind.

What you indulge your mind to will dominate it. If you read too much negative news (link), you will become depressed, that’s why I limit my news intake.

Read too much negative literature will do you no good either. Watch what you read.

The music you listen and movies you watch play a major role in your mental state. if you listen to sad hopeless music it can affect your mind.

Sometimes I think the only reason I survived my teenage years was listening to kickass uplifting rock music like this:

 

Watching movies like The Martyrs, Antichrist when I was 21, was not good. I still remember how low I felt after watching them. Don’t watch stuff like that if you are prone to depression.

7. Social circle

Hanging around the wrong kind of people: friends that are negative, destructive, unsupportive, assholes . Boss and co-worker, a spouse that treat you like shit.

Try to find a way to cut these people out of your life. Our social circle plays a big role in our mental health.
It’s better to have 1 one good person in your life than having 15 low-quality ones.

8. Alcohol & Drugs.

I don’t want to be one of those people that warn about substance abuse. You will have very good times but also very bad times, talking from experience here. It’s a very slippery slope and when you slip it can be very bad.

owl holding a bottle

It’s everybody’s personal choice Just remember that substance abuse decreases dopamine & serotonin. I always felt like I had a chemical imbalance in my brain, too little serotonin or dopamine or both. I had all time highs but then I had all time lows, very bad stuff.

These days I like going out and having some drinks with my friends, it´s therapeutic for me.

If you thought about medicating yourself think again. That route will take you deeper into depression if you have an addictive personality you are screwed.

But I m not that your dad or your brother, I m stubborn person I always wanted to do things my way no matter what anybody said I also had to pay the price.

9.Do something

This is very fast and effective way to lift up your mood.Do some productive task.Clean up your room, give away old clothes to charity,send a CV for work, help somebody, do a thing that you have been postponing .

Getting proactive is like magic. You feel little dopamine surge as you accomplish some task.

Whenever I do something like writing a new article or play my guitar I feel better.People are made be active, so lets keep moving and doing.

Dog running

 

10.Meditation.

Meditation is part of my life, I even wrote a post about it.There is tons of research that meditation lowers depression and anxiety. I have noticed if I stop meditating for a while, my negative feelings start coming back.

Meditation is a simple and effective way to fight depression and it doesn’t cost you anything.

Meditative man

11.Socialize

This is important! Go out there and meet people, get some friends. Socialize, we are made to socialize. Just talking to somebody is such a nice feeling and you feel instantly how your mood lifts up. Don´t stay out home alone, go out there.

Conclusion

Treating depression is not just one thing. Many times it is multiple things in your life that add up. Setting yourself a life where there is no room for depression.

You have, to be honest with yourself and look deep what’s causing your blues.Even if it’s your chemical imbalance, look what may be the cause of it.
Look at every aspect of your life .

I m glad if any of this advice were helpful. Take care.