How to Deal With Depression:
I Don't Know What to Do
by Larry George
(Palm City, Florida, United States)
I am on dialysis 3 times a week and my body is not doing very well. I am depressed and lack any zest for life. I have had sleep problems for months and have been on Zolpidem (a kind of sleep medicine) with very little help. What do I do? How can I get better?Answer
I thought about your problem for some time. From what you have written, I can really feel that you must be going through a lot of sadness and depression. Life must be really feeling bad.
Here is what I would suggest about how to deal with depression.Set a goal. Any goal that makes you feel even a tiny bit better. Then start working on it slowly everyday for the next 30 days. That's it.
Now, I know this sounds counter intuitive. I mean, your body has a problem. You can't sleep. How can you achieve any goals?
However, this helps. I have seen it work for me, even when things just don't seem OK. Just set one simple goal for the next 30 days and work towards it.
Now, how do you decide on a goal? Choose anything that is very simple and that you can achieve in the next 30 days. For example, one goal is "To walk for 20 minutes for the next 30 days." Another goal is "To sing a song everyday for the next 30 days." Or, another goal is "To watch 3 funny videos everyday for the next 30 days." Yet another goal is "To write or read
100 words of hope for 30 days."
Choose something that is very simple to execute and does not require much effort but make sure you do this something for the next 30 days without a break. Everyday, after you have done this one thing - put a tick mark in your notebook or in a Word document. I know it might sound unbelievable but if you really try it, you will feel radically better in 30 days.
This is how it works: Whenever you achieve anything you have set out your mind to achieve - you feel great. Right now, when you are feeling like your life is not going anywhere, getting anything done - achieving anything significant - will make you feel better. That is why setting a tiny goal and achieving it everyday for 30 days can help you feel better. Why not just try this method out anyway?
I will give you a tiny example of how someone called Wilma Rudolph used a technique similar to this one to overcome a great tragedy. When she was 4 years old, she was struck with Polio and the doctor told her that "she would never set foot on this earth." I mean, come on - she was told she would never stand! This girl, she set a goal of just standing. Everyday, she tried to stand a little bit and failed. However, her goal was to try standing a few times a day - that's all. If it worked, great - otherwise she would at least achieve her goal of the day. After many days of trying, she was able to stand. After more months of trying, she was able to walk. After more years of trying, she was able to run. Later, when she grew up, Wilma won the Olympic Gold for the USA in running. Wow - the girl who was told she couldn't stand, won the gold in running.
My point on how to deal with depression? Choose a small goal - any small activity you would like to do everyday. Then do it for the next 30 days. Put a tick in your notebook everyday when you do that activity. You won't even realize it and suddenly you will start being filled with hope and possibility. After 30 days, you will want to stretch yourself more and start another activity. Then another one. And before long, your problems will be gone.
I sincerely wish that you get well soon and that you rock your next month like never before.
The photo is from Flickr (Sander Van der Wel)