All the Reblogs go Here

21 Tips to Keep Your Shit Together When You’re Depressed.


A while ago, I penned a fairly angry response to something circulating on the internet – the 21 Habits of Happy People. It pissed me off beyond belief, that there was an inference that if you weren’t Happy, you simply weren’t doing the right things.

I’ve had depression for as long as I can remember. It’s manifested in different ways. I did therapy. I did prozac. I did more therapy. My baseline is melancholic. I’d just made peace with it when I moved, unintentionally, to a place that had markedly less sunshine in the winter. I got seasonal depression. I got that under control. Then I got really, really sick. Turns out it’s a permanent, painful genetic disorder. My last pain-free day was four years ago.

So, this Cult of Happy article just set me off. Just… anger. Rage. Depression is serious – debilitating, often dangerous, and it’s got an enormous stigma. It leaves people to fend for themselves.

It’s bad enough without people ramming Happy Tips at you through facebook. There is no miracle behaviour change that will flip that switch for you. I know, I’ve tried.

A friend of mine suggested that I write something from my point of view because, surprisingly, I manage to give an outwards impression of having my shit together. I was shocked to hear this. And I find this comical, but I see her point. I’m functioning. I’ve adapted. I’m surprisingly okay. I think the medical term is “resilient”.

So, here it is.

My 21 Tips on Keeping Your Shit Together During Depression

1) Know that you’re not alone. Know that we are a silent legion, who, every day face the solipsism and judgement of Happy People Who Think We Just Aren’t Trying. There are people who are depressed, people who have been depressed, and people who just haven’t been hit with it yet.

2) Understand that the Happy People are usually acting out of some genuine (albeit misguided) concern for you, that it’s coming from a good place, even if the advice feels like you’re being blamed for your disease. Telling you these things makes them feel better, even if it makes you feel like shit. (If they insist on keeping it up, see #12.)

3) Enlist the help of a professional. See your doctor. You need to talk about the ugly shit, and there are people paid to listen and help you find your way to the light at the end of the tunnel.

4) Understand that antidepressants will only do so much. They’re useful, they’ll level you out and give you the time you need to figure out your own path to getting well. They can be helpful. There are lots to choose from. They may not be for you, and even if they are, they take some time to kick in. Conversely, they may not be for you. Work with your doctor.

5) Pick up a paintbrush, a pencil, an activity you got joy from in the past and re-explore that. Or, sign up for the thing you always wanted to try. There is a long history and link between depression and creativity. It’s a bright light of this condition, so utilize it to your best advantage.

6) Eat nutritionally sound, regular small meals. If you’re having trouble eating, try to focus on what you’d like to eat. I went through a whole six week episode of tomatoes and cream cheese on a bagel twice a day. Not great, but it was something – helpful context, I’m a recovered anorexic. Conversely, if all you want to do is scarf down crap, try to off-ramp it by downing a V-8 and doing #9 for 15 minutes, and see how you feel. Chucking your blood sugar all over hell’s half acre is going to make you feel worse.

7) While you’re doing #3, get some bloodwork done. If you’re low on iron or vitamin D, or if your hormone levels are doing the Macarena… these can all contribute to zapping your energy or switching your mood to Bleak As Hell.

8) If you’re in bed and the “insomnia hamsters”, as I like to call them, are on the wheel of your head, watch Nightly Business News on PBS. This has the effect of Nyquil. Swap out your coffee for herbal tea. If you just cannot sleep, try the next tip….

9) Learn how to meditate. Start by focusing on your breathing. Not sleep, not thoughts. In through the nose, out through the mouth. Meditation is focusing on being present in your body, not careening around in your brain. It may not be as good as sleep but it will give you some rest and recharge you.

10) Face a window as often as you can – at work, at home. Look out into the world. Watch. Observe. Try to find something you find pretty or interesting to focus on. And, handily remember that one in five of those people out there feel the way you do.

11) Cry. Better out than in. Sometimes it’s not convenient or career-enhancing to cry, so find a private place as best you can and let the tears go. Carry Kleenex and face wipes and extra concealer if you wear makeup. You can always claim allergies.

12) Any “friend” who resolutely believes that your depression is because you’re lazy, because you’re not trying hard enough, who blames you for not bootstrapping out of it- that friend needs to be cut off. Polite (#2) is one thing, but there is a limit. You don’t have to explain, you can just not respond. You feel badly enough, you don’t need their “assistance”.

13) Limit your time with people who drain you. You know who they are. Often you don’t have a choice- but you can put the meter on. And, subsequently, be aware of what you’re asking of those close to you.

14) Everyone has shit they’ve got to deal with. What you have been saddled with is your shit. Recognize, just as you’re not alone, you’re also not unique. The grass may look greener, you may be jealous or envious of others who don’t have to deal with depression, but you likely do not know everything that’s going on with them.

15) Let go or be dragged. This is an old Buddhist saying. It’s a very useful way to frame aspects of depression. Betrayal, anger, fear… letting go is a process – often a painful and difficult process - but it’s ultimately going to show you the path out of this terrible place. Repeating the mantra can help when you’re feeling gripped by these feelings.

16) Wear clothes that make you feel confident. It takes as much time to put on nice clothes as it does to put on sweatpants. You will want to wear the sweatpants. Fight the urge. The whole “look good/feel better” campaign isn’t limited to cancer and chemotherapy. Or women.

17) Avoid fictional drama and tragedy like the plague. No Grey’s Anatomy, no to The Notebook, or anything that won a Pulitzer prize. You’ve got enough going on In Real Life. Comedy only. Or trashy stuff. Old episodes of WonderWoman? I’ve got the box set. Mindless drivel, like the latest CGI blockbuster. Or clever, funny books. David Sedaris. Jenny Lawson. Fiction exists to elicit emotion, and the emotion you need to express most right now is laughter.

18) Simple exercise, if you can. It can be something as simple as taking the stairs up a flight, or walking around the block. It doesn’t have to be elaborate, it doesn’t have to involve climbing a mountain or running a marathon. Baby steps.

19) Depression will lie to you. Depression will try to tell you what others are thinking. That you are unloved and unworthy, that others think little of you or don’t care – or even wish you harm. You are not a psychic. Keep repeating that. “I am not a psychic”. Repeat. The only way to know what another person is thinking is to up and ask them.

20) If you are well and truly losing this battle, reach out to someone. I’ve been the random friendly-but-not-close person who has fielded the occasional outreach. I like to think I’m not judgemental and generally resourceful, and others have thought the same, so they called and asked. You know someone like me. And they will help you.

21) Forgive yourself. I’m writing out all these tips, and I can’t always muster the strength to even stick my nose outside, or walk up the stairs, or eat my vegetables. Today, I got outside for ten minutes. I will try again tomorrow. And I will try again the day after that.

sixpenceee:

hellagnar-roosevelt:

sinshana:

kiwilapple:

sixpenceee:

Hey! Made a compilation of the darkest corners of the internet.
Dionaea House: a horrifying story, told through two guys mail conversation, about how a haunted house
Page of Ted: another haunting story about a man’s experience in an uncharted cave
Castle of Spirits: a website with ghost stories, experiences and pictures. my mom banned me from going here because I used to freak myself out as a kid from this website
Deep Cave: A man breaks scuba depth world record and finds the body of the last man to attempt it while down there. He makes plans to recover the body, but dies during the attempt. This is his website, as he left it, before he went on his last dive.
Reborn Baby Dolls: where you can buy dolls that look EXACTLY and feel EXACTLY like a newborn baby
Find a Grave: a website where you can find the graves of ancestors or famous people, create virtual memorials, add ‘virtual flowers’ and a note to a loved one’s grave
This Man: a website about 1000’s of people all over the world, dreaming of the same man. Some say he’s the devil some say he’s god. 
Exit Mundi: a collection of end of the world scenario’s
Haunted House: where you can find any haunted house in the U.S
Truthism: an extremely wacko cult website about how reptilian aliens are responsible for everything wrong, how humanity is controlled by aliens and how the sun is a cube and that the inner Earth exists
The Jonestown Mass Suicide Death Tape: Trigger warning and you know why
Shaye Saint John: The story/myths behind Shaye Saint John is that she was a hot woman who was horribly disfigured in a car accident. As a result, she appears in public wearing this creepy mask, and hobbles along with prosthetic legs and hands. This is her website
SCP Foundation: collection of fictional works that its members contribute that deal with the “paranormal”. They range all the way from a television working without a broadcasting station, to deadly creatures that have never been encountered
Blog of Joseph E. Duncan: sentenced to death by a federal jury on August 27, 2008 for the kidnapping, of Dylan and Shasta Groene and murder of Dylan. He had been convicted of a sex crime years before. Go back to the beginning and read forward. You can trace his further descent into madness.
Annie96 is typing: a creepy chat between two teenagers that has a horrific twist at the end
Alright, I hope you enjoy. Maybe look through these one day at a sleep over with some friends. That would be fun.
Speaking of sleepovers, here’s a masterpost of creepy sleep-over games

SHAYE SAINT JOHN STARTLED ME
it’s got noise in it, really really creepy noise. Just be careful, okay?

Can I add to this list?
My Father’s Long, Long Legs
Click on the bolded word(s). No screamers, promise! 

This is awesome

Hey guys :)
sixpenceee here again with some more websites! Thank you for the other tumblr user that added my father’s long,long legs. 
TED IS GOD: a website of a guy who thinks he’s the superior overlord. Just go through it and you’ll see his ever increasing insanity. 
Book of Immanuel David Isaiah: Authorities believe this is the work of Brian David Mitchell, suspected of kidnapping Elizabeth Smart in 2001. Complete raving nonsense.
Urban Exploration Resource: a database of creepy urban exploring sites. They’ve got everything from abandoned nuclear silos in Ukraine to Saddam Hussein’s destroyed palace. Chances are you’ll find something in your own city.
Dan’s Gallery of the Grotesque: Okay, this site is HORRIBLE. I know I’m a paranormal blogger but I post NO gore. I can’t stand it. Maybe some corpses once in a while, but no full entangled bloody gruesome gore. But for those of you who like it, then this site is perfect for you. 
Time Cube: the website of a guy who claims that modern physicists are wrong and how each day is actually 4 days happening at the same time. Some bizarre things here. 
Last Words: a website of cockpit voice recordings of commercial airline crashes. There are some audio but most are transcriptions.
Unsolved murder cases websites: Oklahoma Girl Scout Murders, Keddie Murders, Taman Shud Case 
Number Stations: method of communication with spies, the website contains recordings of how they do this 

sixpenceee:

hellagnar-roosevelt:

sinshana:

kiwilapple:

sixpenceee:

Hey! Made a compilation of the darkest corners of the internet.

  • Dionaea House: a horrifying story, told through two guys mail conversation, about how a haunted house
  • Page of Tedanother haunting story about a man’s experience in an uncharted cave
  • Castle of Spirits: a website with ghost stories, experiences and pictures. my mom banned me from going here because I used to freak myself out as a kid from this website
  • Deep Cave:man breaks scuba depth world record and finds the body of the last man to attempt it while down there. He makes plans to recover the body, but dies during the attempt. This is his website, as he left it, before he went on his last dive.
  • Reborn Baby Dolls: where you can buy dolls that look EXACTLY and feel EXACTLY like a newborn baby
  • Find a Gravea website where you can find the graves of ancestors or famous people, create virtual memorials, add ‘virtual flowers’ and a note to a loved one’s grave
  • This Man: a website about 1000’s of people all over the world, dreaming of the same man. Some say he’s the devil some say he’s god. 
  • Exit Mundi: a collection of end of the world scenario’s
  • Haunted Housewhere you can find any haunted house in the U.S
  • Truthism: an extremely wacko cult website about how reptilian aliens are responsible for everything wrong, how humanity is controlled by aliens and how the sun is a cube and that the inner Earth exists
  • The Jonestown Mass Suicide Death Tape: Trigger warning and you know why
  • Shaye Saint JohnThe story/myths behind Shaye Saint John is that she was a hot woman who was horribly disfigured in a car accident. As a result, she appears in public wearing this creepy mask, and hobbles along with prosthetic legs and hands. This is her website
  • SCP Foundation: collection of fictional works that its members contribute that deal with the “paranormal”. They range all the way from a television working without a broadcasting station, to deadly creatures that have never been encountered
  • Blog of Joseph E. Duncansentenced to death by a federal jury on August 27, 2008 for the kidnapping, of Dylan and Shasta Groene and murder of Dylan. He had been convicted of a sex crime years before. Go back to the beginning and read forward. You can trace his further descent into madness.
  • Annie96 is typing: a creepy chat between two teenagers that has a horrific twist at the end

Alright, I hope you enjoy. Maybe look through these one day at a sleep over with some friends. That would be fun.

Speaking of sleepovers, here’s a masterpost of creepy sleep-over games

SHAYE SAINT JOHN STARTLED ME

it’s got noise in it, really really creepy noise. Just be careful, okay?

Can I add to this list?

Click on the bolded word(s). No screamers, promise! 

This is awesome

Hey guys :)

sixpenceee here again with some more websites! Thank you for the other tumblr user that added my father’s long,long legs. 

  • TED IS GOD: a website of a guy who thinks he’s the superior overlord. Just go through it and you’ll see his ever increasing insanity. 
  • Book of Immanuel David IsaiahAuthorities believe this is the work of Brian David Mitchell, suspected of kidnapping Elizabeth Smart in 2001. Complete raving nonsense.
  • Urban Exploration Resourcea database of creepy urban exploring sites. They’ve got everything from abandoned nuclear silos in Ukraine to Saddam Hussein’s destroyed palace. Chances are you’ll find something in your own city.
  • Dan’s Gallery of the Grotesque: Okay, this site is HORRIBLE. I know I’m a paranormal blogger but I post NO gore. I can’t stand it. Maybe some corpses once in a while, but no full entangled bloody gruesome gore. But for those of you who like it, then this site is perfect for you. 
  • Time Cube: the website of a guy who claims that modern physicists are wrong and how each day is actually 4 days happening at the same time. Some bizarre things here. 
  • Last Wordsa website of cockpit voice recordings of commercial airline crashes. There are some audio but most are transcriptions.
  • Unsolved murder cases websites: Oklahoma Girl Scout MurdersKeddie MurdersTaman Shud Case 
  • Number Stations: method of communication with spies, the website contains recordings of how they do this 

hellyeahdisneyfacecharacters:

Disney Couples (And a pair of sisters)

hellyeahdisneyfacecharacters:

Ladies of Disney

the-disco-king:

suncreaturestudio:

The Serpent Princess! OOOH man, this is just too cool not to share. Your daily dose of fantasy :) Enjoy this master piece!

Incredible animation

hannahcarbons:

roachpatrol:

ceruleancynic:

thatscienceguy:

The Vampire Bat is the only species of bat that has retained its ability to maneuver on land, not only can they walk on land but they can also hop and run at surprisingly fast speeds!

desmodus rotundus is objectively adorable

they’re also the only mammal to run with front propulsion! how cool is that. every four-footed mammal that can gallop does so in the same pattern, except these little guys. 

Reference for dragon walking.

hannahcarbons:

roachpatrol:

ceruleancynic:

thatscienceguy:

The Vampire Bat is the only species of bat that has retained its ability to maneuver on land, not only can they walk on land but they can also hop and run at surprisingly fast speeds!

desmodus rotundus is objectively adorable

they’re also the only mammal to run with front propulsion! how cool is that. every four-footed mammal that can gallop does so in the same pattern, except these little guys. 

Reference for dragon walking.

animedavidbowie:

forgottenawesome:

Do You Love Someone With Depression?
If you have a partner or are close to someone who struggles with depression, you may not always know how to show them you love them. One day they may seem fine, and the next they are sad, distant and may push you away. It is important that you know that as a person who is close to them and trusted by them, you can help your friend or partner have shorter, less severe bouts of depression. Mental illness is as real as physical illness (it is physical actually, read more about that here) and your partner needs you as much as they would need to be cared for if they had the flu.
Your relationship may seem one-sided during these times, but by helping your partner through a very difficult and painful affliction, you are strengthening your relationship and their mental health in the long term.
1. Help them keep clutter at bay.
When a person begins spiraling into depression, they may feel like they are slowing down while the world around them speeds up. The mail may end up in stacks, dishes can pile up in the sink, laundry may go undone as the depressed person begins to feel more and more overwhelmed by their daily routine and unable to keep up. By giving your partner some extra help sorting mail, washing dishes or using paper plates and keeping chaos in check in general, you’ll be giving them (and yourself) the gift of a calm  environment. (I’m a fan of the minimalist movement because of this, you can read more about that here.)
2. Fix them a healthy meal.
Your partner may do one of two things when they are in a depressed state. They may eat very little, or they may overeat. In either case, they may find that driving through a fast food restaurant or ordering a pizza online is just easier than fixing a meal. Eating like this, or neglecting to eat will only degrade your partner’s health, causing them to go deeper into their depression. Help your loved one keep their body healthy, and their mind will follow. This is a great article that talks about the “Brain Diet” which can help the symptoms of depression, and this article talks about how our modern diet could contribute to the recent rise in depression. Here is a recipe for a trail mix that is quick to make and has mood-boosting properties.
3.Get them outside.
 The benefits of getting outside for a depressed person are huge. And it is possibly the last thing on earth your partner will want to do. Take them to be somewhere in nature. Pack a picnic and lie in the sun, take a leisurely hike or plant a garden. Being barefoot in the dirt, or “earthing” helps ground the body and reverse the effects of living in a world of emf’s, and digging in soil can actually act as an antidepressant, as a strain of bacterium in soil, Mycobacterium vaccae, triggers the release of seratonin, which in turn elevates mood and decreases anxiety. Sunshine increases Vitamin D production which can help alleviate depression. My friend Elizabeth wrote an excellent post about Vitamin D and its link to depression here.  For more information about other sources of Vitamin D, this is a great post as well as this.
4. Ask them to help you understand what they’re feeling.
If your partner is able to articulate what they are going through, it will help them and you better understand what you are dealing with, and may give insight into a plan of action for helping your partner. Also, feeling alone is common for a depressed person and anything that combats that feeling will help alleviate the severity and length of the depression.
5. Encourage them to focus on self-care.
Depressed people often stop taking care of themselves. Showering, getting haircuts, going to the doctor or dentist, it’s all just too hard, and they don’t deserve to be well taken care of anyway in their minds. This can snowball quickly into greater feelings of worthlessness since “Now I’m such a mess, no one could ever love me”. Help your loved one by being proactive. Tell them “I’m going to do the dishes, why don’t you go enjoy a bubble bath?” can give them the permission they won’t give themselves to do something normal, healthy and self-loving.
6. Hug them.
Studies show that a sincere hug that lasts longer than 20 seconds can release feel-good chemicals in the brain and elevate the mood of the giver and receiver. Depressed people often don’t want to be touched, but a sincere hug with no expectation of anything further can give your partner a lift.
7. Laugh with them.
Telling a silly joke, watching a comedy or seeing a stand up comedian will encourage your partner to laugh in spite of themselves. Laughing releases endorphins and studies show can actually counteract symptoms of depression and anxiety.
8. Reassure them that you can handle their feelings.
Your partner may be feeling worthless, angry and even guilty while they are depressed. They may be afraid that they will end up alone because no one will put up with their episodes forever. Reassure them that you are in the relationship for the long haul and they won’t scare you away because they have an illness.
9. Challenge their destructive thoughts.
A depressed person’s mind can be a never-ending loop of painful, destructive thoughts. “I’m unlovable, I’m a failure, I’m ugly, I’m stupid”. Challenge these untruths with the truth. “You’re not unlovable, I love you. You aren’t a failure, here are all the things you’ve accomplished.”
10.Remind them why you love them.
Look at pictures of happy times you’ve had together. Tell them your favorite things about them. Reminisce about your relationship and all the positive things that have happened, and remind your partner that you love them and they will get through this.
(via The Darling Bakers)

This is so incredibly important. I’ve seen people with depression ostracized so many times, and I cannot stress how much it means to each and every person I’ve tried to reach out to after whatever “falling-outs” they’ve had due to depression. Remember to always be compassionate and kind to all friends like this, because you never know what they’re going through.

animedavidbowie:

forgottenawesome:

Do You Love Someone With Depression?

If you have a partner or are close to someone who struggles with depression, you may not always know how to show them you love them. One day they may seem fine, and the next they are sad, distant and may push you away. It is important that you know that as a person who is close to them and trusted by them, you can help your friend or partner have shorter, less severe bouts of depression. Mental illness is as real as physical illness (it is physical actually, read more about that here) and your partner needs you as much as they would need to be cared for if they had the flu.

Your relationship may seem one-sided during these times, but by helping your partner through a very difficult and painful affliction, you are strengthening your relationship and their mental health in the long term.

1. Help them keep clutter at bay.

When a person begins spiraling into depression, they may feel like they are slowing down while the world around them speeds up. The mail may end up in stacks, dishes can pile up in the sink, laundry may go undone as the depressed person begins to feel more and more overwhelmed by their daily routine and unable to keep up. By giving your partner some extra help sorting mail, washing dishes or using paper plates and keeping chaos in check in general, you’ll be giving them (and yourself) the gift of a calm  environment. (I’m a fan of the minimalist movement because of this, you can read more about that here.)

2. Fix them a healthy meal.

Your partner may do one of two things when they are in a depressed state. They may eat very little, or they may overeat. In either case, they may find that driving through a fast food restaurant or ordering a pizza online is just easier than fixing a meal. Eating like this, or neglecting to eat will only degrade your partner’s health, causing them to go deeper into their depression. Help your loved one keep their body healthy, and their mind will follow. This is a great article that talks about the “Brain Diet” which can help the symptoms of depression, and this article talks about how our modern diet could contribute to the recent rise in depression. Here is a recipe for a trail mix that is quick to make and has mood-boosting properties.

3.Get them outside.

 The benefits of getting outside for a depressed person are huge. And it is possibly the last thing on earth your partner will want to do. Take them to be somewhere in nature. Pack a picnic and lie in the sun, take a leisurely hike or plant a garden. Being barefoot in the dirt, or “earthing” helps ground the body and reverse the effects of living in a world of emf’s, and digging in soil can actually act as an antidepressant, as a strain of bacterium in soil, Mycobacterium vaccae, triggers the release of seratonin, which in turn elevates mood and decreases anxiety. Sunshine increases Vitamin D production which can help alleviate depression. My friend Elizabeth wrote an excellent post about Vitamin D and its link to depression here.  For more information about other sources of Vitamin D, this is a great post as well as this.

4. Ask them to help you understand what they’re feeling.

If your partner is able to articulate what they are going through, it will help them and you better understand what you are dealing with, and may give insight into a plan of action for helping your partner. Also, feeling alone is common for a depressed person and anything that combats that feeling will help alleviate the severity and length of the depression.

5. Encourage them to focus on self-care.

Depressed people often stop taking care of themselves. Showering, getting haircuts, going to the doctor or dentist, it’s all just too hard, and they don’t deserve to be well taken care of anyway in their minds. This can snowball quickly into greater feelings of worthlessness since “Now I’m such a mess, no one could ever love me”. Help your loved one by being proactive. Tell them “I’m going to do the dishes, why don’t you go enjoy a bubble bath?” can give them the permission they won’t give themselves to do something normal, healthy and self-loving.

6. Hug them.

Studies show that a sincere hug that lasts longer than 20 seconds can release feel-good chemicals in the brain and elevate the mood of the giver and receiver. Depressed people often don’t want to be touched, but a sincere hug with no expectation of anything further can give your partner a lift.

7. Laugh with them.

Telling a silly joke, watching a comedy or seeing a stand up comedian will encourage your partner to laugh in spite of themselves. Laughing releases endorphins and studies show can actually counteract symptoms of depression and anxiety.

8. Reassure them that you can handle their feelings.

Your partner may be feeling worthless, angry and even guilty while they are depressed. They may be afraid that they will end up alone because no one will put up with their episodes forever. Reassure them that you are in the relationship for the long haul and they won’t scare you away because they have an illness.

9. Challenge their destructive thoughts.

A depressed person’s mind can be a never-ending loop of painful, destructive thoughts. “I’m unlovable, I’m a failure, I’m ugly, I’m stupid”. Challenge these untruths with the truth. “You’re not unlovable, I love you. You aren’t a failure, here are all the things you’ve accomplished.”

10.Remind them why you love them.

Look at pictures of happy times you’ve had together. Tell them your favorite things about them. Reminisce about your relationship and all the positive things that have happened, and remind your partner that you love them and they will get through this.

(via The Darling Bakers)

This is so incredibly important. I’ve seen people with depression ostracized so many times, and I cannot stress how much it means to each and every person I’ve tried to reach out to after whatever “falling-outs” they’ve had due to depression. Remember to always be compassionate and kind to all friends like this, because you never know what they’re going through.