A Writer’s Take on What to do About Depression

Chocolate Cake Hostess Homage
Chocolate Cake Hostess Homage (Photo credit: lynn.gardner)

Writers are not immune to the everyday stresses of life, and in fact we might sometimes even wallow in those feelings because they feed our ability to emotionally connect with a character. Not that I’ve ever done that. *cough* Additionally, writing can be a difficult occupation with tons of pressure, slow progress, and the potential for failure continually hanging overhead.

So, what do I do about depression?

First of all, I’ll let you know that I kind of lump many things into the term “depression”. I think of it as experiencing frustration, hopelessness, sadness, and despair simultaneously. I’ve had those feelings various times in my life, and if you have as well you know that it can be a dark place. It’s the darkest times when I need to remember not to take everything so seriously. I have to find the humor in life. After I find the humor, it gets a little easier to realize that the situation is temporary. Granted, it gives me a rather warped or morbid sense of humor…but as a writer I just get to chalk that up to being eccentric. 😉

I could make a great list of what to do about depression, but the reality is that everyone is different. My “great” list might be a crappy list for someone else. I will say that it’s a good idea, no matter how much you don’t want to, to talk to friends and force yourself to get out of the house. I’m not a hugely social person, but when I talked to a friend a little bit and let myself live in the moment, I felt remarkably better. I’m definitely struggling at the moment, but they always say that things are darkest before the dawn. I’ve gone through enough in my life to know that it is true. I’m not sure if my little list of things will help you if you are ever in a dark place, but just in case it might I’ll put a few things here. Just be warned that silliness pretty much reigns supreme in my life. I don’t mean that I refuse to acknowledge reality, but I don’t need to make it a permanent reality and I don’t need to accept it as my reality. Accepting it as my own reality gives the situation permanence and power over me that it shouldn’t have.

  1. Read. Now, I know that I read a lot, but I have a set of books that I read when I get depressed or lament my romantically-challenged self. This won’t work for everyone, but you might have your own books, or genre that you can turn to. Look for great reads where people change their destinies. While you’re depressed the content will no doubt want to make you roll your eyes, but read enough and you’ll start to believe it. My books are the Twilight series mixed with other sci-fi/fantasy books.

    Must read more books!
    Must read more books!
  2. Write. Go figure. A depressed writer who…writes. I decide to change my point of view about tough times, at least long enough to channel what little energy I have into a poem, story, or journal entry.
  3. Music. For a long time I didn’t realize what a pivotal role music plays in keeping me level-headed and emotionally stable. When you’re depressed do NOT go for the moody music, go for fighting music. Go for the stuff that makes you want to break your chains (figuratively speaking) or dance.
  4. Eat. I really wouldn’t recommend this particular one to people, but I do need to acknowledge that I am an emotional eater. Sometimes I care, and sometimes I don’t care. If I don’t care that I might gain an extra pound or two, and I know that I’ll feel a little better after I have a piece of triple chocolate cake…then I’m going to go for the cake. It’s not the greatest cycle to begin though…so again, I wouldn’t recommend it. 
  5. Exercise. I love to exercise but haven’t been able to really go all out the way I usually like to. I love Zumba, TaeBo and sometimes even Sweatin’ to the Oldies. I blame my Mom for that one, but seriously…it lets me be a total diva if I want. Plus, there is no way you can get through one of those workouts without at least smiling.
  6. Solitude. When I’m discouraged I need more time alone than usual. This definitely is not everyone’s cup of tea, but I need the time to sort out my feelings. Alone time helps me identify the root of the problem so I can begin working on a solution. Until I reach this point, I usually feel pretty helpless and trapped.
  7. Change. I also like to change my habits when I’m not feeling 100%. I might try a new hobby, or just shake up my daily routine by going to a park or for a walk. If I have only been writing for a while, I might try drawing or playing guitar instead.
  8. Good vibes. For me, this is the toughest part of depression. You should try to surround yourself with people who are optimistic and positive. You’ll probably want to gag, but eventually you may find yourself looking at things a little differently. Anyone can see the crap right in front of them, but it takes someone special to see the diamond underneath the layer of crap. Practice being the person who sees the diamond. This is exceptionally challenging if you’re surrounded by negative Nellies.
  9. Solutions. Finally, in order for me to pep up a little bit I need to know that I’m working on a solution. It might be work-related, relationship-related, or something entirely different. The bottom line though, is that until I have the hope of planning real change I’m not truly free.
  10. Weird. I like to be weird sometimes. Okay, that’s bogus. I like to be weird most of the time. I might get myself a small trinket that tickles my fancy like wooden nesting Ninja dolls, a nostalgic movie, or an inspirational desk decoration. When I’m broke, I sometimes come up with my own. Stress balls, silly putty, and yo-yos have all played a part in helping me out of doldrums. Oooh…and slinkys, slinkies? Is there actually an official pluralization of a slinky?
  11. Movies. Uplifting movies or ones where the “underdog” wins or the impossible happens are awesome. Sure, they may set completely unrealistic expectations like Cinderella, but they’re also effective. The long and short of it is that those movies are the ones that remind us that happy endings do exist as long as we don’t give up.

We can’t always just “get better” though the people around us who love us often wish it was the case. We’re depressed for valid reasons and even my psychology professor admitted that eventually people can overcome depression without medications, especially if they have a good friend. This doesn’t mean that everyone can do it without medication, and it doesn’t mean that getting through a situation won’t take a lot of time and effort even with medication. Give yourself permission to acknowledge your feelings. You don’t need to hide them, deny them, or feel guilty about them. They are there for a reason and they are trying to let you know that something in your life needs to change so you can regain emotional equilibrium. It’s like a psychological alarm system that lets you know when something in your life is out of balance. Don’t ignore it, but try not to wallow either. Acknowledge it with the intent and purpose of moving toward a solution.

Remember, just because today or this year sucked doesn’t mean that tomorrow or the next year will suck. Sage wisdom, right? 🙂

So, it’s not really a crazy list of things, sorry. If you want to add to the list of things to try when you’re feeling depressed feel free to add. We might be online, but we can all try to be that friend who helps someone through a rough time. You never know when someone might be looking for the one thing you want to add to the list. So, feel free to leave a comment with some fun/zany/useful ideas on what to do about depression.

In the meantime, I’ll work on a list of some of my fave songs while I work on finding my list of books I was supposed to read for the year. You can tell that I’ve done a good job on the list, eh? Toodles!


  1. I really like what you guys are usually up too. This sort of clever work and exposure!

    Keep up the amazing works guys I’ve added you guys to my personal blogroll.

  2. Howdy would you mind letting me know which webhost you’re working with?
    I’ve loaded your blog in 3 completely different browsers and I must say this
    blog loads a lot quicker then most. Can you suggest a good web
    hosting provider at a reasonable price? Cheers, I appreciate it!

  3. Hey would you mind letting me know which hosting company you’re
    using? I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different internet browsers and I must say this blog loads a
    lot faster then most. Can you recommend a good hosting provider at
    a honest price? Thanks a lot, I appreciate it!

  4. It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d without a
    doubt donate to this brilliant blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for book-marking
    and adding your RSS feed to my Google account.
    I look forward to new updates and will share this blog
    with my Facebook group. Talk soon!

  5. With havin so much content and articles do you ever run into
    any issues of plagorism or copyright infringement?
    My site has a lot of unique content I’ve either authored myself or outsourced but it seems a
    lot of it is popping it up all over the web without my authorization. Do you know any methods
    to help reduce content from being stolen? I’d genuinely appreciate it.

  6. I was curious if you ever thought of changing the structure of your website?

    Its very well written; I love what youve got to say.

    But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so
    people could connect with it better. Youve got
    an awful lot of text for only having 1 or 2 images.
    Maybe you could space it out better?

  7. Have you ever considered publishing an ebook or guest authoring on other blogs?
    I have a blog centered on the same ideas you discuss and would really like to have you share some stories/information. I know my subscribers would appreciate your work.
    If you’re even remotely interested, feel free to send me an e-mail.

  8. I like the valuable information you provide for your articles.
    I’ll bookmark your blog and take a look at once more here regularly.
    I am reasonably sure I will be told plenty of new
    stuff proper here! Best of luck for the next!

  9. This is very interesting, You are a very skilled blogger.

    I have joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more
    of your wonderful post. Also, I’ve shared your site in my social networks!

  10. This makes it extremely essential that you be
    aware of some protection norms when using Facebook.
    The Weather Statement lets you have the current heat on a section.

  11. Although it appears logical that this function will come ultimately, it did
    not happen with this update. Frash will start to install taking only a couple of minutes or much less.
    With its assist you can change, near, slice, dice applications.

  12. Howdy terrific blog! Does running a blog such as this take
    a lot of work? I have virtually no expertise in computer programming
    but I was hoping to start my own blog in the near future.
    Anyways, should you have any ideas or techniques for new blog owners
    please share. I know this is off subject however I just needed to ask.

  13. Here are a few select apps that can help you with motivation,
    organization, and ultimately just help you get things done.
    One has to wonder how Kenya’s fitness DVD has become such a huge
    hit in Japan. Boxing exercise in intervals and with high intensity
    is the key to lightening fast results.

  14. Unquestionably believe that which you said. Your favorite
    reason seemed to be on the web the simplest thing
    to be aware of. I say to you, I certainly get irked while people think about
    worries that they just do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top as well as defined
    out the whole thing without having side-effects , people could take a signal.

    Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

  15. Hey there are using WordPress for your blog platform? I’m
    new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create my own. Do you
    require any html coding expertise to make your own blog?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Scrawl Something

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s