Depression: Helping Yourself

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If you’ve read this blog for any length of time, you probably know that I suffer from depression. Depression is one of the things that may accompany ADHD. You see, ADHD never travels alone; it always brings something else along with it. Anxiety, depression, and learning disabilities are just a few.

I really believe that medication can go a long way in treating depression, and that often you need therapy as well. I don’t think it’s possible to truly treat depression otherwise.

At the same time, though, medication and therapy may not be enough. There may be times in your life when you need more help.

For instance, late July and into August are hard for me because they bring up thoughts of my mom. She passed away in late July 5 years ago and her birthday was in August.

In these times, I need extra help, and I need to do it for myself.

Here are some things that have helped me through the really dark times of depression:

Herbal remedies – I really like to use herbs to treat a variety of things. I like that they are natural and gentle. They do have side effects, however, so be sure to check with your doctor before taking them.

I use chamomile, lemon balm and Valerian to help me with anxiety or depression. (I have listed them in order from mildest to strongest.) Valerian root is what they make Valium from, so you can tell how strong it is. Valerian is also very smelly – go for the capsules.

I also use St. John’s Wort at times for depression, and I have heard that Sam-E is also effective.

One of my favorite finds is a herbal tea from Republic of Tea called Get Happy. Although I love using herbs, I’ve never been a fan of herbal tea. I find the taste too mild. Get Happy, though, is completely delicious and I can’t tell you how well it works. I highly recommend it!

Change the channel – sometimes your brain needs a break from itself. You need to stop thinking and just let your mind be for a while.

Easier said than done, right?

Actually, it’s not as hard as you might think.

Television can be a great distraction when you just need to veg for a while. even better if you can pop in a good movie and get totally immersed with that. Reading works for some, and music can work for others. Just find something to totally distract yourself for a while and don’t feel a bit guilty about it for a second.

Take a mental health day – skip out on work, take the kids and go do something fun and silly. Getting out of the house can sometimes be just what you need, especially if you work from home or are a stay at home mom.

Just remember, a mental health day is all about fun. Maybe you can call a friend to play hooky with you.

Change what you can – sometimes there are things in our lives that are dragging us down, but we don’t have the motivation or energy to change them.

Maybe you can’t do much about the big worries in your life – your marriage, the kids, the bank account, whatever – but you can take care of the petty annoyances that grate on you.

Is there a cluttered corner that bugs you every time you see it? Clear it out, even if you just throw it in a garbage bag and put it in the closet.

Are you feeling overwhelmed with dirty dishes or a messy kitchen? Switch to paper plates for a while and start cooking more on the grill outside.

Take a look around. What bugs you on daily basis? Often fixing the smallest things can make a difference because worrying about them no longer takes any of your energy.

In the past few days, I have hemmed a pair of pants, given my dog a bath, and asked my husband to weed the front garden. 3 things off my list, and a load of pressure off of me.

Try it.

Lacy Estelle

Lacy Estelle

Lacy Estelle is the writer of and the Podcast host for An ADD Woman.

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3 Responses

  1. I really enjoy your blogs and will be forwarding them to my dd who is getting thru college, step by step! Like eating an elephant: one bite at a time. Sometimes it’s hard to open up like you do, especially when you are feeling down, so thank you for sharing. I recognize myself in all of your blogs. I like having a “label”…as I tell our dd,ADD is a reason, but not an excuse”! And for us to not be hard on ourselves for they way we are. It’s just who we are! Embrace it and find the good things about ADD. Keep writing-we are reading!