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What Helps Danielle, 45, With Depression

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Editor's Note

Any medical information included is based on a personal experience. For questions or concerns regarding health, please consult a doctor or medical professional.

With our ongoing “What Helps Me” series, The Mighty is leaning into what sets us apart from other health sites: We aim to provide real health advice from real people who live it.

In this spirit, we asked our community for the best insights and tips they’ve developed for managing their conditions. As always, they responded with their unique health stories and we are happy to pass along their well-tested resources to you.

Today, we meet Mighty member Danielle. She is 45 years old and lives with depression.

Danielle, what helps you?

A white woman with short blonde hair wearing a black short-sleeved shirt holds a yellow book.

THE MIGHTY: What helps you most when your condition affects your physical health?

DANIELLE: I find that making sure I am taking my prescribed medicine at the times it is prescribed [helps] with my symptoms. With that being said, medicine doesn’t always cover all the bases. When I have a “down” spell, I just want to sleep all the time, so exercising helps me have energy to make it through the day. Even if I just walk outside a little bit, I’m woken up. Also, my stomach will hurt, so saying “no” to some things works for me if I have overloaded myself with the things I signed up for.

What helps you most when your condition affects your mental health?

When I’m feeling a “down” spell, I try to [turn on] upbeat music and [keep on] all the lights on during the day. The brighter [the lights], the better [I feel]. My happy place is… the ocean, so if I can make [my days feel] like a sunny day even if it’s miserable outside, it really helps my mood. If I can, I try to [go] outdoors. Something about being outside — preferably [at] a park or [in] an area with lots of plants — also helps my mood. Reading positive articles also helps me get out of my negative headspace.

How do you cope when your normal self-care isn’t working?

I tell myself “just one more day.” If I can make it one more day, [my life] will get better. Then the next day, I say the same thing [again]. It’s all about the small victories, the baby steps, [and] getting through [the] present to enjoy the future.

Thank you to Danielle for her contributions to our community. Did you find this helpful? Add your gratitude in the comments.

If you want to tell us what helps you, you can complete our survey here.

Image via contributor.

Originally published: March 28, 2022
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