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The Ten Don't of Depression

Based on the book Depression is a Choice

  1. Don't be caught unaware without a plan of action for when depression hits. You need a check list to prepare yourself just as if you are going on a trip. Because depression is a trip that you need particular things for that will help you get out of it. Choose three thoughts that you are going to think. A nursery rhyme: "Row, row, row your boat," The 23rd Psalm, "The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want, He maketh me to lie down in green pastures, he restoreth my soul," "Yes, yes, yes, yes, yes, yes." Write them down. Choose three chores to do when you are depressed. Write them down. Do them while you are thinking one of those three thoughts. Keep going. Keep thinking. Keep doing your chores. Often you can segue from this directly into your regular non-depressed routine.
  2. Don't ignore that warning down-feeling. Confront your depression right away. "Oh I know what this is." This is depression. Okay now I have to do what's on my depression check list.
  3. Don't do the habitual things that you always do when you're depressed. Habitual depressive routines help you maintain a direct neuronal connection to your depression. Break the depression mind-set. Your body will be screaming at you to go to bed, to not put on make-up, to not open the curtains. Scream back a neutral thought in your mind while you do those very things. Don't do what your depression wants. Depression is a bully. Face it down.
    • If you usually go to bed, don't.
    • If you usually don't wear make-up. Put it on.
    • If you usually close all the curtains, leave them open.
  4. Don't Isolate Yourself
    • Call a friend.
    • Go to the park.
    • Go to the movies.
  5. Don't remain immobile-move around, do any kind of walking-around, jiggling yourself kinds of exercises; jog; do a few jumping jacks. The less you move your body, the more your depression has a chance to settle itself in on you. Dance a bit. Not because you will feel like dancing but because depression hates it when you dance.
  6. Don't talk in a weak, sad, voice. Get some jokes off the Internet and tell them to somebody. Or tell them to yourself. Laugh. It doesn't matter if it is a fake laugh. Fake laughs break your neuronal connection to depression.
  7. Don't let yourself look like you are in pain. Go to the mirror and smile at yourself. Make funny faces. Laugh at them. You won't feel like laughing, of course. You will feel like being depressed. Laugh anyway. You are not laughing because anything is funny. You are laughing because it breaks your neuronal connection with depression. The longer you can laugh, the bigger the break.
  8. Don't pay attention to your depression. Paying attention to your depression maintains a direct neuronal connection to your depression. Paying attention to anything else breaks the direct neuronal connection with your depression for as long as you can pay attention to something else.
  9. Don't think about yourself. That sounds preachy, I know. Don't think about yourself, yadda yadda. But thinking about yourself maintains the mind-set of depression. You are not really thinking about yourself you are just thinking about your depression. The way you don't think about yourself is to think about someone else. Send someone a healing. Pray for someone.
  10. Don't give in to your depression. Any physical action or thought that you do other than thinking about your depression will help to weaken your depression because depression is the idea that you are helpless and nothing will work. Work works. Singing works. Friends work. Jogging works. Praying works. Going to the movies works. Maybe not perfectly but anything works better than thinking about your depression so don't think about your depression. Think anything else.