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Thursday, September 17, 2015

How do you Take that First Positive Step out of Depression

QUESTION: How did you start to get a handle on your depression? 

ANSWER: First, I decided that I would take charge of myself and  DO SOMETHING! To help myself.

Second, I began to educate myself with that goal in mind. I went back to graduate school. That is not so necessary today because there are many excellent books available with alternative therapies.

Third, once I had the intellectual understanding of what needed to be done, I started in small ways to change. It usually is better to do something small in the beginning. Even full-blown bipolar began with small, unwilled, rote reactions to difficult situations (like not getting out of bed when we “didn’t feel like it”) that built destructive habit patterns over time. Small intentional reactions to difficult incidents (like insisting we will get out of bed to the count of three) can extinguish negative habits over time by replacing them with new and more productive ones.

Maybe we don’t have enough energy to clean our whole house, but perhaps we could make our bed or clear off the table.  The reason is that we probably won't feel like doing anything at all, so if we choose something small to do, we won't have such a big feeling about it that we will have to overcome. It takes a great deal of positive energy to reverse a negative direction in which we have been headed for some time. We can more easily step out over a small feeling than a big one. Any time we want, we can call ourselves a beginner and begin.

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