Straight, No Chaser: Depression Quick Tips – How to Avoid It, When to Get Help

As a physician, I’m not willing to advise you on how to ‘care’ for yourself at home if you’re clinically depressed.  I can discuss how to avoid depression (to the extent possible) and what warning signs should prompt emergent access to care.  If you’re good at accomplishing the items listed below, you have less of a chance of being unhappy and clinically depressed.

  • Avoid alcohol and other mood-altering drugs.
  • Eat healthily.
  • Exercise regularly.
  • Get enough sleep.
  • Remove yourself from negativity, including your choices in friends, mates and work environments.
  • Surround yourself with positivity, including your choices in friends, mates and work environments (Please note this is a different consideration than the previous bullet point.).
  • Learn how to relax and where to go to relax (These considerations include such things as yoga, meditation and your religion/spirituality, not the business end of a bottle or drug use.).

Look out for these potential warning signs for suicide: Remember that approximately 30% of suicides are preceded by the individual declaring intent.  Be alert for the following additional considerations:

  • Increasing levels of depression, withdrawal, reckless behavior, alcohol and other drug use, and/or desperation.
  • Notice activity that could be a prelude to a suicide attempt, such as obtaining knives, firearms or large quantities of medication.
  • Changing one’s will and settling one’s life affairs in the midst of depression
  • Ongoing comments about lack of worth and desire to end it all.

The following considerations should prompt an immediate visit to an emergency room or other treatment facility.

  • You have a compelling, overwhelming feeling that you want to hurt yourself, with or without an actual plan.
  • You have a compelling, overwhelming feeling that you want to hurt someone else, with or without an actual plan.
  • You hear voices or see things or people who are not there.
  • You find yourself crying often and uncontrollably for no apparent cause.
  • Your depression has affected your activities of daily living (work, school, consistent forms of recreation or family life) for longer than 2 weeks.
  • You think your current medications are affecting you abnormally and are possibly contributing to making you feel depressed.
  • You have been told or believe that you should cut back on drinking or other drug use.

I wish you and your loved ones all the best in avoiding and/or dealing with this disastrous condition.  I welcome any comments, thoughts or questions.

0 thoughts on “Straight, No Chaser: Depression Quick Tips – How to Avoid It, When to Get Help

  1. This has been a difficult set of Blog posts. I know a lot of my readers and family members are suffering. I hope you get the help you need and in some way this information has been helpful. There’s still a ton of information available to you that I haven’t covered. Just understand that you don’t have to suffer alone or in silence. All the best.

  2. Thank you very much for doing the blog, and especially discussing this subject. It is very timely in light of what happened with Lee Thompson Young yesterday.

  3. My son was diagnosed last year with Depression. He is still withdrawn, refuses to take his meds and has no motivation to start the beginning of his young adult life. I’m at my wits end. Should he be hospitalized again?

    1. Hi, Stephanie. It goes without saying that I can’t diagnose and treat someone based on the brief description you’ve offered. What I can say is there’s a difference between needing hospitalization and counseling, and someone with a history of depression who is noncompliant with medication is a set up for bad things to happen. At the very least you should be in contact with his psychiatrist or other mental health professional. Good luck, and thank you for following.

  4. Stephanie, he should see someone as soon as possible. Mr. Young’s suicide was indeed a shocker and sometimes these situations can be “quietly volatile” …monitor him and get him back to a professional for follow up.