If you are thinking about suicide, talk to someone about your feelings, such as your health professional or a close friend or family member you trust. Don't wait. If you are not able to talk with your health professional immediately, call your local suicide hotline or this suicide hotline (Canada and U.S.): 1-800-SUICIDE or 1-800-273-TALK or 1-800-273-8255.
Positive actions and feelings can
help lift your spirits. Although thinking positively may be very difficult when
you are feeling depressed, try to consider the positive side of situations and
events in your life.
Appreciate any moments when you have positive
thoughts. The following tips may help.
- Practice positive thinking. Make statements that
promote good thoughts. Replace negative self-talk with positive comments.
- Take action to put more fun into your life:
- Exercise. Running, brisk walking, and other
forms of aerobic exercise improve symptoms of mild to moderate
- Work in the garden or play with a pet. Plants and pets
can be very therapeutic. When you pet an animal, your blood pressure goes down
and your heart rate slows. Filling the needs of animals and plants can help you
- Visit a friend. Spending time with a good friend may
help you forget about your problems for a while and help you see the brighter
side of life.
- Have a massage or a manicure, or get your hair
- Rearrange your furniture.
- Talk with your health professional about
nonprescription medicines, such as
St. John's wort or
- Talk to your health professional or
pharmacist before taking St. John's wort if you are taking any other medicines.
St. John's wort may change the way other medicines work. In some cases, it may
decrease how well medicines work. In other cases, it may make medicines
- Do not use alcohol or other mood-altering drugs while
you are taking a nonprescription medicine.
- Follow the directions on
the label. Do not exceed the recommended dose.
- If you are or could
be pregnant, talk with your health professional before taking any medicine or
- For more information on dietary supplements, visit the
website of the Office of Dietary Supplements, within the National Institutes
of Health, at http://ods.od.nih.gov/index.aspx.
- Take a class or go to a free lecture at the public
library or local hospital.
- Take a vacation. Sometimes just getting
away for the afternoon will brighten your mood.
- Go to the movies or
rent a funny movie.
- If nothing feels fun, try doing something that
you used to enjoy.
Symptoms to watch for during home treatment
Call your doctor if any of the following occur during home
- You feel sad, lonely, or unhappy for weeks.
- Your symptoms become more severe or frequent.
- You are
not getting better as expected after starting treatment for depression.
If you think a friend or loved one is depressed, you may feel helpless.
But there are still things you can do to help the person, such as talking with him or her about getting treatment. You can offer support and be a caring friend.