Tanya Ruckstuhl Valenti, LICSW

What is Depression?

“What is Depression?”
Tanya Ruckstuhl-Valenti

  • Avoid alarming stories: don’t watch the local news or read the local paper, where the tag line “if it bleeds, it leads” is too often the case. Don’t read depressing novels or watch television or movies that involve tragedies. Ask your friends, reference librarian, or favorite search engine for uplifting story recommendations
  • The energy of gratitude is expansive, and light: the opposite of the energy of depression which is heavy and dark. If you can consciously increase your gratitude you will automatically decrease your depression. In the morning before you get out of bed and in the evening before you turn out the light, mentally list ten things you are grateful for. They can be as small as “I have nice smelling soap in the bathroom,” or as large as having a friend or family member who loves you.
  • For everyone, depressed or healthy, getting regular daily exercise is important. If going to the gym is not your thing, consider yoga, swimming, turning your stereo up and dancing around, or going for long walks or jogs in your local park. There is an exercise called NIA available in most metropolitan areas which specifically aims to increase one’s sense of joy through movement. In fact, a recent study showed exercise to be equally effective in relieving symptoms of depression as Zoloft, a commonly prescribed anti-depressant. If you are more than ten pounds overweight or have any complicating medical conditions, consult your doctor before starting an exercise program.
  • Recovery from depression involves different things for different people. For some, getting involved in a spiritual support system is a vital part of recovery.

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