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This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Western chapter.

Depression is a monster that many of us know, especially seeing as depression is more common in females than in males (though far from non-existent). However, it is important to know that depression is not feeling down for a couple of minutes or feeling unhappy because you got a hole in your favourite pair of socks. Depression is feeling like a mouth of darkness has opened up and swallowed you. It feels like you’re drowning and everyone around you is screaming at you to learn how to swim. 

It’s an incredibly hopeless feeling. 

I, and many others, have known this feeling. It’s not uncommon. Once you realize that you suffer (and yes, I mean suffer) from depression you’ve got to learn how to deal with it. In other words you have to learn how to (pardon my French) “keep your sh*t together” during the worst of times.

  1. Know that you’re not alone. You are not the only one suffering from depression. There are millions more who share the same feelings. However, don’t assume that you can empathize with everyone because you’ve experienced depression. You still don’t know what they’ve gone through.
  2. Enlist the help of a professional. Find a therapist/psychologist and talk to them about your problems. You’ll find that they can actually give you quite a bit of advice and techniques for coping with depression. While doing this, you could also opt to have some blood work done. It’s entirely possible that low iron or a hormone imbalance is what is causing your depression.
  3. Understand that your “happy pills” can only do so much. Antidepressants take time to work – usually up to two months from when they were started – and sometimes the pills you were prescribed aren’t right for you. If you find that even after the pills are “supposed to” work you’re depression persists then talk to your psychologist about setting up a new prescription.  
  4. Re-explore activities previously abandoned. Depression gets to you; it often makes our once-loved activities feel dull. So, try re-exploring those activities that you once loved. Pick up a paintbrush or try 3D canvas art. Write something or try and create embossed poetry on a canvas. 
  5. Cry. Sometimes it’s better to just let it all out and have a good cry. I mean, it certainly relieves certain pressures and is actually proven to make you feel better. However, it’s best to do it someplace private (like in your room or in a closet) because bursting into tears at the office or while in your chemistry class might not be the best idea.
  6. Try out some simple exercise. Exercise is a great way to both distract you and make yourself feel better.  Exercise enhances the action of endorphins, those chemicals that circulate throughout the body and are the body’s way of reducing the perception of pain. Those who self-harm also release these endorphins but exercise is a million times safer and better for you. Exercise also theorized to be able to improve one’s mode with the stimulation of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. So, give it a try!
  7. Don’t listen to your depression. Depression is a liar. It whispers in your ear and tells you all the things you don’t want to hear. Avoid listening to it. Make sure you know that your negative thinking is most-likely due to your depression’s wicked tongue. My advice? Tell yourself the opposite. If you’re thinking that you’re worthless, tell yourself that you are worth something. You will always be worth something. You are you, and you are awesome. Any mantra works, really.
  8. Reach out and talk to someone. It doesn’t have to be a therapist or a psychologist. Find a friend that you trust and ask them if it’s okay for you to talk about how you feel. However, don’t unload the entire burden onto them at once. Take your time talking about what you need to talk about. There’s no rush. 
  9. Forgive yourself. This is especially necessary for those who have come to use the negative coping methods (i.e. cutting, burning, purging, etc.). You’re obviously struggling, or you’ve just gotten into the habit of doing it, and it’s always best to stop with these negative methods because they not only harm your body but they also end up as a trigger for future episodes of depression and anxiety. Try stopping. If you relapse; forgive yourself and try again. The goal here is to keep working at forgiving yourself, to keep trying and to eventually get through your episodes. 

These are just a few means of dealing with your depression. It is imperative to note that not everyone has the same responses to depression and that certain people need more help than others. One of the extremely helpful things to note is that Western University has mental health resources for this very reason. Never be afraid to look for help when you need it most. 

This monster isn’t something that you can beat alone.

For those of you feeling suicidal I also urge you to call one of the numbers below or visit the websites: 

Distress Centre London & District (Ontario):

Hotline: +1 (519) 667 6711

Website: http://www.londondistresscentre.com

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline:

Hotline: 800 273 TALK (8255)

National Suicide Hotlines:

Hotline: 800 SUICIDE (784 2433)

Check out the sources for extra information on coping with depression and why exercise is considered better than antidepressants




Eighteen year old first year university student hoping for an honours specialization in English language and literature.