Depression is a an intense feeling of sadness, dejection, hollowness and sucks away our energy and makes us feel hopeless. What’s worse is that it’s persistent and doesn’t go away like normal sadness does. I’m sure almost everyone has experienced depression in some point in their lives. Here are my 10 self help tips for depression.

1. Try and find out what’s causing your Depression

Depression can be caused by so many different things and it’s important for us to know exactly what’s making us depressed. Here are some possible causes of depression: Grief and loss, feeling unloved, chemical imbalances in the brain, PMS, mental or physical illnesses, relationship breakups, home or work problems, abuse, stress and high self expectations.

We need to at least know where our depression is coming from. If you feel as if you’re simply depressed for no reason, that may be due to chemical imbalances.

Once we find the root cause of our problem, we can start addressing it.

2. Can you address the problem yourself?

Ask yourself: Is this a problem I can fix? Is it under my control? You may not believe this, but we’re in more control of our lives than we think. Sometimes when bad things happen, we simply feel as if we must deal with it, but hey, it is your life. You are the only person in the world who can change it. It may be hard, but nobody else will ever be able to do it for you. You must be the one to make the decision.

It’s true that often when we’re not in that desperate of a situation, we’d rather live our lives unhappily than doing something about it. You need to ask yourself: Do you want to feel better? Because if something/someone is causing your depression, you are likely going to feel better once you are not in that situation anymore.

3. When you’re not in control of the Depression

If your problem is caused by external conditions such as PMS, physical or mental illnesses, see if you can try natural methods first. Try soaking in the sun, take herbs like St John’s Wort and magnesium. See if anything can help you feel better.

4. Remind yourself why you should feel Hopeful

One of the worst feelings you get during depression is feeling hopeless. You may even lose all interests and have no reason or will to do anything you used to find fun, because at this moment, everything just seems pointless. We need to remind ourselves about the things we want to achieve. Everyone has dreams, think about yours.

What’s one thing you’ve always wanted to do? Who’s someone you’ve wanted to meet? What’s your biggest dream?

Imagine yourself fulfilling them, perhaps these imaginations can bring some of your hope back.

5. Talk about it and Reach out for Help

Don’t assume it’s a good idea to keep all your troubles inside. Sometimes, talking shares half of your burdens and would make you feel much better. Sometimes, others may even inspire you or give you hope.

The important thing is finding someone who’s truly willing to help you, listen to you and not judge you or think you’re silly for being depressed about whatever reason it may be. Understanding is the key! Without it, you may find that they will just make it worse.

6. Is Depression to do with Grief and Death?

Death, grief and loss is one of the biggest reasons why we get depressed. Often, hopelessness comes from that we just see no light at the end from this because we’re all going to die. I know I’ve felt that way. During these times, we really just need to take our mind off it somehow, someway.

We also need to detach ourselves from anything that may make it worse. For example, if reading news makes you depressed because you’re always reading about death, force yourself not to read them by using a blocker on your browser.

7. You need your own Goals and Hobbies

Often, relationship problems or breakups can result in people losing total motivation, particularly the relationship was taking up most of that person’s life. Without your own hobbies and goals, you may feel that there’s no reason when the person is gone. If you’ve always relied on your partner to make you happy, then now is the time to change that.

Perhaps you can start up a club, organise an event, help others, start a project, create a website or blog. Sometimes, success can give a great feeling of fulfillment, and we need to be able to achieve that without the help of anyone else.