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What makes you feel better when you get depressed?

Asked at Borders, 700 N.H. on June 1, 2005

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Photo of Jeff Bergfalk

“Sometimes I try riding my bike and being outdoors. Usually what happens is that someone comes by and cheers me up.”

Photo of Rachel Ernst

“I would have to say chocolate, friends and reading those trashy pop culture magazines.”

Photo of Sarah Heath

“In the words of Mark Cowardin, ‘Make sculpture.’”

Photo of Dennis Domer

“I usually work. I feel better doing the tasks before me instead of putting it off, which makes me feel worse. It helps me break the work down into smaller pieces for a daily sense of accomplishment.”

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BrianR 13 years ago

This question seems to be addressing sadness rather than clinical depression. For some reason, these two things get mixed up and feeling better isn't as easy as just "doing something."

Of course Mark Cowardin would say that, he's a brilliant and talented artist.

Jay Bird 13 years ago

Nothing makes you giggle faster than Nitrous. A few quick Whipets, and the Wah Wah's start, after that, it's all down hill.

Then again, there's always the old stand by, Warm Cookies and cold milk or ice cream.

Topside 13 years ago

Usually listening to music and driving around. Also, love-making usually works too.

jonas 13 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Chris Bohling 13 years ago

I usually eat a lot of apples and then listen to thrash metal. sugar + headbanging = happy. Bobby McFerrin helps too.

ms_canada - that Ragin fellow sounds interesting, can you post a URL? I think I know the piece.

Redneckgal 13 years ago

I either go shopping or rearrange my house. Sometimes both.

happyone 13 years ago

Usually when I'm having a bummer day (which isn't often) I bake!! Nothing cheers me up better than seeing the smiles fresh baked goods puts on the family's face. It's so comforting too. Nothing like hot cookies!!

Richard Heckler 13 years ago

Working in a garden, taking walks through the woods or riding my bike. Sometimes a nap works as the body need rest.

Then again it may be in my diet. The body needs vitamins,minerals and glyconutrients in order for your brain to dictate and deal with depression. A wide variety of fruits,veggies,grains and some dairy will help keep your spirits up.

Too much alcohol and drugs many times deplete the body of nutrients which can allow depression to creep in after having a wonderful one thinks. Take a days worth of multivitamins before you go out for a night and again when back home.

sadtaco1 13 years ago

I usually kill a little kitten. Always brightens my mood.

happyone 13 years ago

o_m_b I know just what you're talking about I used to make dough at a pizza place too. So peaceful and quiet.

Hong_Kong_Phooey 13 years ago

That's not depression, Merrill, it's a hangover.

I used to go and play with my dog...but he's dead, so now I just stay depressed for a while.

GreenEyedBlues 13 years ago

400mg of Wellbutrin and 15mg Trazodone to ensure a good night's sleep.

When I get down, I usually make a list! This gives me control of all of the little things that would otherwise overwhelm me when I don't look at it one problem at a time.

My best retreat days are those in which I clean and scrub until my entire house is immaculate. After that I take a hot shower, then plug in a Disney flick and pour a bowl of Frosted Flakes. =)

sunflower_sue 13 years ago

I try to not allow myself to get depressed. I'm usually quite jovial but if I get a case of the grumps then I know I just need to snap out of it or wait for those hormones to wear off and give my loved ones due warning.

Usually, when all else fails, (as I said the other day) put on Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World" and hit [Repeat]. You can't listen to that song and be sad!

I also draw...portraits mostly. I'm NEVER sad when I'm drawing. This is exactly the therapy that got "Grandma Elizabeth Leighton" (sp?) out of her 40 year depression. Just draw!!!!!!!!!!!!! (I guess it didn't work for Van Gogh, however.) But he did crank out some beautiful stuff.

ms_canada 13 years ago

BrianR is correct, there is a vast difference between feeling blue and real clinical depression. Louis Armstrong won't effect a cure in an episode of C.D. That takes some sort of therapy. I believe we all experience times in our lives when we feel depressed, be it for hours or days. Usually there is a cause that can be pinned down, like your faithful dog dies or you were rejected in a job application. But at times you may feel depressed and can't really say why. This is believed, by some in the field of treatment, to be an affect of the atmosphere or the light condition as someone above indicated. What do you do then? Wait it out? Or seek help. But, for simple (or not so simple) blues. I read. Or put on a CD. One piece of music that always cheers me is that of the aria from Orpheo and Euridice, Che faro senza, Euridice? sung by the magnificent counter tenor Derek Lee Ragin. Does anyone out there, know that piece? It never loses it's ability to transport me to heights above. It is so beautiful and his voice so pure. If you don't know, or are interested :-) a counter tenor voice will be most often mistaken for that of a woman. Mr. Ragin, a large "person of color" :-) is a master at counter tenor. Just a bit FYI. :-) I do go on, don't I. Have a nice day and listen to your choice of music, by all means. I think I will go put on Derek Ragin. Not that I am depressed.

Liberty 13 years ago

I choose to not give into depression. I think on those things that are above and praise God. He is good and cares for you. I also take a negative and turn it to a positive. Like when Congress is creating a Stalinist bill about 'the war on drugs' (which amounts to drafting you into fighting against your family or neighbors) and trying to make it sound good that you are ratting on your neighbor or if you don't rat, you will go to jail for 2-10 years. Things like that I like to bring to the attention of people so they can call Congress and tell them how unamerican of a bill that it is, and how it is not the kind of America that we want to live in by being a government snitch. This bill just passed one committee in Congress. So please voice your opinion to your member of Congress. The bill is HR1528. It is a draft in the 'war on drugs' that forces you to rat on friends or neighbors or family or go to jail. Get rid of depression by taking actions that make you feel good about what you have done for defending freedom in your country. I don't support drug use, but even more I don't want a law like this in America.

ms_canada 13 years ago

chell - you should find some interesting notes on Mr. Ragin (pronounced as in french, ragan). on this site. or go to google put his name in. There are several sites there. He has an interesting life story.

And liberty - you are right. The best place to go is to the LORD and sing some songs of praise, no matter if you can sing or have a good voice.

And to sunflower sue - I cetainly did not intend to put dear Louis A. down, indeed his rendition of 'What a wonderful world' is truly uplifting. Enjoy.

1derer 13 years ago

I find hope for a saner society in waiting to see how long it takes LJW to removed the posts of some of our more thought challenged contributors. Think ahead folks, in print your sick little jokes are not as funny as you seem to think.

Ceallach 13 years ago

Careful sadtaco1, I hear that is how Jeffrey Dahmer started.

Carmenilla 13 years ago

Feeling "a little blue" and severe clinical depression are obviously totally different things. I wonder when we will accept and understand that mental illness is as deadly as cancer or heart disease.

As far as lifting my spirits when I'm down goes, I find a little funky music and booty-shaking to be quite beneficial. Also, if I exercise in the morning I find my blues is washed away almost instantly. I can't help but think that all those obese depressed people out there need to get some ants in their pants and work it on out!!!

Fangorn 13 years ago

As has been remarked by a couple of other posters, sadness or feeling a bit down is not the same thing as depression. Actual clinical depression often needs treatment beyond a bright smile with a pat on the back and hearty "The sun'll come out tomorrow!"

When my father died so suddenly and so young, other circumstances in my life prevented me from going through the natural grieving process. And just like a broken bone not properly set will not completely heal, this did some real damage. I couldn't concentrate, couldn't complete tasks, often couldn't sleep. It took me a year to realize what was happening. Counseling helped me go back and re-enter the grieving process. I was very reluctant to take anitdepressants. I was concerned about forever finding my coping skills in a bottle. But they really did help. (Trazadone helped me sleep, too, GreenEyedBlues.)

For many people if their doctor tells them they have an infection and prescribes antibiotics, they wouldn't hesitate to take them. But they're still reluctant, as I was, to take antidepressants. Hopefully more will come to see depression as an illness and allow themselves to be treated.

sadtaco1 13 years ago

In print it looks even funnier. At least a lot funnier than the dead kitten looks in my office.

Chris Bohling 13 years ago

Thanks, ms_canada! Will go alongside Thomas Q. in my CD collection.

Though I am now listening to death metal and getting happier.

jonas 13 years ago

Wow, first post deleted?! What's so wrong with feeding babies to mutated, man-eating puppies? No curse words or vulgarity. I don't get it.

Ceallach 13 years ago

According to Prof. Ilardi we have depression - "..... because our brains and bodies aren't designed for our 21st century lifestyles." (Psshaw!)

"The human brain has been sculpted by 2 million years of life within a hunter-gatherer context." (Hmmm)

Although I think most of his quotes are psycho-babble that "hunter and gatherer" idea may be close to the truth. If I am feeling blue I usually hunt for a DQ and gather a blizzard (small of course :), very soon I feel better. A word of caution -- this remedy should be used sparingly, due to possible side effects.

Larry 13 years ago

Usually when I get a little down or go through a few days of being depressed, there is always one thing that gets me out of it. Either read the Bible or attend church. It give me a little dose of humility and I see the real picture. Of course, I don't get depressed or down very often because I in church once or twice a week all year long.

Ceallach 13 years ago

I think I may be getting depressed! Did anyone read the "related article" for today's question? If so, doesn't it bother you that a psychology professor is suggesting that clinically depressed people replace (or at least reduce) their Doctor prescribed medication to follow his research study model? Should a doctor of psychology be giving medical advice? How many of his students will be tempted to fix their depression by acting like cavemen? (Not sure what the women should do.) The Prof says 1 out of 5 suffer major bouts of depression, hopefully 1 out of 5 of his students will realize that he is more than a little full of himself and seek medical help!

sunflower_sue 13 years ago

Fangorn, I feel your pain at losing a father. Lost mine when he was only 33 (I was 2...last of 4 kids). Losing a parent when you are young is something that you never really get over. I wish you luck!

Ms Canada, where do you get Ragin's music? Book store like Border's? You've sparked my interest enough that I looked him up but can't get any site that will play a few notes for me. I pretty much love all music...'cept death metal. Sorry, Chell. Just hurts my neck to "bang my head."

melissamouse 13 years ago

I call a friend, pray, go for a drive with my better half, or go eat something tasty! My husband, on the other hand, goes for a bike ride all over Topeka. Come to think of it, he does that every day anyway!

melissamouse 13 years ago

Hey, sunflower_sue...thanks for your concern about my transplant!

Ceallach 13 years ago

jonas: Thanks for responding. I was really surprised that no one wanted to discuss Prof. Pompous Air-Bag. You have experience on campus, that helps. Sometimes I think they should call it Mt. Olympus (for the faculty), instead of Mt. Oread. Instructors like that are so scary. Mainly because some students are very vulnerable to their professor's opinions. I was concerned that some would delay or not seek help for a very treatable condition. I work in an administrative office and far too often we end up working with kids that have been given advice by faculty (beyond their scope of knowledge) causing the student personal and academic problems.

Fangorn made a very insightful post, sharing his personal and moving experience with the forum. Depression is a medical condition and can be managed and in most cases resolved by good sound medical advice.

Fangorn 13 years ago

sunflower_sue: It was hard enough for me to loose my father at 34. I can hardly imagine what it was like at age 2 to loose one of the two most important people in your life. One aspect of our humanity that I deal with very poorly is the suffering or death of children. I lost two sisters in infancy, so it's a very sensitive area for me. I cry in cemetaries when I notice gravestones of children, as I did Monday (one was 31 days old). My heart hurts for the little girl you were all those years ago.

Fangorn 13 years ago

ss: make that "lose" not "loose".

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