I have a 16-year-old son who has depression and feels like life is not worth living sometimes. He is on Effexor (an an and has been in LDS counseling but we are seeking more help for him. Could address this in one of your articles?
Before I answer this question, I have a disclaimer. As a life coach, I always recommend that people who are suffering with severe depression contact a mental health professional who has been trained and is licensed to work with mental illness instead of a life coach. Having said that, I have dealt with depression myself and I do have a couple suggestions that may help:
1. Take better care of yourself
It is very important that you eat a healthy diet, because what you eat affects how you feel. Cut out the junk food immediately and choose a diet rich with fruits and vegetables. It would also recommend daily exercise. Find a form of exercise that you enjoy and fit it into your life every day (without fail). These two things will make a significant difference.
2. Change the way you think
Professor of psychology Dr. Daniel Strunk, Melissa Brotman of the National Institute of Mental Health, and Robert DeRubeis of the University of Pennsylvania recently published a study in the journal of Behavioral Research and Therapy, showing that cognitive therapy helps patients with severe depression more than anything else you can do.
This means that if you want to beat depression, you must make some fundamental changes in how you think about yourself and your life. You must take control of your thoughts.
You cannot prevent a negative, fear-based thought from showing up in your head, but when it does, you have a choice. You can embrace it or replace it with something positive, accurate and trust-based.
You can and must learn to do this.
The problem is many people believe their thoughts are out of their control. They give away their power by not taking responsibility for how they think, and they become a victim of their emotions.
You will never get better until you claim the power to choose your thoughts.
You may get intimidated by the idea of choosing positive thoughts all the time, so just focus on choosing your thoughts in this moment. You can do that right now. Then, remember that there will never be a time when it is not this moment.
If you change your thinking, you can change how you feel.
I realize, of course, that people with severe depression cannot be cured with just positive, accurate thinking. There are chemical imbalances at play here. Some people will need medication to balance out their brain chemistry, along with cognitive therapy to change their thinking.
I highly recommend "The Feeling Good Handbook" by Dr. David D. Burns, M.D. This book will help you identify your inaccurate thought processes and teach you how to think accurately.
Here are some examples of unhealthy, inaccurate thoughts and some positive, accurate thoughts you could replace them with:
If you are struggling with this, seek out a counselor or coach to help you. But, whatever you do, don’t give up. A brighter future is right around the next corner.
Kimberly Giles is the founder and president of www.ldslifecoaching.com and www.claritypointcoaching.com. She is a sought after life coach and popular speaker who specializes in repairing and building self-esteem.
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These articles were originally published on KSL.COM
Kimberly Giles is the president and founder of Claritypoint Life Coaching and 12 SHAPES INC. She is an author and professional speaker. She was named one of the top 20 advice gurus in the country by Good Morning America in 2010. She appears regularly on local and national TV and Radio.