Depression is not easy to live with, but there are things you can do in order to feel better about yourself. Depression makes it hard to do what you need to do to start feeling better, though. It can drain your energy, drive, and hope. Overcoming depression is not quick or easy, but it is possible.

Understand that depression does NOT mean that you are crazy. Depression happens to tens of thousands of people and for tens of thousands of different reasons. It is a sign that you have hit a point where you may not be able to deal with things on your own. Take that sign as a gift and seek help.

Remember to keep a positive attitude. Studies show that people who are depressed often minimize their talents and accomplishments, instead focusing on the negative aspects of their life. Take a page out of the classic children’s novel Pollyanna” and make a game out of positivity. In the novel, Pollyanna forces herself to find something good about every situation, no matter how small it may seem.

If you are opposed to taking prescription medications for depression, try St. John’s Wort. This natural, herbal remedy for depression can be very effective. It works in much the same way as Prozac by increasing the availability of mid-brain serotonin. This helps elevate your mood and alleviate your feelings of sorrow.

When faced with depression surround yourself with activities and things that you enjoy doing. This will take your mind off what is troubling you and help you focus on the positive things in life.

If you have medical depression you should anticipate that many people won’t be able to understand it. Most people think that depression is just like being really sad but true sufferers know that this is not the truth. If people say things like “just chin up” to you, try to realize that they mean the best and just ignore it.

Have realistic expectations. Often depressed people fixate on some unrealistic goal that they believe will cure their depression. For some it is money, for others it may be longing for an idealistic Mr. or Miss. “Right” to spend the rest of their life with. While having a goal is good, keep it realistic. Instead of being unhappy with your current job and longing to win the lottery, take college courses or a vocational program to increase your income potential. If you are lonely, get out and get involved with activities you enjoy. Even if you don’t meet someone, you will have fun; and if you do meet someone, they are much more likely to have similar interests to you unlike a random stranger in a bar.

As you can see, it is possible to make a huge dent in depression with some easy lifestyle changes. Feeling better will take you some time, but you can get to where you would like to be if you will make positive choices each day and have the support of others.