Let me tell you one thing before you go any further.

I am not a Doctor so before anybody decideds to stop taking their medication-STOP.

Go and see your Doctor, talk to him or her about your feelings and why you may want to try an alternative approach to your depression-I did just that, because:

I suffered from depression for many years; it goes all the way back to my childhood and the difficulties had.

And I still have the odd off day even today. But I feel life has come full circle and feel great.

So I am speaking from experience.

“Your thoughts become your words, your words become your actions, and your actions become you.” Robert Cialdini’s .

I know what it’s like to suffer from depression and anxiety.

This goes way back for me right back to my childhood which was not great

The only thing I would say is that how important your younger years are. It shapes your views on the world and more importantly how you see yourself today.

But today I feel that life is for the living, the odd

This is my story.

The only advice I was ever given was to go on anti-depressants.

Nobody had the time to sit down with me so I could share my thoughts, to unburden my emotions, all I wanted to do was to share my feelings and for someone to listen and put an arm around my shoulder, and understand.

Not simply to be told to take this pill and everything will be fine!

So I have been on and off them for years, hoping that they would at least give me so form of sell belief and a piece of mind.

You want to beat depression

I was one of those men who suffered in silence with mental health issues?

Not having enough courage to seek help or even to acknowledge that I may have a problem?

But I have come out on the other side, wiser and more confident, but I have to remember that depression is an illness and it can come back, and it does on some days.

The positive point is that I have managed to control my depression and anxiety without medication now for 5 years.

Overcoming depression is very difficult- But It can be done  

There are no hard and fast rules to overcome depression.

The first thing I want you to do is to remember this one line, print it out and keep it where you can see every day.

Remember this line and keep repeating it whenever you feel down.

Accept that it is going to be difficult and you will not come out of it in an overnight

Recognize its A Journey

It’s not going to happen overnight. It might take weeks, it may take months, hell it might even take years. But always remember that it will happen.

The worst thing you can do is beat yourself up for not being the person you want to be or where your life has taken you to.

Some days just found getting out of bed a real effort.

And then I would be filled with the feeling that I was just wasting my life “all I did was lay in bed.”

But a slight change to “all I did was lay in bed today,” made all the difference.

It didn’t stop me feeling that I had wasted the day, but by changing the sentence and adding today, I separated myself from the action and I acknowledged that tomorrow can be completely different.

If I put my mind to it and that’s the secrete Your Mind Set.

Related Article: Increasing research indicates that loneliness causes risk for more than just feeling disconnected

It’s subtle, but it works.

Keep in mind that it doesn’t mean tomorrow’s going to be different, but it makes it easier to get up and do something different. Set a small task or goal for the day, make it something simple.

I remember when I first made the concessions effort to change my mindset was to have a shave.

That may seem a strange thing to do, but let me tell you -one thing that happens when depression takes a hold is your personal appearance.

So every day I make a real effort to look like I am part of the human race, shave, shower and put on clean clothes.

By simply doing this every day made me feel that I could start the day on a positive note.

From there I would have a small list of things that my wife had asked me to.

In the past I had an excuse- I was lying in bed.

I was now up and no excuses for not doing small jobs around the house, it became a self-satisfaction routine, I had started something and finished it.

Similarly by changing a few words in a sentence helped me cope with my “feelings”

It’s not “I am sad,” it’s “I feel sad.” or a stronger example “I am a loser” vs “I feel like a loser.”

One is a definition of who you are, the other is a state that can change.

I found this really difficult to start with because there is no immediate payoff. But it makes it much easier to move on.

  • You must try and remember what’s important:
  • You acknowledge the emotion rather than burying and judging yourself for it
  • You don’t dwell on it; you observe it and let it go

If this sounds like Buddhism, it’s because it is. You ever notice why Buddhist monks are always so happy? This is one reason why.

Related Article: What Treatment Actually works

You want to beat depression

Depression and research.

Taking medication is only a short-term answer; it’s like putting a sticking plaster on a cut.

Depression and anxiety go way beyond a sticking plaster. There is no definitive cure for this illness.

Apart from that, depression is under-estimated.

Depression is triggered by whole range of things, for me, it was my childhood and until I excepted that I was not responsible for my up bring and that it was not my fault I could not move on

And I found that being on drugs came with a trade-off.

I started to feel a bit better after a few months but the side effects were not so good.

Everyone I talked to on this had different side effects but mostly it was a loss of libido, night sweats,

Headaches, loss of appetite, bad taste in my mouth and a few more!

And all the time I thought to myself can I be on these tablets for a year or more?

And what would happen when I came off them?

My Salvation 

I can remember the day as clear as today. The day that I decided to accept who I was and that my future was in my own hands, nobody else’s.

I was driving to an appointment for work and all of a sudden I was overtaken by this wave of emotion, of sheer fear of death like a cloud, had just descended over my car.

The thought of death, the thought of not seeing my family or friends again. I had to pull over.

My heart was almost coming out of my chest and the sweat was pouring down my face.

It took about half an hour for me to find some level of relaxation and to calm down.

But from that moment I decided that fear was not going to control my life and I could beat depression without drugs.

I was fed up with being reliant on drugs, I wanted my life back without drugs.

My salvation was Elizabeth Juffs a life coach I turned to for help.

She helped me in so many different ways. The best thing about the whole process was that she had time for me, to listen to my fears and anxieties. Elizabeth taught me to honest about who I was.

She showed me how to see life, to set some life goals, to understand how but simply changing my mental state, in other words, become a more positive person, life could be better. If you want to find a life coach then this is a good place to start

Related Article: New Hope

Avoid people who say:

You will usually find people telling you to “not be depressed” or “ease down a bit” or “stay happy” when in reality it is very difficult, or rather, impossible to “not be depressed” or “to ease down” or “be happy”.

There is a very little chance that medication will be able to help you, it does not get to the root cause of depression it only masks it, don’t get me wrong, I am not a Doctor, but for me helping myself was the way I went to beat my demons.

Follow a healthy diet

The first thing to say about food and depression. There is no scientific research linking diet and depression.

Still, while certain eating plans or foods may not ease your symptoms or put you instantly in a better mood, a healthy diet may help as part of your overall treatment.

It’s down to common sense, you know that if eat too much junk food you will put on the pounds.

Eat more fruit and vegetables, cut down on the sugar and salt.

Take a good quality supplement and multi-vitamin to support your diet. Eat more carbs and nuts and increase your good protein.

The best diet I know is the Mediterranean Diet follow the link for pdf which you can print out.

Plus this a great beginners guide to the basics of a Mediterranean Diet

Try cooking your own meals, it’s fun, learnt to cook. Try it you may be surprised at how quickly you start to feel better about yourself, your self-esteem will grow. Trust me.

You will be surprised simply by losing a few pounds will help with you feeling about yourself.

So for me one of my challenges was to lose a few pounds, you know the extra pounds around the middle so I thought why not try and improve my physical appearance and at the same time lose some weight.

I lost 12Llbs not a lot but it cheered me up no end, a small gain!

Eat healthily and do not under-estimate the power of unhealthy food.

Unhealthy food plays an important role in depression. You don’t see the effects of smoking right away but a few years down the line you realize you’re in deep trouble and so it is with unhealthy eating practices. Following a healthy diet is extremely important and also a difficult one but it pays off.

How exercise is more effective than drugs for beating depression

For me exercise for was so important. I had always been conscious about keeping fit, even from an early age.

So when I was at my lowest point I made exercise an integral part of my program to beat depression.

There are two schools on exercise and depression, I would like to say that exercise has helped me and without it, I would not beware I am today, the other school states that exercise has no effect at all.

“The following is taken from a great book called: “The Emperor’s New Drugs-Exploding the Antidepressant Myth”.

In that book, the author brings the results of a clinical trial to assess exercise as a treatment for depression that was done in 2000, by a group of researchers at Duke University, North Carolina:

The experiment took place with three sets of equally-depressed patients were randomly divided into three groups.

The first group was assigned to do aerobic exercises for four months.

The second group was prescribed a Selective Serotonin ReUptake Inhibitor (SSRI) called Lustral, and the third group was given both Lustral and exercise.

At the end of the four-month experiment, there were no significant differences between the groups. The experiment clearly showed that when it came to treating depression, exercise was as effective as medication.

But the biggest surprise was yet to come.

Some months after the trial began, some important differences did start to surface between the three groups:

Ten months’ later, a significant number of exercise patients had recovered from depression, while many more of the patients who had been prescribed SSRIs had relapsed.

This showed that exercise was actually more effective than drugs, for overcoming depression.”

Make your own mind up. This is a great article

So, my advice would be to ride a bicycle or go swimming or play tennis or jog or practice yoga; there are thousand other things you can do to keep yourself fit.

Keep healthy relationships:

You do not want to hang around people who make you feel less worthy.

Stay away, no matter what, stay away from negative people.

There is a saying “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with” which is absolutely true.

Hang out with people who inspire you, who accept you for who you are, who are good at heart.

Related Article: Depression and Exercise

Stay away from alcohol and drugs:

Alcohol and drugs are nothing but depressants.

They’ll make you feel better till you’re intoxicated but once the alcohol/drug is out of your body you’re going to feel more depressed than before and there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll want to resort to alcohol/drugs again to wash that feeling out.

Create a long-term goal and break it into tiny milestones:

The saying “The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” sums it all up. Work towards your goal with thorough dedication.

Books:

Become a bookworm. Pick any book fiction or non-fiction and start to read. Reading takes you away from your situation its takes to wild and wonderful places. Become a superhero, become a detective, whatever you fancy being, lose yourself in a book.

Buy a Kindle you can a good second-hand one off eBay, down few books they cost a few bucks.

Read up on depression, understand it. It’s like everything life, the more you understand something the better you become to tackle it.

Two great books to read.

Persistence

Without persistence, you’ll never ever achieve any goals in life.

Things go wrong all the time but you should not give up no matter what. As happens with depression something as trivial as missing out your morning workout will make you feel extremely bad.

Things will be worse when things go really bad like having a breakup or getting into an altercation with your best friend or getting fired, you’ll have to be damn strong. DO NOT GIVE UP.

It is going to be very difficult but going and trying until you succeed.

Conclusion

Don’t let anyone tell you that depression and anxiety is not an illness.

It is, and can be debilitating, and can leave you feeling isolated but remember that all illness there are alternatives to medication.

Life is about you and your loved ones.

Be thankful for the little things in your life you have, it can be so easily taken away from you.

Life is about appreciating what you have.

Be thankful for the little things in life and don’t wish your life away

It’s the little things. Look for positives wherever you’re at.

Believe in who you are, it’s about your state of being, it comes from within.

It’s not easy, at first, it’ll feel like you’re saying things just to say things, and sometimes you’ll have to make a conscious effort to not fall back on your negative thinking. But it’s worth it.

And YES Anxiety and depression can DEFINITELY be resolved without medication, but the problem has to be tackled holistically, across all 3 levels of body, mind and soul.

If want help these people are worth contacting, they will help you:

Anxiety and Depression Association of America

This Way Up

Smithsonian