What to do in case of a depression/mood emergency?
This is a (wip) collection of material and advise that has helped me in acute mental health emergencies in the past. This is of course not a replacement for professional help, but might help to bridge the waiting period until the next appointment, or deal with “less existential” downs.
For really existential crises, please look up the corresponding emergency hotline, or just call your local emergency service. You are worth the trouble.
Stop the madness
I return to the video linked above since it makes me acknowledge the situation I’m in, and explains why it makes me feel this bad. It then offers alternate perspectives which make my current situation look less bad and give me energy to act upon it. This usually helps me to stop the downwards spiral that depression is at least for the immediate moment and focus on constructive activities for the moment.
Back to the basics
Once I’m again calmed down and ready for basic reflection, I like to reiterate the Eight Rules of The School of Life. These provide me guidance and a good starting point for getting towards a constructive mindset again.
The University of Exeter provides a great self-help programme called Get Active—Feel Good in a free PDF for download. It helps you understand what a depression is, how it works, and guides you along the path to understanding how it affects you, and how you can counter it.
It’s basically a guide along a cognitive behavioural therapy, which is also used by therapists and clinics treating depression.
Not all depressions are equal though, and some are caused by bodily issues like for example a thyroid misfunction, vitamin D deficiency or underproduction of neurotransmitters. Other times a depression is a corollary of deeper traumas or PTSD.
So when you find out the guide above is not working for you is the latest point you should go see a doctor. Preferably do so immediately!