"depression can often be alleviated by talking to other people in similar situations."

Working with Your Doctor | Self Help & Coping | Friends & Family

Self Help / Coping

Self - help involves a number of different approaches and techniques which may alleviate or even prevent mild depression. These techniques are complementary to professional treatment, and should not be seen as alternatives to it.

Sharing experiences:

Depression can often be alleviated by talking to other people in similar situations. Depression Alliance coordinates a national network of self-help groups where members can meet on a regular basis to share experiences and coping strategies. We also coordinate a pen-friend service and offer a correspondence scheme for people affected by depression.

Gathering information:

Finding out more about depression can reduce the misconceptions, guilt and fear which are often associated with the condition. A wide range of leaflets, videos, and tapes on depression are available from Depression Alliance; you could also look in your local library or on the internet. Contact Depression Alliance for our Depression Reading List, which suggests useful books, tapes and websites on depression.


Depression is frequently associated with tension, stress and anxiety. There are many ways to relax - yoga, reading, listening to a relaxation tape, going away for a short holiday - find out what works for you and give yourself time to wind down.


Many people with depression experience a loss of energy and constant feelings of tiredness. Taking some form of gentle exercise will make you feel more positive.

Changes to your diet:

Depression can affect your appetite so try to make sure that you eat regular, appropriate amounts. Missing out valuable nutrients can also make people feel tired and run down, so try to include fresh fruit and vegetables in your diet.

Pursuing interests:

Try to continue with any hobbies or interests you have. It may be difficult whilst you are depressed, especially if you have difficulty concentrating, but this will help you to feel better.

Working with Your Doctor | Self Help & Coping | Friends & Family

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