The suggestions are different than the popular tips most depression experts give for boosting your mood, which are usually written for those with mild or moderate depression — or the really lucky people who just want to feel better.
I thought it would be helpful to expand my list and give you six more ways to manage severe depression.
1. Remember your heroes.
When making it to the breakfast table is a humble feat, it helps to remember I’m in good company with depressives past and present: Abraham Lincoln, Winston Churchill, Kay Redfield Jamison, Mike Wallace, William Styron, Art Buchwald, Robin Williams, Patty Duke, and Brooke Shields. They struggled with death thoughts, too, but they survived … and succeeded at so many things. They are missionaries of truth and perseverance.
Abraham Lincoln wanted people to know that his melancholy was a “misfortune, not a fault,” and that his humor, his jokes, were the “vents of [his] moods and gloom.” British Prime Minster Winston Churchill referred to his deep melancholy as his “black dog.” It was his teacher of perseverance. Kay Redfield Jamison reminded folks that “tumultuousness, if coupled with discipline and a cool mind, is not such a bad sort of thing.” Without Lincoln, Churchill, Jamison, and the others, I’d think I really was going crazy and stand crippled, terrified in my darkness...