Depression is one of the most common mental illnesses that many people suffer with. It affects more than 16 million Americans causing them to feel a loss of pleasure in everyday activities, sadness, guilt, lack of interest, hopelessness, anxiety, and many more symptoms.
Depression can lead to disturbances in your daily life and can affect work, family, and social life. Depression may also lead to physical and mental complications if left untreated. Having depression increases your risk of suicide and suicidal behavior.
The number one thing to do if you are worried that you may be suffering from symptoms of depression is to consult your primary physician. Your doctor will be able to help. They have many different resources for dealing with depression. Your doctor may help you directly in his office or he can give you a referral to see a doctor that specializes in the treatment of Depression Disorder.
As someone who has suffered from Major Depressive Disorder for most of my life I am constantly on the lookout for ways to help manage my depression. Along with medication and therapy I have always found it helpful to keep a journal.
Keeping a journal will help you identify triggers and discover new ways to cope with symptoms. You can use a journal to reflect back on episodes, keep track of medication and symptoms, and to remind yourself of all the good things in your life.
Below, I have compiled a list of journal prompts that may help you better cope with your feelings and symptoms.
Journal Prompts for Depression
• Write down the things that you know trigger your depression, and which strategies help each of them.
• Go online and find quotes that you can read when you are feeling depressed. Make a list of them in your journal.
• List all the good things about your life.
• Who can you talk to when you are not feeling your best?
• What does self-care mean to you, and how can you incorporate this into your daily routine?
• Make a list of songs that you can listen to in order to lift your spirits on difficult days.
• Make a list of all the things you feel you have done RIGHT in your life.
• Write a list of 10 things you are grateful for.
• How do you want to feel tomorrow, and what 3 things can you do today to ensure you feel that way?
• What are your best character traits and qualities.
• Describe a difficult situation you’ve encountered. How did you cope with it and what did you learn from the experience?
• How do you think depression holds you back in life?
• Write down three things you want to read back when things get hard.
• Rate your current mental health on a scale of 1-10. Why do you think it is this way?
• What is something your depression has taught you that you might not otherwise know?
• Make a list of ways you can improve your mental health.
• List things that you have to look forward to.
• A fear I would like to overcome is ________. I can do these things to start overcoming it:
• What makes you happy?
• What are ways you can relax?
• What steps do you want to take to reach your goals/dreams? How are you planning to do that?
• What do you want to explore? What are your hobbies?
• What are the positives in your life? What can you do to become more positive?
• Purge all of your worries onto a journal page.
• Make a list of all the physical and mental signs and symptoms you have when a bought of depression is coming on.
• What are your mental health goals? How do you plan to achieve them.
• Write down negative thoughts that have been on your mind. Change them into positive thoughts.
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http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org (external link)