Major Depressive Disorder

Ever since I was diagnosed with depression several years ago, I have scourged the Internet for tips on how to best manage my symptoms.  Although there is no substitute for getting professional help, actively pursuing information and methods to improve your mood when depression strikes is hugely valuable.  Here I have listed resources that have been particularly valuable for me.  Please feel free to suggest additions and/or revisions through my contact page!  Also, check out other relevant resources at my General Mental Health resources page.


⇒ Websites

Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA) ~

The Balanced Mind Parent Network (BMPN)

Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance (DBSA)

Families for Depression Awareness

National Network of Depression Centers (NNDC)

University of Michigan Depression Center


⇒ Articles

6 Tips to Get Motivated When You’re Feeling Depressed
by Megan Bruneau from MindBodyGreen

7 Things to Remember When You Think You’re Not Good Enough
by Madison Sonnier from Tiny Buddha

30 Things to Start Doing for Yourself
by Marc Chernoff from Marc and Angel Hack Life

30 Things to Stop Doing to Yourself
by Marc Chernoff from Marc and Angel Hack Life

Dealing with Depression: Self-Help and Coping Tips to Overcome Depression

⇒ Books

Beyond Blue: Surviving Depression & Anxiety and Making the Most of Bad Genes
by Therese J. Borchard

The Blue Day Book: A Lesson in Cheering Yourself Up
by Bradley Trevor Greive

The Chemistry of Joy Workbook: Overcoming Depression Using the Best of Brain Science, Nutrition, and the Psychology of Mindfulness
by Henry Emmons, M.D.

The Cognitive Behavioral Workbook for Depression: A Step-by-Step Program
Second Edition; by Dr. William J. Knaus, Ed.D., and Albert Ellis, Ph.D.

Depression: Looking Up from the Stubborn Darkness
by Edward T. Welch

The Depression Cure: The 6-Step Program to Beat Depression without Drugs
by Stephen S. Ilardi, Ph.D.

Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy
by David D. Burns, M.D.

Get It Done When You’re Depressed
by Julie A. Fast and John D. Preston, Psy.D., ABPP

Have You Felt Like Giving Up Lately?: Finding Hope and Healing When You Feel Discouraged
by David Wilkerson

Healing Anxiety and Depression
by Daniel G. Amen, M.D., and Lisa C. Routh, M.D.

How You Can Survive When They’re Depressed: Living and Coping with Depression Fallout
by Anne Sheffield, Mike Wallace, and Donald F. Klein, M.D.

I Don’t Want to Talk About It: Overcoming the Secret Legacy of Male Depression
by Terrence Real

I’m Not Perfect and It’s Okay
by Dolores Ayotte

The Mindful Way Through Depression: Freeing Yourself from Chronic Unhappiness (with CD)
by Mark Williams, John Teasdale, Zindel Segal, and Jon Kabat-Zinn

My Feeling Better Workbook: Help for Kids Who Are Sad and Depressed
by Sara Hamil, LCSW

Spontaneous Happiness: A New Path to Emotional Well-Being
by Andrew Weil, M.D.

Talking to Depression: Simple Ways to Connect When Someone in Your Life Is Depressed
by Claudia J. Strauss and Martha Manning, Ph.D.

Uncovering Happiness: Overcoming Depression with Mindfulness and Self-Compassion
by Elisha Goldstein, Ph.D.

Undoing Depression: What Therapy Doesn’t Teach You and Medication Can’t Give You
by Richard O’Connor, Ph.D.

The Upward Spiral: Using Neuroscience to Reverse the Course of Depression, One Small Change at a Time
by Alex Korb, Ph.D. and Daniel J. Siegel, M.D.

⇒ Tools


The Magic Blanket
According to The Magic Blanket website, “Recent studies have shown that deep pressure touch, the type of proprioceptive input generated from a weighted blanket, releases serotonin in the brain … which in turn naturally calms and relaxes the body, promoting sleep and stress relief.  This effect has already had tremendous success helping to calm children and adults with sensory integration disorder, autism, Rett syndrome, Asperger’s syndrome, ADHD, PTSD, and restless leg syndrome.”  Because deep pressure touch releases serotonin, this may also help those who suffer from depression sleep easier.  Weighted blankets are sold all over the Internet, but some things that I especially like about The Magic Blanket and its website are the wide variety of sizes and fabrics available, guidelines to choosing an appropriate weight, and the ability to purchase and return non-custom blankets.  Even so, you may wish to make your own blanket since commercial ones are normally on the expensive side.
NOTE: It is best to consult an occupational therapist before purchase.

Passion Planner
Passion Planner is described as “the one place for all your thoughts” and “the life coach that fits in your backpack” (in either compact or classic sizes).  It includes space for these monthly/weekly sections: 1) a journal, 2) an appointment calendar with 30-minute time slots, 3) a gratitude log, 4) weekly and daily focuses, 5) personal and work to-do lists, 6) motivational quotes, 7) a goal setting guide, and 8) a sketchbook.  Check out this page for more information, and if you’d like to see what the planner looks like and try it out for free, you can print undated PDF pages or print the entire Passion Planner 2015 as a PDF.


FitnessBuilder *
For Internet, iOS, Android

Smiling Mind *
For Internet, iOS, Android

Unstuck *
For Internet and iPad
Unstuck is a free “in-the-moment digital coach that’s ready every time [you’re] feeling stuck.”  It is explained especially well with cute interactive visuals on this page.  The developers also sell Unstuck Tip Card Decks—Conjure Your Creativity, Stop Your Procrastination, Boost Your Productivity, and Stop Your Negative Thinking—for $25 each.  In addition, you can sign up for Unstuck Advice emails to receive information that includes articles from their Tumblr.

= tool available as an app
° = tool only available as an app