Not only are depressed people plagued with self-doubts but their self-esteem plummets as well. Hold onto hope and accept that what you're going through will pass eventually. And finally, and most importantly, seek help immediately if you are feeling suicidal or have difficulty controlling thoughts of self-harm. Continue taking care of yourself and recognize that your depression can be controlled. Even if you dread the thought of going through the whole treatment process again, the knowledge that depressive episodes pass with time can make the future seem a little brighter. Remember the last time you experienced a thought-provoking aha moment? You know, that particular moment that suddenly gives you a clear vision or specific understanding that can change in an instant everything you've been thinking about. I have shared a few of mine so far relating to my health, job, family, and husband. We all have experienced them. When you recognize these mind-blowing flashes of clarity, suddenly things in your life will start making better sense and provide you with the power to shift your thinking to greater possibilities. Everyone's aha experience may be considerably different. You may have experienced your aha moments while taking a shower, driving, exercising, sleeping, fishing, or wherever you are feeling relaxed. For me, I discovered that my aha moments typically occur in the wee hours of the morning, around 3:30 a.m. That is when my mind has gone deep beneath the surface of everything I have thought about during the day. Often, my aha moment awakens me with the most brilliant thoughts and ideas. Because of this, it has become imperative for me to have a pen and paper ready--next to me on my nightstand--since I never know when my epiphany might visit. I know these moments are extraordinary and essential for nurturing the aha moment that taps into the deep beauty of my soul. I start by making clarity of my mind, body, and spirit a top priority. I am able to achieve clarity of the mind by permitting myself not to think about anything that is unsettling to my soul. I do not force my mind to push through difficult situations or deal with troublesome issues that are out of my control.

I let go. Instead of worrying, I incorporate activities of relaxation for my mind, body, and spirit. I embrace the precious moments that nature provides by taking long walks on the beach and by gardening. I practice meditation or working out. I enjoy therapeutic bubble baths. I spend quality time alone. You have to drive somewhere new. You're anxious about getting lost. You think: I'll need to plan my route; how to get there and what breaks to make. I just know I'll get lost. I'll get stressed. I won't know where I'm going or what I'm doing. You tell a friend something personal and although you've asked her not to, she tells another person. You: Talk to her about it and explain how let down and upset you feel and ask her why she broke a confidence. Think of all the other times she's let you down. You seek out someone else (who has also been let down by this friend) to talk about it and to confirm that your friend is a bitch. It's going to take forever to get done! I'm looking at the big picture, and I need to refocus my attention on handling just one task at a time. I cleaned all morning, but there's still more to do. Look at how much I've gotten done.

Not everything has to be done in one day. I've got too much to get done, it's no use! I need to stop looking at the big picture, and deal with my tasks on a one by one basis. It would be helpful if I wrote down what I get done, so I can see my progress. Only I could get so behind on things. I'm only human. I need to be a bit more gentle with myself. list also provides you with a written list of your achievements. This not only shows you what you've done, it also trains your mind to see your unaccomplished tasks as the smaller components of your larger needs. No matter how large a task may be, it can always be broken down into smaller parts, and no matter how small a task may be, if it's dealt with, it's an accomplishment! You work in retail. You once thought it was what you wanted but it bores you. You now have the opportunity to apply for a job where you'll be more active. You jump at the chance and apply. You hesitate. You worry you are about to make another wrong choice. Yesterday you stayed an hour late to complete a report. Your manager tells you she no longer needs the report for the meeting. You think: Damn! Oh well, some of what I wrote up will come in useful for another project or meeting.

She must know how much time I spent writing this! I've done it all for nothing. What a complete waste of time. She's obviously decided to wind me up. If you have friends over for a meal, you: Make a decent meal and enjoy having the company. Spend time on every aspect of the meal, candles, flowers etc. and get stressed about getting it all just right. Though dealing with the loss of a parent, sibling, or close friend is something that many young people will experience at some point, this kind of bereavement can also make them much more susceptible to depression. Since not all young people are going to react to grief in quite the same way, it's hard to anticipate how this kind of loss will affect them. While denial, anger, sadness, guilt, and anxiety are all perfectly normal reactions to grief, young people may try to keep these feeling to themselves. There are still signs that parents and teachers can watch for in children and adolescents dealing with loss, however. They include: irritability, social withdrawal, poor performance in school, sleep and appetite problems, aggressiveness, and a tendency toward emotional outbursts. There may also be guilt feelings if they feel responsible for the death by somehow having failed to stop it from happening. They may also feel anxious about the possibility of someone else in their life dying as well. Though not every community will have a group program for young people dealing with grief and loss, peer counseling still can be a valuable resource. By learning how to mourn effectively as well as learning how to cope with feelings of depression stemming from grief, young people can move on with their lives as well as become more resilient with time. For many young people like Alexa, the road to recovery is often rocky. Not only is there no magic cure but they are also often unwilling to enter into therapy due to the stigma that often surrounds depression and other mood disorders. When starting cognitive behavioral psychotherapy (CBT) or some other form of counseling, the therapist often needs to assess whether their young client is capable of forming a good therapeutic relationship. Whether due to problems with emotional maturity or because their depression is too severe, many young people may find themselves unable to handle being in therapy.

They may also lack the confidence to open up about what they are feeling. This often leads to them either skipping treatment sessions, being disruptive during the therapy sessions, or simply refusing to interact at all. If the sessions continue to be unproductive, the therapist will need to see whether antidepressant medication can help and also work with parents and other professionals involved to come up with new treatment goals. It may also be necessary to stop the treatment entirely until the client becomes more receptive. Fortunately in Alexa's case, her medication, as well as the emotional support she was receiving from her mother, helped make her more receptive to the individual counseling, and later the group treatment. Also, through regular review sessions with her therapist, she was able to understand the different ways that she was undermining her own recovery. As her therapeutic journey continued, she learned to become a full partner in the treatment process and learned how to cope with her symptoms. This, in turn, helped her to understand that she wasn't as helpless as she believed and could take control of her life. Know that your thoughts are powerful. Frequently, because of our daily hectic schedules, it is easy to forget about the importance of creating the "me time" that is essential for mental clarity. Plan your me time. Try aiming for at least an hour per day. You can take your time at once or divide that hour into small intervals that work best for you. I enjoy the mornings, which seem always to provide me peace and tranquility. Make peace of mind your top priority, and find a quiet place just for you. It could be in your home, library, or anywhere that provides solitude and relaxation. Once you find that place, start focusing on your inner thoughts by going deep beneath the surface of what's happening around you. Give yourself permission to think about nothing except things that relax your mind, body, and soul. You can learn and master this technique through mindful meditation. Once I have had my me time for the day, I can focus, organize, and be more productive.