OK. I should probably add a lot of qualifiers here like: I'm Not a Doctor These Suggestions are Not A Replacement for Medications Consult a Doctor Again, I'm not a doctor
I just want to help. After years of improv teaching and coaching I've noticed a number of improvisers, comedians, and actors deal with depression. That's just my observation.
I've dealt with depression for a long time. It's this little quiet beast that sneaks up on you and drags you down. It used to strike a lot. In fact, it seemed to follow me around 24/7. Then, maybe a few weeks at a time. Then, a week. Now, it might take me down for a few days.
More then being a better improviser, I want you to be happy.
I've had lots of doctors, lots of meds, and lots of suggestions on treatments. Here are the things I've found helpful, that you could use today. I'd love your feedback. If you've dealt with depression and found solutions please let the readers know. Leave a comment. Thank you!
1. Listen to classical music.
Honestly, I forget why this works. I believe it has to do with the chords of classical music being more complex then today's pop hits, and gives the brain something to "work on." I've also heard music has been reported to raise the dopamine levels in the brain, and depression is associated with low levels on dopamine. Whatever the reason it's been an effective antidepressant for me. I try and listen for 30 minutes a day. Easy way to find classical music? Try Pandora or Spotyify. You can listen while at the office. Punch depression in the face! Thanks Mozart!
You may not know this, but I'm not a doctor. This treatment might sound a little new age-y alternative medicine mumbo jumbo. I agree. When I heard about hydrotherapy I rolled my eyes (but made sure my therapist wasn't looking). Water? Helping depression? I had my doubts. But, I was desperate and gave it a shot. I'm glad I was desperate, because, I'll be damned, but It works. This mumbo jumbo is helpful. You can find a very lengthy article about hydrotherapy on Wikipedia. Or, just use this quick reference guide.
Step 1 Get into the shower. The water needs to be striking your forehead during hydrotherapy Step 2: Turn the water as hot as you can tolerate. Stand under the water for 5 minutes Step 3: Turn the water as cold as you can tolerate. Stand under the water for 1 minutes Step 4: Turn the water as hot as you can tolerate. Stand under the water for 3 minutes Step 5: Turn the water as cold as you can tolerate. Stand under the water for 1 minutes Step 6: Turn the water as hot as you can tolerate. Stand under the water for 3 minutes Step 7: Turn the water as cold as you can tolerate. Stand under the water for 1 minutes Step 8: Turn off the water.
Voila! Enjoy. Your brain isn't quite fried, but it's definitely not calm. It's in this beautiful in between space. Hard to describe, but wonderful spot to be in.
3. Sunlight You need 30 minutes of sunlight a day. And, make sure that sunlight hits your eyeballs before noon. If you have a hard time getting 30 minutes of natural sunlight, try the Philips GoLITE BLU Energy Light. It's a little pricey, but for me, it's worth the price of admission.
I hope you find this helpful!