Overcoming depression starts with saying yes. Yes represents a shift from the negative stuck place of depression to a hopeful attitude.  Even if you have to pretend yes, your willingness to pretend represents a positive step in your recovery.  You are on your road to recovery when you can recognize the possibility of getting better: “yes, I can feel better.”

Next comes a commitment and decision to take responsibility for your future: “yes, I will do what it takes to recover.”  Finally, after accepting the possibility of recovery, comes the importance of taking actions that lead to recovery: “yes, I am doing what it takes to recover.”

Some of the changes in attitude and behavior that lead to recovery:

Recognize that depression is a medical illness, like heart disease or diabetes.

Start moving.  Do some exercise every day.  Exercise causes biochemical and physiological changes that can help you feel better.  (Walking up and down one flight of stairs or walking around your home is a good start.)

Socialize.  Although you may want to isolate yourself, being around other people and/or talking with people helps you break out of the depression rut.  Have a relative or friend call you at least once a week and tell you about what is happening in their world.  As you get better, you’ll find that you can do more than listen.

Do something.  Imagine something you enjoyed doing and, even if you don’t feel like doing it now, do it anyway.

Say yes at least once a day to suggestions from friends or family about doing things–for example, errands to the grocery store, fixing something around the house, etc.

Yes is the first step in taking a more positive and active approach to depression.  It may not be easy to break depression’s negative cycle of thinking, but with determination to recover, you can find ways to feel better and happier.  “Fake it until you make it” works when you are actively involved in a recovery program.