When depression hit, you most likely withdrew from the people and activities that you use to enjoy you.  You may have felt so alone with your problems and exhausted by depression that you avoided even answering the phone or having contact with family members and friends.

As you isolate yourself, depression may deepen because there is no balancing positive energy or encouragement in your world.  Negative thoughts of hopelessness and despair reinforce each other and prevent you from taking the actions that can break the downward spiral of depression.

The solution for this situation is creating your own its support system.  A support system is a useful tool that can help you get what you really need.

Support systems made up of people who are close to you can give you an opportunity to express your feelings and concerns, instead of bottling them up.  Creating your own support systems requires you to be willing to ask for help and to commit to stay in relationships through bad as well as good times.

Support may come in many forms.  While individual and/or group therapy sessions help a lot, many people need an expanded support network made up of close family, friends, coworkers and clergy to be in full recovery.  These supports can help you stay in connection, deepen relationships, remind you that you’re not alone, and keep you grounded in reality.

To create an effective support system, all you need to do it is answer the who, when, where and what:

Who: the best candidates for membership in your support system are the people who love and care about you.  Do not miss the opportunity of letting spouse, parents, brothers, sisters, coworkers, etc..

When: support is not a one-time event.  It is especially important when you are depressed and and it is hard to remember anything that has been good or worthwhile in your life.  Ask your support system to stay in connection with your daily, even when you are unable to give anything back.

Where: if you are open to recovery, support can be available almost anywhere—at home in quiet moments with a loved one, on the job with coworkers over coffee, with a body at the gym during a good workout, or through phone, mail, or E-mail.

What: connection and relationship is what it’s all about.  Having someone who is nonjudgmental to talk with on a regular basis is the essential element of support.

Now that you know the fundamentals of creating a support you need, the only thing left to do is to make it happen.  Grab a phone, send an e-mail message, write a letter, or just say to someone “could we talk for a few minutes?”