Managing Depression


This information sheet, developed by ASERT, provides some tips and suggestions for self-advocates to learn how to help manage symptoms of depression.

A person sitting against a wall with their head in their knees.Everyone feels sad or down from time to time, especially when something bad or unexpected happens. However, depression is a more serious condition where people experience a persistent, depressed mood or lose interest in daily activities.

The following list of suggestions are things that can help you manage your depression:

Be Active: Find exercises that are continuous and rhythmic like swimming, walking or dancing.

Do Things You Enjoy: Listen to music, watch TV, read, draw or play games.

Challenge Negative Thoughts: Try to find other ways of looking at a situation. It may not be as bad as you initially think.

Continue Everyday Tasks: Try to keep doing your regular daily activities like going to school/work, doing chores, and maintaining your hygiene.

Stay Connected: Surround yourself with friends and family to support you. Keep up with social activities, even if you don’t want to.

Seek Help: Talking to a therapist, physician or other mental health professional can help.

Spend Time In Sunlight: Get outside or increase sunlight in your home.

Eat Healthy: Don’t skip meals, avoid alcohol, cigarettes or drugs and minimize sugar.

Reduce Stress: Practice meditation or deep breathing as a way to help reduce stress.

Get The Right Sleep: Sleeping too little or too much can make depression worse, so aim to get 8 hours of sleep a night.

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This information was developed by the Autism Services, Education, Resources, and Training Collaborative (ASERT). For more information, please contact ASERT at 877-231-4244 or ASERT is funded by the Bureau of Supports for Autism and Special Populations, PA Department of Human Services.