In addition to psychotherapy and medication, the following are some simple things which will help speed your recovery from depression. The more of them that you can make yourself to do, the faster you are likely to feel better. Do not remain in bed or sleep for more than 8-hours a day. Oversleeping has been shown to increase depressed feelings. Get outside for at least ½-hour between 11 AM and 2 PM. Bright light has been shown to have an antidepressant effect. Getting out of doors even on a moderately overcast day gives you the light you require. Walk briskly, or get some other exercise, for at least 30-minutes every day. Taking a walk out of doors between 11 AM and 2 PM takes care of both your need for bright light and your need for exercise. Totally abstain from the use of alcohol and recreational drugs. Alcohol and street drugs have the ability to prevent antidepressants from working effectively. If you must drink, limit your intake of alcohol to not more than three units of alcohol PER WEEK. (A unit of alcohol is a 12 oz. bottle of beer, a 4-oz. glass of wine, or a 1-1/2 oz. shot of whisky.) Totally avoid the use of street drugs. Increase the amount of Omega-3 fatty acids in your diet. There is highly suggestive evidence that increasing one's intake of EPA, one of the Omega-3 fatty acids, helps recovery from depression. This can be done most easily by taking a supplement that contains 600 mg or 1,000 mg of EPA in each capsule. The total daily intake of EPA should be about 5,000 mg and it should be divided into three or four doses each day. Capsules containing EPA can be purchased in any 'health food' store. Avoid the use of products that contain aspartame (Equal® or NutraSweet®). It has been shown that many people with depression become more depressed when they use these products.
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