Life with depression can be exhausting. It's so much more than just being sad sometimes - and living with clinical depression means knowing that the dark and heavy "episodes" are always at risk of coming back.

For those people, knowing how to navigate through and potentially out of those episodes becomes a vital life skill.

One Reddit user asked:

What pulled you out of a depression?

So let's take a look at what works for some people.

A Change In Scenery

happy unbreakable kimmy schmidt GIF Giphy

I moved to the other side of the world and got rid of someone out of my life that caused it. Travelling helps for me.

- EvoDevs

I ended up in a pretty bad place a few years ago. Told my work and family that I needed a break and moved to NYC for three months. Fortunately everyone was very understanding and I think the change may have saved my life.

Definitely feel this. Changing you place, routine and situation all at once can remind you that life can be new and interesting. Also, trying to survive in a new, strange place helps put things in perspective.

- shoalmuse



Turns out that all the positive thinking and therapy in the world isn't worth a damn if your brain is legit dysfunctional... but managing the root of the dysfunction works gems.

All of the other answers when I posted this were along the lines of "I just thought happy thoughts and all the bad went away!", and generally pooh-poohing chemical treatments, and this was a response to those. You should always take a look at other solutions before taking the medication route, as there are risks involved in taking such medications.

But when it's what works for you, there is no shame in using medication to manage your depression.

- Chordus

A Furry Little Reason

A long time ago, I was unemployed in a foreign country. There was a bad recession and a lot of nepotism, I couldn't get the most basic of jobs that I was well qualified for (I was fully eligible to work there). I know what you're thinking and I thought it too - after a while, if NOBODY will hire you, surely, THEY aren't the problem, it's you, you're the worthless one? It got pretty bad. Ok it got really bad. My whole sense of self was shot.

So anyway I was pretty depressed. I tried medication but it didn't help, I guess because I was depressed about the situation and that didn't change.

Then, one day, we were visiting friends of ours in a smaller city, and they mentioned that friends of theirs had found a puppy. A Labrador puppy. Did we know anyone who would like a Labrador puppy?

I had Labradors the whole time I was growing up. I looked at my husband and said "I need the Labrador puppy"

He wasn't keen at first. I wore him down. We were in town for a soccer game, and I wouldn't shut up about going to see the puppy throughout the whole game. He agreed to go see it just to get me to let him enjoy the game. By then I knew I'd won, because he has a soft heart and the minute he saw the puppy he'd agree we were going to take it.

I was right. Also the puppy was even cuter than I thought - I'd assumed it'd be a black lab mixed mutt, and probably female. The puppy turned out to be a beautiful male yellow Lab (males tend to be a little more predictable in terms of personality, in my experience)

So we got a puppy. And first order of business was training it. And as he got older I needed to give him so much exercise! Every day we had to go to the ocean to play fetch or he'd drive me insane! I kind of knew I needed some external force to give me a reason to get up in the morning, but it worked so well.

The puppy is 11.5 years old, now. He's always been there for me, for us. When we had our daughter he was glued to me as moral support through every night feed. He's amazingly perceptive. When I'm feeling a bit down he totally knows. He's been glued to me again since I lost my job. He's a good dog, and although we gave him as good a home as we could, I think he gave us so much more.

- JoanOfArctic

Weeding Out The Problem

A solid friend group, is what kicked me out of my depression within about 6 months. It's been 7 years since I was depressed and I don't smoke anymore. but I can safely say I'm alive and happy today because of marijuana.

- empleezu

The College Crash

Leaving college. Honestly f*ck my college. They couldn't care less about your mental health.

- devilangel9

My "prestigious" university was know for being a rat-race hellhole. They had one therapist that always said he couldn't help anyone and referred people to a psychiatrist or private therapist. Lol.

Anyway I'm finishing this month and I can already feel the depression leaving me.

- haptoh

Work It Out

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Exercise. Any form. Whatever works for you. Even just walking. Its basically a cheat code for the brain.

- torustime

I only learned this recently.

I've had depression since I was in my early teens due to a medical diagnosis that forced my parents remove physical activity from my life. I lived a very sedimentary and depressing life for 10+ years. Depression made me think that this was normal and I never bothered trying to fully fix it. Sure, I'd throw medication at it. Did some therapy and saw a psychiatrist. But none of it ever seemed to stick so like someone with depression normally does, I accepted that life was not truly worth living.

About two months ago, I made a conscience decision to change my living standards. Started off with a walk down the street, moved onto walking around the whole neighborhood, to walking 5 miles, and now I'm running, biking, and kayaking. The change in how I feel is absolutely a breath of fresh air.

Since that original medical diagnosis, I never wanted to wake up in the mornings. It just wasn't worth it. Now, I'm waking up, excited for my day, and the thought of wanting to die is a thing of the past. I'm working normal hours, my anxiety has lessened, socializing is easier, and I'm just overall HAPPY. Exercise is a priority now.

Bonus to all of this - depression made me miss out on so many fun things in life so now, in my late twenties, I'm experiencing so much new stuff!

- pls-choke-me

More Controlled, Less Reactionary


Mine stemmed more from an obsession; but as I had stuff to do and went through different interests, it just got buried under it all.

Moreover, time made sure I got desensitized to the shock of it, so when it creeps up in my mind from time to time I'm able to think about it in a more controlled and less reactionary way.

- KentuckyFriedChildre


I was depressed for around a decade. I just lived with it with patience and acceptance. With more life experience it gradually dissipated. Not to say I didn't try lots of things, but it was really about having a different mindset that vanquished it.

I think growing older with more confidence I cared less about how others perceived me and changed how I perceived myself. I used to hold other people's opinions as higher than my own (depending on the person). It's hard to know that at the time but looking back it seems obvious.

- strict_cup_8379

A Depressant Doesn't Help Depression

The big one barely mentioned here so far is to stop drinking alcohol, or at least drink a lot less of it. It's not even the depression while you're drunk that's the problem. It's that you remain more depressed long afterwards when you're sober, leading you to want to drink again. Medication and exercise help too, of course.

- Zolo49

Run Physically Or You'll End Up Running Mentally

Running is the only thing that gets me out of my negative headspace. Chills my anxiety and bad thoughts that lead me to hopelessness.

Currently paying the price right now for neglecting running as of late cause I'm so busy. I'm laying in bed filled with stress cause I can't sleep due to shit I need to do this week.

- emeryz

I also used to walk a lot during spring & summer, and it made me feel a little better indeed. But summer is over now, and the weather is already bad in my country (NL.) Plus now it gets dark early outside, so I lost the motivation to walk over the past few weeks - and I got the same issue as you that it keeps me up at night for houurrrsss + anxious when I don't move..

- Izzy9595


Micro dosing mushrooms....nature's anti depressants. I take a tiny bit of psylocibin every few days. I don't hallucinate or get high from them as they are such a small dose. Just start feeling more connected, less stressed and more creative.

It took a couple/few weeks to kick in. I just started noticing things were not bothering me as much. I just felt more connected to people and nature around me ....also so grateful to be alive and witnessing everything; staying present.

I feel much better ...have been doing this for approx 5 months.

- tess2020x

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