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Depressed? What Do You Do Now?

Things to Do After You Begin Feeling Better

  1. Educate yourself about depression so that if you ever get depressed again, you and your supporters will know exactly what to do.
  2. Become an effective advocate for yourself—figure out what you need and want for yourself, and then work toward it until you get it.
  3. Develop and keep a strong support system of at least five supporters, people you feel comfortable with, trust and enjoy. If you don’t have five supporters, make some new friends by joining a support group, attending community events, or taking an interesting course.
  4. Write a plan to keep yourself well. Include lists of:
    • things you need to do every day to keep yourself well, like getting a half hour of exercise and eating three healthy meals
    • things that may not need to be done every day, but if you miss them they will cause stress in your life, like buying groceries, paying bills or cleaning your home
    • events or situations that, if they come up, may make you feel worse, like a disagreement with a family member or loss of your job, and an action plan to follow if these events occur
    • early warning signs that you are starting to get depressed again, like feeling tired, sleeping too much, overeating, and dropping things, and an action plan to follow if they come up
    • signs that things are getting much worse, you really are depressed, like you can’t get out of bed in the morning and you feel negative about everything, and an action plan to follow if this happens

Ask your health care providers, family members and friends for help in developing these plans.

This article also appears on Mary Ellen Copeland’s website and is reprinted here with her permission.

Mary Ellen Copeland, Ph.D. is an author, educator and mental health recovery advocate, as well as the developer of WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan). To learn more about her books, such as the popular The Depression Workbook and Wellness Recovery Action Plan, her other writings, and WRAP, please visit her website, Mental Health Recovery and WRAP. Reprinted here with permission.

Depressed? What Do You Do Now?

Mary Ellen Copeland, Ph.D.

APA Reference
Copeland, M. (2020). Depressed? What Do You Do Now?. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 22, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 14 Jan 2020 (Originally: 17 May 2016)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 14 Jan 2020
Published on Psych All rights reserved.