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Self-Management for Depression and Anxiety



Living with depression and anxiety can be very difficult but it isn’t like you can’t do anything. Self-management is a process of active engagement of a person in following the recommendations and acts in accordance with the treatment plan for anxiety proposed by a health professional. However, in order to make the self-management process successful, the person must have access to appropriate information in this regard.

If you are one of those millions of people affected by depression and anxiety, you can indulge in self-management and take yourself out of this. Doing self-management for depression and anxiety will help you manage a lot of symptoms such as tiredness, mood swings, and appetite changes. In this post we will give you an idea of how self-management for depression and anxiety works.

What is self-management?

Before digging into the self-management strategies for dealing with depression and anxiety, you must first understand what self-management is. Self-management is the usage of self-regulatory skills such as decision making, self-monitoring, planning, self-evaluation, and planning for a particular behavior. During this process, the patient must take care of themselves to keep the illness in control and should use proven methods that minimize the health condition.

In the self-management process, the patient is given a central role so that he/she develops a sense of responsibility for treating a health condition. The patients and the providers work together using a collaborative approach and they set priorities, create treatment plans, and establish goals to solve the problem.


According to research [1] done in 2018, self-management strategies are quite helpful in managing depression as found out by the experience of the patients. Another study [2] on self-management of longer-term depression was done and it was deduced that there is a need for a partnership approach that increases the patient’s involvement and promotes an environment of motivation and hope.

What are the self-management strategies for dealing with depression and anxiety?

Being just depressed and having a depressive disorder are two different things; when you feel depressed, you just feel low for some days and then you’re able to cope up. However, when you have a depressive disorder it can affect you greatly and can cause long-term changes in your mood, behavior, and thinking. The following are some self-management strategies for dealing with depression:

Try Mindfulness

Mindfulness is a method that allows you to focus on the present moment. The National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) states that cognitive therapies with mindfulness are helpful in managing depression. There are various mindfulness-based therapies that have been developed especially to treat depression and anxiety. Mindfulness-based therapies are not a cure but they are very useful in alleviating stress and are considered as effective self-management strategies for dealing with depression.

Take care of your physical health

One of the effective strategies for dealing with depression and anxiety is taking care of your physical health. If you have a mental illness, involving in physical exercises and activities would be of great help. According to a study [3], physical activities and exercises have shown to reduce the symptoms of depression and anxiety and also improved the overall wellness and health condition of the individuals.


Get peer support

Peer support helps to bring individuals with similar experiences together. These individuals listen to each other and help in sharing ideas to cope with any type of illness. A study published in 2019 [4] stated that the role of peer support is very important and is widely used in various community health centers.

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1.              van Grieken RA, van Tricht MJ, Koeter MWJ, van den Brink W, Schene AH (2018) The use and helpfulness of self-management strategies for depression: The experiences of patients. PLoS ONE 13(10): e0206262.



2.              Chambers, E., Cook, S., Thake, A. et al. The self-management of longer-term depression: learning from the patient, a qualitative study. BMC Psychiatry 15, 172 (2015).


3.              Louise Pelletier (LP), Alain Demers (AD), and Shamila Shanmugasegaram (SS) conceptualized the study, AD analyzed the data, and LP and SS drafted the paper. All four authors contributed to the interpretation of the data and provided comments to the draft paper.



4.              Kathleen Louden, ELS, of Louden Health Communications performed a primary copy edit.



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