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Social Support and Depression: Therapeutic Lifestyle Change

Posted Apr 28 2011 5:00am


Social Support and Depression: Therapeutic Lifestyle Change

by: Phil Holleman


Step four in the Therapeutic Lifestyle Change is social support. This is my most favorite thing to talk about because it was one of the worst things in my life.

According to Dr. Stephen S. Ilardi, PhD. in his book The Depression Cure: The 6-Step Program to Beat Depression without Drugs :

The research on this issue is clear: When it comes to depression, relationships matter. People who lack a supportive social network face an increased risk of becoming depressed, and of remaining depressed once an episode strikes. Fortunately, we can do a great deal to improve the quality and depth of our connections with other and this can have a huge payoff in terms of fighting depression and reducing the risk of recurrence.

On the flip side, an unsupportive social network can be very damaging. What do I mean by this? Let's explore.


One of the factors that contributed to my depression was co-dependence . Somewhere along my way, I got the idea that I wasn't capable of making good choices. It was probably because my father was always telling me what I should do, so I became afraid and unwilling to express my own ideas and thoughts.


This relationship created a lot of stress in my life. I was afraid to make any kind of choices without checking with my father. When I did make my own choice, I was constantly second-guessing myself. That led to dwelling on things, which created a vicious circle. It was just easier to let someone make my choices for me.


It's funny, although I let my father make so many choices for me, I really didn't like him telling me what to do. That doesn't make a whole lot of sense, does it. I'm afraid to make my own choices, but I don't like it when I let someone else do it for me. Whoa, dude! Was that kind of like insanity? I kept doing the same thing over and over, but I somehow expected happier results.

I had a revelation a while back and things have changed. The revelation was, "Take everything with a grain of salt." Many people are going to tell me what to do, but I have learned that I can make a choice. It may not always be the best choice. It will be my choice.


There's a second part to the revelation. After I realized I could make my own choices, I learned that I can accept the outcomes of my choices. Paraphrasing something I learned from Dani Johnson :


It's not the things that happen to us in life that matter, it's how we react to them that's important.

It's important that we have good social support. It's vitally important the social support be healthy. My relationship with my father wasn't healthy. I didn't know where to draw the line. Drawing the line in relationships is critical. Otherwise, it becomes easy to get sucked in and not realize or forget what's important to us.

The FREE special report I wrote

7 Mistakes You Make When You Suffer From Depression

discusses the value of support and the dangers of toxic relationships. Don't waste time in relationships that aren't healthy. Get the report NOW!


Yours in good health,


Phil Holleman spent 10 years struggling with major depression.  After realizing he had the knowledge and strength to rise above the illness and stigma associated with it, he created to help others who are recovering or desperately want to recover from depression. He hopes you will join him on the journey and use your inner strength to free yourself from the bondage.

Get your free Depression Relief Protocol . Rid yourself from feeling hopeless, sad, and unworthy now. Get this Protocol now!

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