Depression Relapse Triggers: Quick and Simple Ways to Cope

August 22, 2019 Jennifer Smith

Depression relapse triggers come at unexpected times. We need to have quick and simple methods prepared in order to cope with these triggers in a healthy way. When I find myself suddenly faced with a depression relapse trigger, I use the following methods to help me cope.

Methods to Cope with Depression Relapse Triggers

Many times I'll be doing pretty well in my depression recovery, but then a depression relapse trigger comes along. When that happens, I can find myself dealing with a mental health setback. In order to lessen the likelihood of a small setback turning into a complete depression relapse, I do one or more of the quick and simple methods listed below. I find them effective in helping me cope with depression relapse triggers that arise.

  1. Walk away. If you're able to do so, simply walk away from the situation or conversation. Just get out of there. Sometimes that's all we're ready to do, and that's fine. 
  2. Practice calm breathing. Learn how at "Breathing Techniques to Calm Anxiety and Panic." Find out how to do it now and you'll be prepared when you need it. You can also download apps for your phone for help with calming and meditation.
  3. Use a grounding technique. The grounding technique I most frequently use to cope with depression relapse triggers is connected to my senses. I focus on the following: five things I can see, four things I can feel, three things I can hear, two things I can smell, and one thing I can taste. For the one thing I can taste, I keep mints in my purse; for the things to smell, I carry essential oils.
  4. Have a focus word or affirmation. Choose a word or affirmation that speaks to you and will encourage you and strengthen you when you are faced with a sudden or unexpected depression relapse trigger. Then just keep repeating it as long as necessary.

We cannot always predict when a depression relapse trigger will arise; however, we can be prepared when one does by having some quick and simple methods in place.

APA Reference
Smith, J. (2019, August 22). Depression Relapse Triggers: Quick and Simple Ways to Cope, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, September 22 from

Author: Jennifer Smith

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Lizanne Corbit
August, 26 2019 at 10:16 pm
I love that your methods are simple and to the point. This makes them realistic and easy for people to apply, which is important particularly when we're dealing with triggers and maybe have a shorter than normal time window to work with in terms of acknowledging the feeling and taking behavior to address it. I think having a go-to affirmation or word is such a special little tip to hold onto. It's something personal and empowering and the more you use it the more you feel connected to it and know you can rely on it. Great read.

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