It is estimated that more than 16.1 million American adults will be affected by depression in any given year, with the ability to negatively impact every area of their lives. The good news is that many of these symptoms can be adequately managed, improving their quality of life.

Living with depression is a very individual experience. For some, it can be completely debilitating. In these situations, it may have a highly negative influence on their careers, relationships, home life, and self-esteem. At it’s worst, it may even lead to suicide.

The road to recovery is a long and challenging one, full of highs and lows. While there is no secret to magically overcoming your struggles, no quick fix, there are strategies that can be used to help manage your emotions, re-center your thinking and minimize the impact that it has on your daily life. These techniques for coping will differ from person to person, dependant on your personality traits and the specific ways that depression manifests in your own life.

Here is the best way to combat depression, according to your zodiac sign:

Aries (Mar 21 – Apr 19)

The determination and fire that burn within you will help you to keep fighting, even when facing the darkest moments in life. For this reason, when depression takes a hold in your life, it is due to a disconnect between your mind and this willpower. It will happen most often when you find yourself backed into a corner in life, forced to slow down and exercise extreme caution just to survive. This isn’t your natural way of life, and it will throw everything off as you know it. The best way to push through these feelings? Do something exciting, pushing the boundaries and allowing you to feel adventurous and ‘alive’ once again.

Taurus (Apr 20 – May 20)

You work hard to build a solid and secure life, with few worries and concerns, protecting you from the struggles of the world around you. Much like the life that you have created, you too are solid and dependable. You are the rock in times of trouble, burying away any fears and emotions in favor of a reliable, strong persona. While this may ensure that you always appear okay to the world around you, within you may be struggling. You don’t have to tell the world about your pain, but you do need to focus on self-care. Allow time in your schedule for a relaxing bubble bath or your favorite meal.

Gemini (May 21 – Jun 20)

Depression, for a Gemini, is rarely about a specific set of emotions or feelings. You are adept at working through and moving past these minor difficulties, refusing to stay focused on any one emotion long enough for it to take root in your world. Instead, depression is often tied to boredom and monotony. It is at these moments that you suddenly can’t distract yourself, forced to ‘feel’ something long enough that you find yourself in pain. Your first instinct is to find a new distraction, running away from the truth – however, this is what got you here in the first place. Instead, allow yourself to sit with your emotions, experiencing them, working through them, and, eventually, releasing them from your life.

Cancer (Jun 21 – Jul 22)

When a Cancer is struggling with depression, you often find yourself feeling alone. Others don’t seem to understand, as they have a hard time seeing the difference between your normal over-emotional ways and the true disorder that is depression. For this reason, they believe that you’re just going to ‘snap out of it’ if they leave you long enough. Don’t allow this to isolate you, crawling into your shell and leaving the outside world behind. Instead, take the uncomfortable step to reach out and talk to someone, sharing exactly what you are going through. However, at the same time, challenge yourself to work through these emotions yourself. While there is nothing wrong with wanting support in life, you are stronger than you realize.

Leo (Jul 23 – Aug 22)

Depression, for a Leo, is incredibly difficult to recognize – both for the people around you as well as yourself. You are a master of hiding any negative or challenging feelings somewhere in the back recesses of your mind, acting like everything in life is great. In fact, you are so good at this that you may not even realize depression is lurking back there. The first key to coping with these difficulties is to accept that you are struggling and drop the mask that you work so hard to maintain in this life. Remember, mental illness does not mean that you are weak. In fact, the ability to recognize and face your struggles is a sign of true strength!

Virgo (Aug 23 – Sept 22)

The biggest struggle that you will face when it comes to dealing with depression in your own life is the stigma that you have allowed yourself to build up when it comes to mental illness. Determined to always be the best of the best in everything that you do, you simply refuse to believe that you could possibly give into something as negative and counterproductive as depression in your life. Instead, you see it as a struggle that others may face, but never you. The harsh truth is that no one is immune, and depression doesn’t wait to impact only the lives of those who aren’t working hard enough. Accepting that you are facing this challenge will allow you to refocus your energy towards efforts to manage it effectively.

Libra (Sept 23 – Oct 22)

Living your life focused on bringing peace and harmony to the world, often at the expense of your own personal happiness, it is no wonder that you will occasionally struggle. Not only will you find yourself struggling with the depression itself, but it won’t take long before you find yourself frustrated that you can’t ‘fix it’ like you fix the rest of the world. Remember that these are complex emotions, and there is no easy solution. Rather than trying to create complete balance in your life all in one step, break it down and tackle your emotions one baby step at a time. It’s important to recognize that every step forward, even if it’s just a baby step, is progress.

Scorpio (Oct 23 – Nov 21)

If your extreme intensity is going to guarantee one thing, it’s that depression in your life is going to be overwhelming. You are going to face emotions so strong that you question your ability to survive in those moments, overcome by the extreme darkness and negativity. While you may find yourself tempted to engage in some negative habits to numb your pain, such as drugs, alcohol, or sex, this isn’t going to bring you true comfort. Instead, you need to work on managing and controlling your emotions to prevent yourself from actually making the whole situation even worse. Try breathing exercises when you start to feel overwhelmed, taking control of your thoughts once again rather than allowing them to control you.

Sagittarius (Nov 22 – Dec 21)

Highly optimistic, you’re the one that usually pulls others free form their negativity and toxic energy, reminding them of all the great things that exist in this world. You are an optimist, refusing to allow yourself to be torn down. This is a great outlook on life, but you need to remember that depression is an incredibly powerful and complex mental illness. At the first signs of struggle, you will try to convince yourself to just ‘snap out of it’, but it’s really not that easy! It’s okay to feel down, and it’s okay to struggle – but you don’t have to camp out in this negative place. Instead, use your incredible positivity to help you focus on the good in the world while still permitting yourself to work through and genuinely ‘feel’ the negative emotions that you encounter along the way.

Capricorn (Dec 22 – Jan 19)

While many of the other signs live their life guided by their emotions, you refuse to be ruled by something as unpredictable as the heart. Instead, you rely on your intellect to guide you through this life. Here is where you are going to struggle most if you are battling depression – you need to get in touch with your heart and recognize that emotions are a very real, and very important side to our lives. You can’t just ‘think’ yourself better or logic your way out of this. No amount of strategic problem solving is going to spare you from ‘feeling’ when you are in a dark place. It’s going to be uncomfortable, so do it slowly, but allow yourself to step into this unfamiliar place within yourself and recognize its power. Don’t worry, not all emotions are bad!

Aquarius (Jan 20 – Feb 18)

You are a strong, independent individual with the self-confidence to take on the world on your own with a smile on your face and a fire in your eyes. While you are less likely to suffer from depression than many of the other signs, that doesn’t mean that you are immune. On the contrary, there is one specific struggle that leaves you the most vulnerable to this type of mental illness – the connection that you have with others and the fear of being misunderstood. Not only does this open the door to negativity and self-doubt in your life, it also works to isolate you, denying yourself the support and love of the people in your life when you need it most. This may be hard, but open up and trust even one person, letting them in and sharing your vulnerable side. You will be surprised how big of a difference that one small step can make.

Pisces (Feb 19 – Mar 20)

When faced with the hard reality of depression you are going to have to fight against your natural instinct to run and hide from the world. Escaping into your dreamland, your head in the clouds, may feel freeing at the moment, but it won’t be long until the weight of your depression will send you crashing back down to the earth below. Rather than running away, you need to stand up and face these challenges. Make yourself a priority, focusing specifically on your happiness and well-being. Do things that bring a smile to your face and reconnect with the things that you enjoy in this life. This will help you to stay grounded as you work through the negativity.

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