Fighting Depression

Does anyone have any advice for pushing through with finishing projects while dealing with major depression?
I’ve had a half finished quilt for while now and can’t find the energy to go in.
There’s a ton of things I want to accomplish, but this depression is kicking my butt. (Yes, I have a therapist and meds. I’m functioning well enough to get my essential tasks done; just not well enough for extraneous things)


I hear you. It can be down right fustrating. Sometimes I push through and sometimes I let it take over and just rest. There’s no right or easy answer. Just try not to beat yourself up and I know that’s easier said than done

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First off. Just SHAKE IT OFF MAN! Just smile and you’ll feel better!

Depression and introvert here. I hate when people say that crap to me.

I have a project currently that I’m not working on because of this. Actually a few.

Often I like to do a smaller project I can accomplish in a few hours. Solder kits work well for this in electronics. In leatherwork I may do a glasses case or something small. Try not to make it difficult. It won’t bring you out of the funk but it will help bolster you make energy to take the next step.

Another thing I do is break the task up into smaller goals. Instead of "finishing that woodcarving " I “am going to work on the forehead.” That’s a smaller task with an indefinite goal. I can work on it a little or a lot depending on how I feel.

Don’t be afraid to step away for awhile. There isn’t anything wrong with you and you may just not need to people for awhile. Managing a small social budget properly helps my depression.


The big one, redefine failure. Just because A project goes south, doesn’t mean you suck at something. It means that project didn’t work. Evaluate the situation, find the root cause, implement a new procedure to avoid that issue, and try again. Military will say “adjust fire and drive on” I get super down on myself for mistakes. Right now I have a leather peice in chrome tan that the edges aren’t right and the hole pattern doesn’t line up, I had a button short on a IR remote circuit for some reason, and my roblox trees keep falling over. Cup of tea, deep breath, watch a mymechanics on YouTube, and try again.

Routine helps me a lot when I can get it. I do this at this time, I do that at that time.

Hope something in here helps.


I find that if I can just get that first 30 minutes in on my project, I have the motivation to work on it. Getting started (or re-started after a break) is the hardest part.


Think about things that make you feel better… for me going to the movies always makes me feel better… but you do you.

The others are right as well.

  • Get started. Sometimes just doing a thing will make you more motivated.
  • If you just can’t drag up the motivation for a big project, start a small one…just doing may make you motivated.
  • If you just can’t, don’t beat yourself up. Rest. And wait until it you see a chink in the enemy’s armor and then - attack.
  • Humor might help
  • A change of scenery might help
  • Hanging out with other people might help
  • Exercise might help.
  • A bubble bath or shower might help
    Think about what has lifted your spirits in the past. Experiment and see what makes it better, then you will have more information on the enemy for later :wink:

I have always struggled with depression, my way of working through it is lists. I make lists of things I need to accomplish, taken in small steps. I never make a job bigger than a couple of hours, plus I give myself regular breaks and rewards for getting to a set point in my task. It’s important to realise you won’t always get all the way through a task or list and be at ease with continuing on another day.
Take pride in every small thing you accomplish because those are big steps in the world of depression.
Also building a regular routine is very helpful, you can get a lot done on autopilot.
I hope this helps.


This helps me.

I watch this speech from time to time it helps me.
It was a commencement speech at the University of Texas by Admiral William McRaven

So inspiring, so true.

There are also a ton of motivational videos online like on Ted talk.

In closing I had a boss who use to say I use to complain about how I couldn’t afford a decent pair of shoes till I meet a man who did not have any feet.

I hope this helps I use to drive tractor trailers they are not the easiest thing to back up when your a new driver.
One day I was delivering a load to a customer using my GPS and the road turned to gravel.
I thought well surely the customer is just up ahead! Then the road started to narrow and the shoulder started to look shaky.
I was in trouble. Then as I kept trying to get to my customer the road turns into a T.
I turned into a residential driveway but the ground was too soft to back my trailer up I almost laid my trailer over trying. When the owner came out laughing a bit I explained my situation and he Sympathize with me. He told me he was also a truck driver and that his property if I kept going would loop around and come back out. This was the help I needed.
The moral to this story is don’t wait till you’re down a gravel road with no chance of turning around or backing out before you get help. but if you do find yourself there there is people out there that can help turn things around.
Be sure to reach out to them before you spill your trailer!
Good luck fellow maker!


I can give no greater advice than you have already read above. When I am down, and it happens to ALL OF US, my kids are my silver bullet… I go play with them and they always cheer me up. David is right on just forcing yourself to get started and holding yourself accountable to do X amount of time and it does get you in the groove and moving on a big project. I’ll work weeks and feel I have made little to no progress on some of my huge jobs and take a step back and pity myself. When I am done indulging in self-punishing, I set a goal of X amount of time and just go do… I am sorry you are in a tough spot, if you ever need a friend or a welder, I am never too busy for a friend. You will find most of us makers are just like you, some of us are better at hiding our pain, some of us are not, but we all have it to some degree…

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I can’t really speak to the depression. I didn’t really know what anxiety was until a few years ago and before i experienced it myself I really didn’t know what it meant.

But I can tell you how I work through the resistance (in art, painting and sculpting at least). It might translate.

I take a few steps back. I don’t step away, instead I almost regress into messy sort of carelessness. For me it feels like writers block when I just stare at a blank canvas and nothing comes out or I just don’t want to start. Or if i sort of dread some aspect of it. Like if I don’t want to detail anything. Or my sketches are just terrible. Or whatever.

When I say i step back I don’t step away. I limit myself to 1 brush. I can’t detail if I’m using a large brush. So I just do my best. Or if sculpting I don’t smooth anything at all. I can’t expect myself to create a perfect sculpt if I don’t smooth or texture it. Or I set a time limit on a pencil drawing. I think most of my resistance comes from perfecting everything. So I switch to a limited medium that I couldn’t possibly create something perfect with. Sort of like… with all the tools and tech today there is no reason not to get it perfect, but sometimes I just want finger paint and to not care and I’ll probably never show anyone those but there are lots in a landfill somewhere.

I sometimes wonder if I’m too hard on myself. You might be that way too?

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When I took a course in college called Blueprint for success there was a section on list they called it Tomorrow List.

The name says most the concept was before you go to bed make 3 things you plan to do tomorrow. Wake up try your best to complete these 3 items
Statistically people complete task best when they first wake up.

Give it a shot I find myself using Tomorrow List all the time.

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I haven’t tried it myself, but I’ve read that an annual ayahuasca retreat completely eliminates clinical depression.

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Major introvert here as well. I’m so sorry to hear that you are struggling. I struggle too - thankfully, for many years it has been much better. I have found that learning to be in my body has helped me. Sounds weird, right? I mean, try yoga. Try exercise you find fun (hard for me to find but I love to swim). EMDR therapy (a/k/a brainspotting) has helped. Connect with your body. Learn to be in the moment as much as possible.

I hope you find your happiness.


This video is my go to…I don’t get depressed often, but when I do this helps tremendously.


Sorry to hear you’re dealing with a bout of depression. I have it too, At times even simple things are a huge chore. I’ve been going through a bout myself. I have stuff in the Ceramics Department that need done, but for some reason I have not been able to get into it. The heat has a lot to do with it too. I do little things to help bring me out of it or I put Obstacles in my way that force me to do stuff so I have a routine, otherwise I could hermit for days even weeks. PLEASE feel better. You will be in my happy thoughts. I CARE ABOUT YOU.


I also am driving a truck and needed to read this thanks