People find it so easy to judge depression. Oh, just cheer up. Get over it… You can’t always be so negative in life. That’s just some of the things we hear on a daily basis. What they don’t realize is that we can’t exactly just turn it off.
Sometimes it’s minor, sometimes I feel as chirpy as the birds outside. But when it hits, it is relentless, and leaves me cowering in bed, wondering why I am here… I am sure if you are going through the same thing, you know what I am talking about.
“Dealing with depression” is far easier than said. But, after years of trying to get my head above water, I actually managed to find a few things that help. They don’t take away the thoughts or the memories. However, they do help me keep my head above the water.
Try To Keep Calm
I don’t know if it’s the same for everyone else, but when I had my episodes, I had warning bells of what was coming. It would all start with waking up more tired than usual. Laying in bed, wishing I didn’t have to get up for the day…
That first tinge of sadness, that was my red flag. And every time, I would want to curl up in a ball and cry. I knew what was coming.
When you feel that panicked feeling in your chest, constricting your breath, and leaving you worried about what comes next – you need to take a deep breath, and then 10 more. What helped me keep calm was repeating my motto:
“You have gone through this, you are strong, and you can face whatever is coming. Learn from this experience and keep moving”…
Ironically, that’s also my first tattoo “keep moving”. Just another symbolization of the struggle I have gone through.
Depression Is An Illness – You Really Don’t Have To Be Embarrassed
For years, I was embarrassed to admit I was depressed. Even to myself. Sure, I was feeling glum, I was thinking about things I am not proud of to this day, but everyone feels like this, right? Is it just me that doesn’t get life?
These are some of the things that went through my mind.
But, eventually, my parents convinced me to give a therapist a try. And, that probably saved my life. Thanks to her, I came to admit that I was depressed, and it was an illness. Not something to shrug off due to embarrassment.
The point of this part is you need to accept that you are depressed, and be willing to ask for help. Just like you would ask for meds when you are sick with the flu or have a stomach bug.
Shifting your mindset, as I did – will help you accept treatment more readily. From therapy to medication. Which, in turn, will help you notice warning signs that it’s flaring up again. Giving you the opportunity to seek help before the worst can happen.
What I started doing recently in fact, is trying to pinpoint what was causing my alarm bells to trigger. Why was I getting the thought of “No one understands, no matter how hard I try…” You know where those thoughts end…
But what made me think that? I found that by figuring out the answer to that critical question, I managed to figure out my triggers and deal with them as time passed.
Sometimes You Really Do Need To Escape – But With Loved Ones
When I was going through a severe episode, I just wanted to get away. Escape life and never be found again. Which is exactly what I did (at least for a short while.) I was around 21-years old, after a seriously bad episode I decided enough was enough.
I packed my bags, booked a ticket out and left…
It took me over a year to head back home.
All by myself, the only difference is I made sure to vlog every single day so those close to me knew that I was alright. Until this day, I will never forget how good it felt to be able to escape without using self-harm as my instrument. You don’t have to book into a resort as I did or travel as long as I did. A simple weekend away with a friend can do just as well.
Your Friends Are Really Going To Influence Your Depression
It’s really crazy what a difference the people in your life make. I remember back just after I graduated, I started dating a girl who suffered depression, just like me. We thought we could help each other cope.
Unfortunately, the exact opposite happened. We both got worse. Neither could provide the strength the other needed, and the anxiety just climbed higher and higher.
A few years later, my current girlfriend is there daily to help me stay strong. Keep me moving forward, and make sure I have the will to get through each day one step at a time. The important tip here is to make sure you surround yourself with patient people ready to help you out of a slum. People who care, and really do want to help. I promise they are out there.