Everybody has those days where depression hits them and it seems like there is nothing they can do about it. I am not a doctor and I am not Dr. Phil. I’m just a plain writer who wishes to help and perhaps I can give some insight on overcoming depression since I used to go through it a lot when I was younger.
To be honest, giving up and escaping life was on my mind many times during my life. If anything, I would go through weeks, if not months not wanting to go out, not wanting to see people, avoiding my family, and spending most of my time in bed sulking about my problems. Here are some symptoms of depression.
- Losing a loved one
- Going through a breakup
- A loss of a job
- Being rejected by someone
- Seeing oneself as a failure
- Seeing oneself as incompetent
- Memories of physical abuse
- Often having constant feelings of anxiety
- Not feeling loved
- Sheltering away from other people
- Being screwed over by someone
- Dealing with someone who treats you unfairly
- Not getting something you have wanted for a long time
One thing I learned from depression was that relying or expecting others to help you is the wrong way to go about it. This is called getting sympathy and you should try your best to avoid this route even if it makes you feel better for a brief moment, because you’ll end up wanting more sympathy as a way of to cope depression, when in fact it’s only doing the opposite. It will worsen depression and put you in a vicious up-and-down cycle where your happiness no longer comes from yourself, but from other people.
And the worst part is that you can’t control the lives of other people; they can’t be in a helpful mood all the time. What happens if they happen to be in a bad mood or they feel that you are too troublesome? Then your only source of getting out of depression is gone. But there is one thing that you can control one hundred percent and that is yourself. Yourself is all you need.
What I mean by this is if you want support, you could always join a support group, but never expect sympathy from others. It’s okay to share experiences, to empathize with others, or to help others out. In fact, I wrote a post somewhere about how you may find happiness from helping others out. One must remember that depression is about the self and not anybody else, and it might be able to take worry of their mind by worrying about helping other people.
This is one way to find relief from depression and a sense of doing something to help and make others happy, despite being in a helpless and unhappy state. If one can achieve doing this, it is something that is definitely worth applauding for because it is not an easy task, but the benefits are that is subconsciously raises one’s confidence, self-esteem, and guides them towards positively again.
As said before, handling depression starts from yourself. Another thing that I do that always helps me is not taking anti-depressant pills or telling a friend that I’m depressed, but to go somewhere quiet where I’m by myself, at peace, and write down every single thing that’s bothering me in private notebook or journal.
Since I can’t always tell other people about personal problems that are too deep or things that they might not understand, I can at least tell my inner self these things. The only person that understands yourself best is you. It’s not your mom, it’s not your dad, it’s not your best friend; it’s you. And when you’re depressed there is a sense of uncertainty; things seem vague and obscure.
By taking sufficient amount of time (maybe even a couple hours) to write down all the problems you have and every pain that you feel, you will feel a sense of clarity again. You will come to a point where you know where you are at. When you know where you are at, when you know what it is that is bother you, and every single thing that is making you depressed, then you will be able to finally be able to look at your notebook and say that this is a problem that needs to be solved. You are no longer the problem itself because by doing this activity, you are finally confronting the truth.
- I can’t deal with losing someone that I have loved.
- I can’t deal with going through a painful breakup.
- I afraid this loss will mean I can’t find another job.
- I can’t the feeling of being rejected by someone.
- I don’t want to be a failure in life.
- I wish I could be competent like others.
- I hated that people who physically abused me.
- I feel like anxiety is taking over my life.
- I want to be loved.
- I’m scared of the world.
- I hate the person that keeps screwing me over.
- I hate the people who treat me unfairly.
- I feel like I will never have what I want.
Once you’ve gotten here, give yourself a pat on the back, because you’ve finally taken a step forward at what you’ve been wanting to say for a long time, whatever it happens to be, to come out. You have clarity now, and now the next step you need to do is accept the problem. If you can’t accept the problem, it will cause you depression for the rest of your life.
Depression, in its most basic sense, is having something that you do not want to have or wanting something that you do not have. It is an incongruency with each other that causes a negative feeling, and that feeling happens to be a feeling of sadness. The faster you can accept this problem, the easier you’ll be able to negate this incongruency, and move on to solving the problem; or alternatively, if you learn how to accept the problem for what it is, the problem will solve itself.
How to accept? First, you have to have faith in time. There is a famous French proverb that says, “Time will heal times wounds.” The worst thing you can do is cutting all chords and giving up on life. In the grand scheme of things, being able to live and just experience what life has to offer, however crazy or bad or just something so horrible that it’s beyond words, is worth living for.
Once you take the time required first to understand what is causing your depression and accepted it, then you’ll find it easier to do the final action, which is to take action. If you’re contemplating anything close to taking your life away, then the wisest thing to do is to talk to a doctor, talk to a psychiatrist, call a hotline, or join a support group.
Millions of people go through depression every year, and it can get pretty severe sometimes. If you think the worst depression there is that is worth taking your life away, there’s a good chance that out of the millions of people who get depression have a similar or worst experience than you.
Don’t try to compare who has the worst depression; that is just unhealthy. Think about the people who care about you before doing anything such as taking your life away. If anything, perhaps your depression can be cured by the natural, simple things that we take granted for in life. These things are not only healthy for the body, but keep the mind occupied. Below is an idea list of activities that you can do:
- Read an inspiring book
- Watch a movie that makes you laugh
- Jog around the park
- Riding a bike around the city
- Talk to a friend (preferably not about depression)
- Talk to a family member (ditto)
- Cook an enjoyable meal
- Describing, in massive detail, and object you see
- Painting something you think is beautiful
- Meditating, yoga, or tai-chi
- Taking a dance class
- Listening to upbeat music
- Learning to play an instrument
- Canoeing on a river
- Hiking on a nearby mountain (I find this really peaceful and relieving)
- Planning out a new, desirable goal
- Combining all these things together and doing them
- Finding out a to-do list that makes you happy
These are just some of the things that I came up with, but I’m sure if you managed to do all these things, you’ll come out new, enlightened and refreshed. Remember, depression isn’t something that is incurable even at its worst forms; it just takes time to cope with it. I hope this post helps you handle depression in a better way since I seriously think that it’s worth it to try and to give yourself another chance to live life at its fullest. So re-read this post again if you didn’t grasp the full meaning of it, but if you did, I commend you to taking the effort to so, as you are on your way to becoming a more experienced, stronger, and happier person.