There are moments in my life when I fight depression. It’s hard for me to express any emotions and I turn into a walking shell. When I’m depressed, all I want to do is be alone. Rarely, do I get to a place where I’m vocal about how I feel. On the inside, I’m screaming for help, but I can’t get the words out. I need help, but I can’t stand to look broken. I don’t want to be vulnerable in front of anybody.
So, I stay quiet.
Daily tasks become drudgeries and the question of life’s purpose frequently plays in my head. But this doesn’t mean it’s impossible to fight.
There are a few things I do when depression hits:
- Identify the signs of depression
- Lack of sleep – Sleep takes a backburner position; not because I don’t want to sleep, but I can’t sleep. Either my dreams keep me restless or I simply lay awake for hours in my bed. The evidence is clear the next day when I’m too tired for normal activities.
- Eating – Food is a way I use to cope. I don’t know what it is, but when I’m depressed I eat more than normal.
- Emotional apathy – This is a survival technique. “If I shut down my emotions than nobody can hurt me.” The problem with shutting down your emotions is that you can’t choose which emotions to shut down. Happiness, sadness, trust, fear, or joy can’t be felt.
Because I’ve been through depression before, I’ve learned to recognize the signs. It’s important to know your normal behaviors in order to diagnose your depression. Knowing you’re in a depression is the first step to fighting your way out of it.
This tactic works because of my introverted personality. I need time alone to think through my depression. It offers me space to self-analyze and gets down to the root of my problem. These problems could be loneliness, rejection, lack of confidence, anger, or any other type of emotion.
Other people may need a different tactic. Because I’m an introverted personality I’ve learned to self-analyze to figure out my problems, but others may need a good friend to point out the issue. Don’t be afraid to ask for help from somebody you trust. They may see something you missed.
- Practice positive thinking
Negative thought patterns can cause depression. It’s easy for me to dwell on negative thoughts and failures from my past. The best way to cope with these thoughts is to avoid dwelling on them. It’s ok to learn from your past failures and life events, but it can be dangerous to dwell on them.
You can etch a new thought pattern into your head simply by practicing. It needs to be a constant practice, but if you’re diligent, you can work your way through the negative thought patterns.
- Set goals and take actions
When I’m depressed I avoid tasks. I’ll go to work, shop for food, and not much else. This can be dangerous because I begin dwelling on the negative thoughts again. Setting goals and taking actions can be a great distraction. Once I get my mind on improving things depression takes a back road.
Small goals include getting out of my pj’s, meeting up with a friend, or working out. All these goals are part of self-improvement and make me feel better about myself. Fighting depression means taking small steps forward and not pushing too hard.
An overactive mind can cause depression. One of the best ways to combat the urge to over think is to sleep and sleep a lot. In the beginning of my depression, it is hard to sleep due to the negative thought patterns. Once I’ve begun practicing positive thinking it’s easier to fall asleep and get rest.
Depression is a real issue and many people fight it on their own. It can happen to anybody at any time, but you never know who depression affects. Everybody handles their depression differently. What I wrote about today works for me, but not everything may work for you. The most important things you can do is identify your signs and seek help. My family is always there for me along the way and I’m never alone!
Be patient with yourself and always do what’s best for you!