Depression is a cruel state. It robs you of an ability to have hope or feel joy. You stop being you — you become a lesser version, the one that doesn’t remember the normal you.
Here are some realizations that I gained through my own healing experience. Knowing and applying this will help you get through these rough episodes.
- Know that depression is a reasonable reaction to a hurtful life. If you keep putting more and more weight on a chair, eventually it collapses, however well it was made. It doesn’t mean you’re weak. It doesn’t mean you’re hopeless. You just need the weight lifted.
- Rest. Depression is your mind saying “I need a break!” Don’t force yourself to do anything you don’t have to. Do eat and sleep, continue to exist — but otherwise, give your soul a break. It deserves it.
- Defer major decisions. The depressed you is not a real you. The depressed you tend to see the world more negatively than you have to. Whenever possible, put things “on hold” — but defer major decisions, such as quitting a job or breaking up a relationship, until you’re in a better frame of mind.
- Trust people close to you. The depressed you’s view of yourself is also distorted. This is one state where you really can’t trust yourself. Listen to people close to you. Have them make decisions on your behalf and trust in them. They can see better than you can.
- Asking for help can be helpful. If your loved ones were hurting — your parents, kids, family members, close friends — wouldn’t you rush to their side to help them? Wouldn’t you find it worthy and rewarding to contribute to their lives? Don’t rob those who love you, this opportunity to be there in your time of need. Particularly, look beyond your spouse/significant other to a greater support system. Give more people the joy of being helpful.
- Embrace the brokenness. Wallow. Be miserable. Give yourself permission to be completely pathetic for a while. Watch depressing movies. Listen to gloomy songs. Paint a picture of chaos and pain. Do whatever it takes to feel the pain. It’ll feel awful — but through it, it’ll begin to lift.
- Remember hope. I know you can’t feel it. I know you can’t remember what it’s like to be normal. But do understand, at least in concept: it will end. Nothing lasts forever. Your pain has an end.
Many people have been depressed, and many have been healed. It can, and it will happen to you.
Be sure to read the companion piece from a different perspective: 8 Secrets That Help If Your Loved One Suffers from Depression. And subscribe so that you won’t miss all the future articles on personal healing and growth.
Disclaimer: this post is intended for educational or entertainment purposes only and should not be viewed as medical or professional advise.