Depression is something that affects everybody in some way or another in this day in age, right? Most people don't even realize they have it and have no idea how to deal with this nasty thing. I've had some deep rooted depression since I was a child. It morphed into suicide attempts, two eating disorders and other black clouded things. I'm not here to talk about those details,
but I am here to try and give some tips on how to cope with depression. Unfortunately, it's not 100% curable. It's a disease that'll creep up on you when you least except it. It's a shadow in the darkness that can hide for years. Once you have it, it's with you forever. Yes, there are treatments via prescription drugs but those don't heal depression, they are like a mask to help you forget you have it or to help you be able to get up out of bed each morning. There are literally countless ways to be victorious with depression, and I'm here today to hopefully give you some of those battle plans!
It's OKAY to be in a sad, angry, or otherwise any "negative" mood. Society makes us think we have to be smiling and happy all the time. That's not how real life works. You need to let out those emotions and go with them in order to let them pass. Bottling them up and pretending to be happy will make depression take over even stronger then before. Be sad. Don't smile if you don't want to for a day or two. If you have to cry, do it! Do what you need to in order to allow those shitty feelings pass so you can find the sunshine again. Otherwise, your emotions can become overwhelming and that's when you can become dangerous to yourself with suicidal thoughts, self harm, or anything along those lines. You need alone time regularly - despite how "social" you may be told you are. Some things that help me when I'm alone and have one of these dark moments are:
Writing all of my thoughts in a journal - all of them. No matter how crazy, stupid, or not important they may seem, they are what is controlling my unhappiness at the moment. Actually writing them out is a therapy all in it's own that let's you see your thoughts/emotions in front of you. It's like a vault to put all of those evil and bitter feelings.
Listening to sad/meaningful songs that will definitely make me cry and pull up memories I probably don't want to think about. Sometimes we just need to cry to get through a terrible wave of depression. Spend a few hours listening to music and let that be therapy in itself. It's literally like letting your depression flow down a drain and disappear.
If you're not somebody who enjoys just sitting in the house when your depression becomes worse then usual - go for a run, hit up the gym, or just do something physical. Go to a kickboxing class and punch out your anger/sadness. I take walks all of the time when my mind gets too crowded. It clears my mind and at the end of the walk, I feel clear headed and okay again.
For those creative peeps - draw, paint, sculpt, dance, sing. Do whatever your creative outlet is and draw what you're feeling. Draw something that'll make you happy if you want. Your creative interests are a fantastic outlet to let that depression fade.
Take a relaxing bath! As simple as this is - lighting candles, playing your favorite music, throwing a bath bomb in the tub, reading with a glass of whiskey and soaking it all in is sometimes just what we need to get over negative thoughts that are popping in our head without our control.
If none of these are working - TALK IT OUT. If your friends are real, genuine friends - they won't care if you need a little therapy session to get you out of your funk. Talk to your significant other about whatever crazy thoughts you're having. Call up your bestie and go out for drinks to get it all off your mind. Even if the other party can't understand or give sage advice, the point is that you have somebody to lean on. Having others reassure us that it's going to be okay and just listen to us is usually the best medicine I've found. Usually it'll turn into a great, adventurous night too after you get it all off your chest.
Okay so those are just some temporary things you can do if depression isn't too controlling of your life. If you're constantly doing everything from above and still feel so down and in the dumps, it's time to change your lifestyle a bit:
Get in a routine that's not self destructive. Sleep regularly. I know this isn't possible for most of us. I'm personally an insomniac. Sleeping regularly means shutting off all electronics and just laying down at the same time each night and getting up at the same time each day. Exercise almost everyday, even if it's just a walk or light at home routine. Eat healthy. Make a healthy routine for yourself and it will do WONDERS for your mental issues. It takes at least six weeks for something to become a routine, remember, so if after a week nothing seems different - do not give up. Give it some time to set in.
Change the way you talk out loud. Without realizing it, we can speak negatively naturally which can then inflict negative thoughts in our brain. This is really difficult to make a habit - I still do it without realizing. Saying things like, "I could NEVER do _____", "I HATE so and so for no reason", "I'm so fat and disgusting"...ect..are detrimental to your thoughts for the rest of your life. You'll never feel good about yourself or other people if you're constantly saying things in such a mean way. Instead of saying, "I'm fat, gross and hideous" - set a goal to start going to the gym and say "I'm going to look amazing by summer!" & remember to set realistic goals for yourself. Don't expect to lose 50 pounds in a month healthily. Reward yourself for little victories in any area of life. If you did a little better in school then usual, treat yourself to a new pair of shoes or something. Eliminate all negativity - and that starts with yourself! You'll find that once you're positive to yourself, positivity will just start surrounding you all of the time.
Before the final step of seeking a therapist - do your own research. Buy some self-help books and books regarding depression. Research what is going on in your head from a physical stand point and get to know it inside and out. Read some self-help books to aid in eliminating that negative talk we all tend to naturally do. This may be all you need to kick depression's ass.
Probably the most obvious way to treat depression IS by seeking help from a professional. I know it's awkward, uncomfortable and something we hate saying we are doing - but therapy works. A professional went to school to help people like us who feel trapped in our sadness. If you can't fix it on your own, you need to see someone! But, it's YOUR decision who you see. If you have a visit with a psychiatrist and don't feel a connection, you won't be successful in treating your depression because you won't feel comfortable to fully open up and accept their treatments. It's okay to let a psychologist know after one visit that you won't be back because you didn't feel comfortable with them. If you need to try out ten different doctors before finding the perfect one - do it! It's a two way street to overcome depression. If you're not giving 100% to your doctor, they obviously can't give 100% back to you.
Finally, as a confidence booster, EMBRACE WHAT YOU FIND TO BE AN IMPERFECTION. Nobody is perfect. People who you idolize are not perfect, so why not idolize yourself? Make who is facing you in the mirror somebody who you would look up to. I've said this in previous posts, but if it takes a certain brand of clothing to make you love what you see physically, wear a lot of eyeliner, bust out six inch heels everyday, and all of that fun stuff - DO IT. It does not make you fake. What makes you fake is when you do all of that stuff and still feel crappy about yourself. If dressing a certain way physically improves you mentally - then it's a win/win. You do need to love yourself internally before you can externally. I've learned that the hard way.
All in all, depression is a life long battle. Remember there are endless ways to treat it. You aren't crazy for feeling sad. Emotions are OKAY, positive or negative. If others put you down for being in a bad mood, cut them out of your life because we all have bad days and should never be expected to grin a full set of pearly whites each second of everyday. It's not our job to fake happiness. It's just our job to live our life to the fullest and know how to handle those nasty situations that arise.
Let me know how you cope with your depression or any story you want to share about self image. I hope some of these tips helped you out and as always remember to stay #nerdy!