How would one describe depression? The Oxford dictionary defines depression as “severe, typically prolonged, feelings of despondency and dejection”. Meriam Webster gives a more elaborated version of this definition as “a mood disorder marked especially by sadness, inactivity, difficulty with thinking and concentration, a significant increase or decrease in appetite and time spent sleeping, feelings of dejection and hopelessness, and sometimes suicidal thoughts or an attempt to commit suicide”Everyone one of us has there own expression and definition of depression that might not be similar to these standard versions. However being sad, gloomy or dejected lies at the core of depressions; the way these feelings are manifested in one’s behavior can differ greatly but these underlying emotions are still there. Some people going through depression just want to be left alone while other expresses it through being annoyed at every single person they meet when they are in the “mood”…The impacts of depression are not limited to the affects on our mood and energy though this how and where it starts.
We feel as if we are living a life deprived of any hope, lose our energy, experience lower self esteem, have a feeling of indecisiveness and cannot think straight. But this just the start, the impacts of depression creep in and they start to cripple our whole life; our physical and mental health, our relationships and our work. There is increasing scientific evidence about how depression is related to various diseases like medical conditions of heart, bones, immune system and nervous system. Right now I am not going to get into the details of how exactly these issues are related to depression, let’s leave it for another post.Many of us go through periods of depression, for some this span expands over elongated period of times.
How we choose to deal with our depression makes all the difference. I believe that the first step towards dealing with depression is to recognize and accept that this is what you are going through. Because of some unexplainable reason many of us like to be in a denial when sufferings from depression; we tend not to admit it to ourselves, let alone seek help from a closed one or a professional consultant. In this state of denial when tend to drive people we love away by either staying alone, or reacting aggressively to their sincere attempts of help. This only worsens the situation as when isolated we tend to be more lost in the pit of hopelessness, thinking about nothing or everything and eventually being more dejected. Thus the first step towards recovery from depression is acceptance; an acknowledgment that you are suffering from depression.The second step is to make a deliberate attempt at fighting this awful illness; this is not going to be easy but this is the only way out towards leading a beautiful life. These deliberations can be a combination of various things ranging from seeing a therapist to meditating. Seeing a professional physicians and consultant will help as the medicines and consultancy will facilitate in balancing your mood and enable you to carry on with life. Nowadays, when there is an array of information available on internet, research about depression can also help those suffering from it; read inspirational stories of people who are leading a successful life while managing their condition and even share your experiences.
One significant step here would be to stay attentive towards the changes in your mood, when you realize that your mood is going down try taking preventive measures. Be mindful of the early symptoms, discuss these with your therapist and take measures when these signs start to surface. These measures can include taking a drug prescribed by your doctor or distracting yourself with something that makes your mood better. The distractions can include reading a book, watching a movie, listening to a cheerful song or talking to a closed one (over phone or in person). There will be times when you would feel that these distractions might not really work for you (particularly in the beginning) but be persistent and Do Not Give Up!
Have you ever experienced that when you are feigning something over a period, you actually start feeling or behaving that particular way. Like when you were in a really good mood but decided to put up an act where you are annoyed with your partner and realized that you eventually end up fighting? Did that ring a bell? This works the other way around too, when you are not feeling really energetic but participating in a cheerful conversation boosts your mood and all of a sudden you are smiling and talking animatedly. Try this act when you are going towards the depressing mood; instead of growing anxious about “ I am feeling depressed again” try telling yourself “Oh I just love smiling ”.
Create your own customized therapy. How about making a list of the things you want to be grateful for? Cliché , but works. Or you can even start thinking about some great things you want to achieve. Anything that helps you fell happy can be your own customized way of dealing with depression in a positive way. Go out for a walk, take deep breathes in fresh air, meditate, volunteer or take up anything that makes you feel great and that would be your therapy.The most important thing that you need to understand with depression is that no matter how horrible this condition is, You Can Defeat It with a positive attitude. As I said before this is not going to be easy but this certainly is possible. The key is to leave yourself with little time to be all alone by yourself and keep yourself busy with something positive that grabs your attention. Each little step that you take to make you feel better in depression is going to add up to make you stronger in countering depression. Once you have set your self on this path, you will learn many beautiful things about yourself and life on the way. So cherish your little achievements and reward yourself for each of these accomplishments.