Friday, 16 January 2015

How To Deal With Depression

There is no tried and true way to deal with depression that works for everyone. Depression is a really private and unique illness that differs from person to person so there is never going to be something that works for everyone, not medication, therapy or any of the things I'm about to share with you.

 I had depression for 5 years and that in itself sounds so bizarre to me that I can say I 'had' depression because I don't believe it's something that ever really goes away. It's something that gets easier as time goes on and that, eventually, you learn to live with.
When I was deep admist it all I would search online for hours to try and find any way to make me feel better but all I found were countless blog posts, videos and articles telling me that it will pass, which in the moment, did absolutely nothing for me. 
So as I said depression isn't the same for everyone but I wanted to share how I managed to get over the worst of it just in case there is a little lost 15 year old searching through the internet trying to feel better just like I did.

You Are Not Alone
I know everyone says this and I know how head bangingly frustrating it is to hear but I got lost in thinking that I was the only person in the world that was this sad. I thought that I had made this whole thing up in my head and no one else was wasting their life in bed all day like I was. That I was just being dramatic and lazy. But I wasn't, and I wasn't the only person with thoughts like that or that felt like I did and neither are you. There are, unfortunately, lots of people that suffer from depression each with their own reasons who feel exactly the same as you do. It's not something you've made up. It's not just you being dramatic. It's real and you have to talk to someone. The support from friends and family may be enough to help you get through it but I would recommend talking to a doctor. There are a few options to treat depression including medication and types of therapy both of which I've tried and with time they help make it all a little more bearable. There are people who care about you and love you. You are not alone, I promise.

Don't Give Up
When you get to the point when everything feels completely hopeless try to remember that this is just a moment. That overwhelming feeling of being lost is just a moment in your life. You won't feel like this forever and this temporary situation isn't worth giving up everything you have to look forward to. People say that you will only ever hit rock bottom once and I completely agree. Once you have let yourself fall so far you will never let it happen again. You'll keep fighting until you come out the other side. It seems impossible at first but every day when you do something that you thought you couldn't do yesterday is a little win and you should feel proud of yourself.

One Step At A Time
One of the hardest thing I had to learn was that no one else can make me better, I have to do it. Support, therapy, medication etc can help you but can only take you so far, you have to be ready for the help and to push yourself through new experiences and situations. You don't have to do it all at once, everything about depression takes time but doing anything that makes you feel better is a step in the right direction. I found that planning my day helped me a lot and I felt better when I had something to work towards. Most of the time my lists would be of stupid things like making breakfast but it doesn't matter - you're trying and that's the important thing. 

Finding Help
I'm disappointed that I have to title this part 'finding' help. Help for people with mental illnesses shouldn't be something you have to hunt down. It took 2 years before a doctor offered me any kind of help. Luckily now there are more websites available with information on depression and the different kinds of treatment available. I personally went with CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapy). My depression stemmed from a trauma so it was a side effect of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which CBT heavily helps with. If you're interested I would be happy to do a post all about CBT and what it's like, what it does and my experience. 
If you go and talk to your doctor and ask for different treatment options for depression they'll be able to refer you to therapy/counselling, offer you medication, show you a list of websites that are either self referral therapy or self help community pages and more. You can decide which you think is the best for you and your depression. 

All I can hope is that this helped someone. Depression should definitely be spoken about more openly and not something that people are made to feel ashamed of. 

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