Depression is one of those words that gets thrown around a lot and in my opinion, I feel it is used far too much. Far too many people assume to have it when they don’t. A bit like the word ‘bully’, don’t start me on that one!
Over the coming weeks, I’m going to share with you some tips that I did to help me through depression. There’s no instant cure for it and it’s something that you have to battle with every single day.
Please don’t for one moment think I’m having a go at those who do suffer from depression. I’m not, I’ve had it and it was the worst two years of my life, battling it, just trying to survive each day until I fought my way back to the light.
So, what actually IS depression?
According to the dictionary, it’s this: depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest.
We all go through periods of sadness or feeling a bit low, but that’s not depression.
And that’s where I feel the word is used too often, when people are sad, they don’t say, “I’m a bit sad today” instead they’ll say, “I’m depressed”.
Maybe you’re just feeling a little blue, maybe having a touch of melancholy. If every so often you feel a bit down, that’s ok, that’s totally normal because we’re human.
No-one can feel 100 per cent happy and uplifted all of the time.
If you do feel that the sadness won’t lift, and that you struggle to get through a day doing all those normal things that you used to do, the first and most important thing you need to do is to get help.
Don’t self-diagnose, go and see your GP who can then refer you to a psychologist or someone who can help you to start the process of working your way through it.
I personally didn’t take tablets. Because of what I do for a living, I didn’t want to risk being a bit ‘fuzzy’ in the thinking department. However, if your psychologist believes that you are clinically depressed and have a chemical imbalance that needs righting, then please do as recommended!
I cannot emphasise enough how important it is to find a professional.
And I do mean a professional, you can chat with friends and family but the usual response is things like, “you’ll be alright”, “other people have it worse” or other platitudes that do absolutely nothing to make you feel better, nor put you on the path to getting through it.
Don’t think for one moment that admitting you need help and seeking it is a sign of weakness. It’s not. It’s a sign of strength.
Far too often, we think that we have to struggle through things by ourselves when that isn’t the right thing to do. It takes an amazingly strong person to say, “I’m not coping at the moment and I need to see someone who can help me”.
Another thing that I need to mention is this. Ask for referrals – if you go and see a psychologist and you just don’t feel that you gel with them or that they don’t get you or you just may feel that they’re not going to help you, move on. Find someone else.
You need to feel comfortable with the person you’re seeing.
You need to feel that they have your best interests at heart, that they are wanting to help and guide you. If you don’t feel that connection, it’s just not going to work.
And lastly, do what they recommend! Don’t go and see someone, talk to them and ignore their advice.
You have to keep working on fighting depression each day. One visit isn’t going to fix things. I was a blubbering mess on my first visit and also the next few visits, but I kept going because I knew that it was something that I needed to do and continue doing.
So, please, don’t think you need to battle through this alone – you don’t, nor should you. The sooner you speak to a professional, the sooner you can work at getting your life on track.