At some point in almost everyone’s life, it is likely that they or someone they are close to will suffer from depression. It’s a really challenging condition to be afflicted with, and try to work through because it is not fully understood and generally multiple forms of therapy are the answer. This is not to say that it is impossible, and that you can’t live a full, beautiful life because of it!
Some effective lifestyle change therapies that are best used in conjunction with each other are: exercise, monitoring nutrition to ensure healthy diet, getting an appropriate amount of sleep, managing stress and building a strong social support. As in leading a healthy life in general, it is so important to fuel and challenging your body and mind regularly, and have people around you that will love and support you, even though some tough times. These have really worked for me, however it is so much easier said than done. There are the days when getting out of bed is really hard and going through the day feels like torture. These days make it a challenge to force a routine, but the more effort you put in, the more fulfilled you allow yourself to feel at the end of the day.
Of course, seeing doctors, therapists and psychologists is always important as well. Receiving official diagnosis is always a good idea, so you aren’t speculating about whether you may or may not have depression. Having a definitive diagnosis allows for medical professionals to offer additional help, and to know for sure what is going on to look into more information and know how to help yourself.
Personally, having off and on struggles with depression, I understand that on paper it always makes more sense than it ever will to you in real life. There are bad days, and slightly better days and everything is seen with shades of grey. All I feel is guilt and remorse for relationships that failed, or for bad decisions I’ve made because I wasn’t thinking clearly. This is magnified by my illness, but the feelings are sometimes valid too. Sometimes, I want everything to end, simply because going forward doesn’t feel like it will ever be the same as it was. Maybe that’s a good thing though! Maybe I had relationships in the past for reasons, and they didn’t work out to teach me something. Maybe I’m not a bad person, just flawed, as everyone is. Thinking like this is more healthy and leads me into my better days. I know just how impossible it may seem to get out of the “funk” as I sometimes refer to it as, the moments where I consistently beat myself up for everything and no matter what, I’m not worth anything. The moments that I can grasp onto a more level headed approach are what I live for, when I can enjoy time with my family and pets and smile (and really mean it).
Depression is a journey, and it isn’t easy but once you can get a firm grasp on what works for you it gets easier! Setting routines and schedules, surrounding yourself with people that always remind you that you are loved and worth something, and trying to improve your lifestyle into a healthier one are great ways to start.
Always remember, people love you and although it’s not always apparent, you have a purpose. There’s only one you, so be the best you can be. Find your passions, have big dreams and never give up on life.
If you ever need it, here is a number to a crisis centre: 1-833-456-4566
Keep pushing through, every day is an opportunity to improve.