Depression. The word itself invokes a morbidity in us, especially if we’ve been there. When depression hits, it is very difficult to see the brighter side of life as we are plunged into a darkness that there appears to be no way out of.
I know – I speak from experience. As a sufferer of clinical depression, I have been lost in that darkness. I have felt like my very existence was futile, and wished for an off-switch to my emotions, or just an off-switch to me.
Battling my way out of that darkness was tough. There was no quick fix. But eventually I did it, and reclaimed myself.
However, when you’re in the depths of a depressive episode, it is very difficult to see a way out. It is also very easy to allow the darkness to immerse you completely.
My advice to you would be don’t give up. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, and it’s all about changing your mindset to believe that.
Again, easier said than done.
The thing with depression is that it is insidious, and it will take control of your brain if you let it. Staying in bed all day. Refusing to leave the house. Isolating yourself because nobody can understand the thoughts that are running through your mind.
It may seem like an impossible task, but you have to take control back. Get out of bed. Take a shower. Leave the house. Meet up with loved ones.
The only way to break out of the negative cycle that depression enforces on you is to make yourself do the very things you don’t want to.
Sitting at home and wallowing in negativity will not help you. It will make you worse. Believe me; I know.
It will take time, and it will be extremely difficult. Baby steps are highly advisable rather than trying to achieve too much at once. Maybe try something small each day that will bring a little light relief into your life.
Watch a favourite movie or TV show (Friends always worked for me.) Eat your favourite dessert. Indulge in a hobby or activity that has always brought your joy, such as reading a book, drawing, writing poetry or in your journal. Take a walk. Put on some music and sing. Spend time with a family member. Whatever works for you – just try it. Anything that takes your mind off your negative thoughts is a bonus, if only for a short period each day.
The more you do it, the longer those periods will be.
And more than anything – make sure you get enough sleep. A full nights sleep should consist of 7-8 hours a night. This is essential to your health and well-being, because your body cannot function properly without sleep. And your body needs to function properly while you concentrate on healing your brain.
Depression can cause insomnia or broken sleep, but there are various remedies to stop this. Herbal tea, a bath before bed, light exercise or meditation, lavender oil on your pillow, relaxation before bedtime (no social media, messaging or tv.) There are also plenty of herbal tablets to buy over the counter. Failing that, seek professional help. Speak to your GP about relaxation methods or medication.
You can do this, you know. You just need to believe in yourself.