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Living with Depression.

I’ve posted about depression before. A post that I took down out of fear that people would see it then quickly realised that actually being open about it is better not only for me but for other people who may be feeling the same. It is hard to talk about. Very hard. No one said it would be easy but you have to address the hard things in life.

The reasons I don’t like talking about being depressed are simple:

  • I don’t like bothering people with my problems. People have their own problems.
  • People judge when it comes to mental health.
  • I can go days, weeks even, without a bad day so a lot of the time people that see me day-in-day – out aren’t aware that there is anything going on.
  • A lot of the time there is nothing specific that is getting to me and nothing that my family and friends can do to make me feel better – I just need to ride it out with a little time and space.

There are many aspects of my depression that I don’t like – well most of them to be honest but in particular I hate how it can make me become snappy and nasty when that isn’t me. I just hit rock bottom and nothing is worthwhile.

Depression isn’t widely understood. There is the belief that it is an emotion – it isn’t – and I have found that there is not a lot that you can do to really pull yourself back on a bad day but over the course of the last 8 weeks I have found some things that help.

1. Give yourself some space and time.

You are worked up and having people crowd you doesn’t help. Sit down, breathe it out and just let yourself come round.

2. Get a shower, get into your jammies, wrap yourself in a blanket and get lost in a film.

Showering or bathing is comforting. The warmth will make you feel secure and protected plus you are making yourself feel better with a bit of pampering. Wrap yourself in a blanket again for security and get lost in a film. For me, it is Sherlock Holmes.

3. Have someone that knows every last detail of how you feel when you are in your darkest place.

This way you don’t need to explain anything to them. They know how you are feeling and know not to take everything you say as it comes because it is more than likely the black dog taking over.

4. Keep a diary.

I have kept a diary on and off for years and have found that it actually is a really good form of therapy. You can write about whatever you want for as long as you want without having to worry about who will see it, your spelling, your grammar. You can just get everything off your chest right there and then and it will make you feel lighter.

5. Fresh air & exercise.

The ability of fresh air and eexerciseas a cure for a host of ailments has been brought up over and over but it is true. Moving yourself when it feels like the worlds most impossible task is actually really good for you. It doesn’t need to be anything hardcore, just a little walk around where you live is enough to lift your spirits. Even walking to the park and sitting on a bench reading your book will make you feel a bit lighter.

6. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

For me, this is a major issue which has contributed to my depression. I am forever hard on myself, doubting myself and putting myself down and when you are in the deepest darkest corner of your mind it is so easy to just bash yourself over and over. As hard as it is – and I know it is hard – try and not beat yourself up, you are doing the best you can and you will come out of it and be fine. It is just a bad day which you know to expect.

7. Meditation.

This might not be for everyone but recently I have started meditation. 10 minutes a day of breathing, thinking and letting myself relax. Using the Headspace app I feel that I am a bit less fuzzy and lost in the downward spiral. Give it a try if you haven’t already.

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