I’ve openly admitted that I’ve battled with this for years, and I know many people who do as well.
Depression is one of those emotions that doesn’t make sense. Life could be going well, everything right in the world, but for whatever reason, you’re bummed.
You are melancholy, apathetic.
Sure it’s great when someone gives you a motivational speech that life is good; you have nothing to worry about, it’s all in your head, you decided your feelings, blah blah blah…
But for people with depression that only brings a moment of realization that life is ok before you get back in your head.
Depression isn’t rational.
Depression makes no logical sense.
And for the people that are depressed know this! They know it doesn’t make sense, and they know it isn’t rational. They don’t want to feel this way, it’s not always their choice, and they are tired of feeling like they do.
Soooooo… why even chat about this?
To bring something to light for you or for someone you may know.
With everything going on from being in quarantine, economic stress, social distancing, this is hard not only for people with some forms of depression (they are many levels and types of it) and for people who are NOT depressed and have no history of depression.
Right off the bat, I’m not a therapist, I know my lane, so the words I give are merely a coach’s words and the words of someone who has battled with this myself.
- Understand that you’re not broken; I know you’re trying, it’s ok.
- Talk to a therapist, talk to a professional.
- Physical distance, not social distance – you can still keep meaningful relationships and interaction during this time; just keep the space.
- Make exercise mandatory – I’m biased, but a good endorphin rush from a workout has always been my favorite medicine for when I’m in a funk.
- Schedule time to do something you love each day – Routine is essential if you’re in this state; it will help keep that sense of purposelessness and uncertainty at bay.
- Avoid the media – for people with anxiety and depression, the doom and gloom can make those feelings worse.
- Start a new project – Work on your house, learn to cook, having to focus your mind to learning something new will help keep your mind engaged and excited
- Stop with processed foods – I know there are not many studies that support food and mental health, but eating better helps the body function better; you feel less bloated, less fluffy, you have more energy to do the things that bring you some joy. Otherwise, you eat like crap, which makes you lazy and not want to do anything, then you eat like crap again. A cycle emerges.
Can this ever be cured? I’m not sure.
I choose to be blissfully optimistic that with enough effort and self-care that the symptoms can lessen, and maybe, like cancer, it goes into remission.
But speaking for myself, it does take effort.
If you battle this, I hope that something I wrote here helps make you feel not so alone and that you get an idea of what you can do to help yourself.
Remember depression, no matter how severe or what form, isn’t rational. It doesn’t make sense, but it doesn’t mean you or anyone you know are broken.
In Health and Awesomeness,
Travis Merritt, BS, CPT, (and other letters behind the name) is the Owner of Rowlett Transformation Center in Rowlett, TX.
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