Depression and anxiety can affect anyone at anytime, and it is critically important that you seek help when you see the signs and try to cope with it as best as you can. It has been many years since my first episode of depression, and I can deal with them so much better now, as I can with my constant anxiety. Here are twelve tips and lessons that will hopefully help you on your journey through life.
You’re Not Alone
You are not, honestly. Over 95% of people who claim that they are not alone don’t appear to be. There is always someone who cares about us, has cared about us and is willing to begin to care about us in order to help us through rough patches in life. Don’t alienate yourself, and take advantage of the people in your life.
Step By Step
There is no magic cure for depression and anxiety, and it’s important that we keep this in mind as we try to deal with them. They won’t go away over night, and so we should take baby steps and celebrate and share every small milestone and accomplishment with friends and loved ones.
I know that keeping a positive outlook while in a depressive episode is difficult, I’ve been there. But trust me when I say it can be done, and is effective. Try to have a routine to combat bad thoughts when they first appear. Perhaps a favourite album, a feel good movie, or try writing down everything you have to be grateful for.
Future Is Bright
There is always a future, no matter how dark it may currently seem. And you can shape that future into anything you want it to be while you are not suffering from an episode, so keep this is mind and try to be hopeful. Just remember if you get through this current episode of depression there is a silver lining around the corner.
Make the best out of a bad bunch! A lot of creative people explain how they are at their most productive and fruitful when they are in a depressive state, so while you’re riding out depression put those creative juices to good use.
It is very natural to be reclusive and slightly selfish once we are depressed or anxious, but it’s important to keep in mind that others have needs and feelings too. Helping people while in this mind-frame can improve your mood and self esteem.
Try and replace all those negative feelings and thoughts with positive and rational ones. Cognitive Behavioural Therapy strives on this practice, and it has helped many in the past.
Although those dark and upsetting feelings and moods can take over, we should also try our best to remember that they are only symptoms of the illness. They do not define us and are not what people remember us for.
Do Not React
When we are depressed, we do not have any control over what negative thoughts and feelings enter our bodies. What we can do is try to control how we react to these. Try to keep strong and don’t let them influence your actions and you will reduce your anxiety and feelings of hopelessness.
Find Your Strength
We all have an unmeasurable amount of inner strength, and it is vital to keep this in mind. Everyone has enough strength in them to cope with depression and anxiety, they just have to find it and believe it. Find your own inner strength, use it and believe in yourself.
A common side effect of these illnesses is that we tend to lose sight of any positivity, therefore forgetting our own worth and how wonderful we actually are. One you begin to recover you realise that these feelings were yet another symptom, so try to keep this mind during your next episode. You are worthy.
Everyone Gets Sick
Finally, everyone gets ill sometimes. It’s inevitable. It just so happens that this was our turn and we tend to suffer from more psychological than physical illnesses. Think of others who are ill, possibly more ill than you are, and it could help put things into perspective. Life is never smooth, and can throw up a few surprises, but try to learn from lessons such as these and prepare for the future.