Escaping depression is easier said than done but there are things that you can do to keep the black dog at a distance. Mental health professionals still continue to debate whether depression is physiological (nature) or whether it is a product of the environment around us (nurture). The nature versus nurture debate is fundamental to understanding depression. Anti-depressants can help with the genetic/biological aspect and Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT)/psychotherapy can assist with the nurture/environment aspect. Together, CBT and anti-depressants work very well to counteract depression.
What you need to do:
The worst thing we can do when we are depressed is to sit around and mope yet it’s what we all want to do when we feel depressed. Leaving the house or talking to someone can be the hardest thing to do when you feel down.
Make a move
Get out of the house, even if it’s just for half an hour. Sit in the garden, just get out in the fresh air. If that’s too hard for you to do, try getting out of bed earlier than you normally do. If you only get out of bed at 2pm, try getting up at 1pm for a week. The week after that, try to get up at noon instead – it’s all about ‘baby steps’.
Make an effort to attend to personal hygiene. Brush you hair, brush your teeth – just these small acts can help improve your mood. The less we do, the less likely it is that we will escape depression.
Depression is tough and more often than not, it isn;t something we can control. Being hard on yourself for being depressed will only make you feel worse. Stop the self critical talk and focus on being kind to yourself.
Accept that, for now, you are frgaile and in a bad place. It’s okay – life is filled with ups and downs and depression is so widespread. Give yourself time to feel better but in the meantime, embrace the slower pace of life.
Don’t isolate yourself
It’s so tempting to avoid the world and hide away but this can make depression worse. try to reach out to someone. Talking and having an outlet can make a huge difference to how you feel. When I have felt depressed, the last thing I have wanted to do is socialise but when I have forced myself to, I have ALWAYS found that I feel better afterwards.
Escaping depression is possible but if you know that you are in the throes of a depressive state, give yourself time to recover. Life is tough and I believe depression and anxiety is increasing due to the huge pressures we all face. There is a lack of resources to help people and we are all muddling along trying to make the most of a bad situation at times. Life can be good again.
Don’t give up hope that one day you feel happier and more engaged with life. In the mean time, take care of yourself, be patient with yourself and know that you are not alone.