Depression: an Affliction Not so Easily Beaten
Depression can feel like you’re fighting an uphill battle with no sign of victory or relief in sight. It makes you feel like you’re waking up every day to the same monotonous day stripped of joys, things that excite you, or motivation to do anything other than just weathering the storm. It’s like you’ve found yourself in your own version of Groundhog Day, but instead of learning how to play the piano like Bill Murray, you just learn to better numb your feelings to the world and more effectively play the role of seeming “okay.”
Depression causes you to feel like you’re exhausted when you’ve already slept 10 hours that day. Suddenly, in a world where nothing feels good or even remotely interesting anymore, sleep seems like the only reprieve you can get from the melancholy.
Depression makes you feel too run down to connect with the people you love. In fact, with enough time, depression will make you feel like your friends and family don’t even want to be around you anymore. It makes you believe that you aren’t good enough for them to be interested in spending time with you.
Depression saps you of your motivation to pursue your dreams, causing you to believe that you will never be good enough to reach those goals and that those goals were unattainable to begin with.
Over time, depression will start to make your body ache. Your joints and muscles start to feel like you’ve taken a physical beating, and you almost start to feel as if you are actually carrying a physical load on your shoulders.
Living with depression can be exhausting and painful. It can feel as if you will never be rid of the affliction, and that you will never experience what it means to truly be happy again. Friends who have good intention tell you things like, “Mind over matter!” or “Just think happy thoughts and smile!” Or, you might even hear hurtful words like, “Just get over it, what you’re sad about isn’t even that big of a deal.”
What they, and maybe even you, don’t understand is that depression is not just a matter of thinking happy thoughts. Depression is a matter of chemicals and neurotransmitters in the brain, and sometimes, no matter how much effort you are putting into forcing yourself to feel happier, you just can’t change the natural chemical wiring and physiology of your brain. Positive thinking and challenging negative thinking are helpful. They can help to make you feel better and keep you from spiraling even further into depression. Certain health tips, such as exercising and making sure you are taking in enough Vitamin D, will also help to alleviate some symptoms of depression and make you feel more normal. And though you might be feeling put off about the idea of getting dressed and going out with friends, socializing can really help to make you feel better, if at least for a little while.
But just understand that being depressed is not a matter of not trying hard enough. Don’t allow negative and toxic people make you believe that you should feel ashamed about your struggle with depression. Though it might sound overplayed on TV ads these days, depression is an illness, and sometimes the only way you can truly combat your feelings of depression is through mental health treatment. Talking to a counselor or taking antidepressants is not a cure-all, and you may find that you still occasionally struggle with bad days where things might feel hopeless. But seeking out mental health treatment can help you develop methods to help combat negative thinking and help you brainstorm tips and activities you can do to help lift the depression. If you receive mental health treatment in the form of a psychiatrist and they diagnose you as potentially having a chemical deficiency, then they can write you a prescription for an antidepressant.
Overall, mental health treatment helps to provide a professional perspective and treatment plan for an illness you’ve already tried so hard to treat and endure. If you are struggling with depression, then seeking out mental health treatment through Lifeline Connections in Vancouver WA might help you alleviate some of the overwhelming symptoms. You many never “beat” depression in such a way that you never have to worry about it coming back again, but you can at least find ways to not let it destroy your ability to enjoy the little things in life. All in all, it’s a chance to feel just a little bit better, and don’t we all deserve to feel just that?