Not everyone will develop a mental illness but most people struggle with their mental health at some point in their lives. Depression affects how you think, feel and act. It can be mild or all-consuming and it is often difficult to pinpoint a cause.
Some people appear to have a genetic predisposition to depression. Others may become depressed after a series of losses or other difficult circumstances. Some past theories about the left brain vs. right brain suggest that the right brain hemisphere dominates depression.
Before you can be treated for depression, you have to understand and recognize that you’re depressed and that there is a better way to go through life. A lack of awareness or denial can prevent you from seeking the help you need.
What you feel when you’re depressed
A psychology research writer at custom essay service says that when you experience a pervasiveness sense of hopelessness, you can be sure that depression is distorting your perception. When you’re sad, you at least feel something but when you’re depressed, it’s like a feeling of nothingness. There may be no single factor or trigger that plunges you into it and there is no easy way of getting out of it.
Even if it starts for no definable reason, your depression can leave a trail of problems in its wake. Some people spend decades dipping in and out of mild bouts of depression, with each one becoming slightly worse than the previous one.
Depression can progressively erode everything that makes your life worth living and take a toll on your emotional, mental and physical health.
A state of denial
You may deny you are depressed because you want to avoid the stigma associated with mental health issues. Perhaps you feel that if you confess to being depressed, people will see you differently. You may feel that you are weak or flawed if you acknowledge your depression. You may fear that people will think you are making excuses for laziness or you’re just making it up.
Refusing to accept the truth about what is happening in your life is often a coping mechanism. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross’s model of the five stages of grief includes the stage of denial. She says that sometimes short-term denial is a good thing as it gives you time to adjust to a painful issue, such as the death of the loved one.
However, if you stay in denial, it can interfere with your ability to tackle your problems and prevent you from getting help. Some people think if they can just carry on and ignore their depression, it will go away.
Katie Summers, a medical and mental health academic writer who works for Top essay writing services, including Aussie essay, says that if your denial persists, your depression may become so severe that you can’t ignore it any longer. It can spiral towards serious and even life-threatening levels. Remaining in denial will prevent you from seeking out the support and help you need.
When emotions feel like your enemy
Many of us have difficulty dealing with negative emotions but when you are depressed, you tend to become overwhelmed by their intensity. It is easier to just shut down when you experience strong emotions. This can have a negative effect on all your relationships as you withdraw and turn inwards, rather than communicating.
Sleep and concentration difficulties, high irritability, expecting the worst, and other symptoms of depression present a challenge to your relationships.
You may feel as though all your relationships are doomed to failure but it’s only when your depression is hidden and ignored that the damage may be irreparable. Many issues can be resolved if you’re aware of them and implement effective strategies to cope with them.
To know what you’re fighting against, you have to be able to identify how depression is interfering with your life. Minimizing your feelings or avoiding your emotions can slow down your fight against depression. You may also overwork on the job or use drugs, alcohol or other substances to avoid dealing with it.
There is no shame in admitting that you are unable to cope. Whatever the cause of your depression, it is easier to recover when admit you need help.
When you’re fighting depression, combating the symptoms takes some work. This can be very difficult when you’re depressed and feel a total lack of motivation. This is why it is so important to admit that you can’t cope alone and that you need help.
A combination of therapies
You will have to find the best combination of therapies for you. Medication or psychotherapy may be necessary or a combination of both. You also need to figure out what is necessary for maintaining your mental health – and this may have to be tweaked as you go along.
Medication is often helpful, especially if it’s accompanied by therapy. Therapy will work best if you’re fully committed to your recovery. It may involve overcoming negative thought patterns. Getting some help to replace old negative thought processes with new positive and more realistic ones is often an important first step in any form of treatment.
Therapy may also help you to identify your triggers. If you can immediately identify when past traumas flood back, you will know how to pull yourself out of the situation before you spiral downwards.
Taking care of yourself
When you depressed, you are likely to neglect self-care. Deep depression is often accompanied by physical symptoms such as loss of appetite, poor sleep and even thoughts of suicide. As you start recovering, you may feel more motivated to deal with some of the physical problems that occurred as a result of your depression.
Food: Depression can have a variety of effects on the way you see food. For some, the thought of eating will make them feel nauseous, while others may find themselves eating comfort foods. Fluctuations in diet can have a radical effect on the mind. If you’re depressed, you need to try and maintain a good routine of eating healthy food.
Sleep: When you’re depressed, you may find that you’re unable to fall asleep. You may also find that you think of your bed as a retreat from the world and spend too much time in it. Developing a regular cycle sleep and wake cycle is important for recovery.
Exercise: When you’re depressed, the last thing you will feel like is exercising. However, exercise is known as a great way to release endorphins. If you establish a regular exercise routine, it will help you to feel better about yourself.
Depression will isolate you and make you feel alone. You may excuse yourself from socializing because you feel as though you are no fun to be around. True friends will support you if you’re honest and open with them about what you’re going through. You will have allies to fight your depression with you if you’re not secretive about it.
A Final word
Denying that you are depressed will prevent you from seeking the help you need. If you’re going to fight your depression, you need to acknowledge it and admit that you are not able to cope on your own. When you do so, you can find a combination of ways to fight your depression that work for you.