SELF-LOVE SUNDAY: DEALING WITH DEPRESSION

02/08/2015

It's not always easy to remain strong, when all you can think about is how weak you feel inside. It's not always easy to get out of bed in the morning because you know that what the day brings is challenging. You know that anything can hit a past wound and tear it open again, causing the mental pain that you thought you had escaped. Mental illnesses are challenging, limiting and life-threatening. They are like any other disease, except there is no cure. Medication and therapies don't cure depression, they just try to help you cope with it. The worst part is knowing that it is your own brain that is causing such severe unhappiness. It's knowing that you are almost doing this to yourself, but you can't do much to change it. It's the not knowing what to do, who to go to or why to get help, or whether you want help at all. It is the feeling of being alone and trapped in a cycle of unhappiness, anxiety and confusion.

The most important things are without a doubt, the hardest things to say. It is so hard to step out of your cycle of sadness and tell someone how you're feeling. Seeking help is what scared me. I am not really sure why, I guess it almost became a lifestyle. Depression became my way of living. I wanted to escape it, but I knew that I would have to talk about what caused it, and I knew I was weak. I knew I would crack, almost like an egg falling from a height, crashing down, smashing, ruined. I had accepted that maybe there was no way out of depression, maybe I had to just learn to cope with it. I guess I was partly right with that, in the fact that it never really goes away, it just gets less painful at times. But what I didn't see was that I needed recovery, I needed to see what was on the other side of depression. I didn't deserve it. Depression likes to trick you into blaming yourself for everything, and thinking that you deserve such severe unhappiness. But, you couldn't be any more wrong.

Learning to manage my depression was one of the hardest things for me. Along with having to see other people around me so hurt. The last thing I wanted to do was metaphorically break someone else; especially those I love. Although it may seem like you are hurting someone, a lot of the time it is the opposite. Many people cry in relief that you finally want to talk about it and get help. Getting help will give you that chance you need to get better, one step at a time. There are quite a few ways to deal with depression. These are the ones I used.

1. CBT Therapy. I started CBT a few months after developing depression. I definitely found it hard to accept that I needed to talk about it. I also in a way, found it hard to let go of my depression. It became kind of comforting to me. However, CBT has definitely given me skills for life. It taught me to change my thoughts to be able to see the grey part, along with the black and white. Finding happiness through CBT took longer than was expected for me and my case, but I still got there in the end.

2. Getting out, going for a walk. I know that depression makes you want to huddle up in a duvet den for your whole lifetime, but getting out can really make a difference. Going out with family members or friends can also benefit you as you will find yourself having less time to think about things that may be pulling you down.

3. Finding something I enjoyed. I got into photography as a way of coping with my depression. I knew it was something I had always wanted to learn more about and I knew it would be something to get me out of my comfort zone (the house). I began to use photography as a way to escape depression and see the beauty in nature. It helped me to see the uplifting things, rather than the dull things in life. This post's picture was taken while I was away. I sat on the pier reading until the sun was in the right place for a beautiful picture. It is so relaxing to sit and read outside, while the people still move around you.

4. Spending time with friends. Although this wasn't something I did often - due to the fact I had lost many friends - going out with friends is important in recovery.  It helps them to be able to keep up with how you are doing, and it gets you out, giving you the opportunity to enjoy yourself for a while. Being with friends can be very uplifting.

5. Self-help books. Although, I didn't always find these books terribly helpful, I kind of turned to them as a last chance thing; kind of my last attempt to help myself. I knew that there would be a time that I was left to deal with it myself, I wanted to learn how to cope with it myself before leaving therapy. I found the most helpful book was Ruby Wax's Sane New World. Although, it isn't really classed as a self-help book as much, it still helped me a lot.

Depression is difficult but there are ways to make it less unbearable and possibly fight it away for a long time. There are plenty of people who do recover from it. If you do struggle with it, go to see your doctor. It is scary but it is worth it when you find yourself happier. Learning to live with depression is easier than living as depression's victim or prisoner. I am here to give advice or support anyone as much as I can (email if needed). Good luck in your recovery if you are suffering. If you aren't suffering but read this anyway, thank you for expanding your knowledge and reading something I care so much about!

(I did just want to say that although this post is about depression, I am not trying to undermine any other mental health illnesses, it is just what I know the most about in personal experience. I wanted to use my experience to attempt to help others. Of course, I am not a professional, and I hope I didn't come across as thinking I know it all. I can only do so much to attempt to help people with my experience, so I have tried it.)

16 comments

  1. I think this post has the potential to help so many people, thanks for sharing.

    Olivia // BLONDE LA MODE

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    1. I hope so. Thank you for reading! xx

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  2. Wow gurl! This post is INCREDIBLE,first off props to you for being brave and just awesome enough to be willing to share this with people,I am 100% certain this is going to help so many people so again props! I think it's one of the most incredible and inspiring things in the world when somebody takes something like depression,which is only associated with bad things,and negativity and stigmas,and shines light from it,by being able to offer your advice and experience,you're helping so many people and I'm so glad that in the darkness that is depression,some light could come out of it xxxx

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    1. Thank you so much Lois! You brought a tear to my eye. I am very passionate about this topic and from my experience, I think something like this would have had the potential to help me. Thank you for reading it and leaving such a lovely comment :)

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    2. Not a problem gurl!! Nawww my goodness! this comment made me smile! and yeah I can tell,and I love that!! seeing peoples passions and seeing people speak out and up about things close to their heart is one of my absolute favorite things and I have so much respect for ya man!! yeah that's a really cool place to start from,like what would have helped me when I was in that place,I love that mindset! it's an amazing way of being able to authentically help people! and not a problem! thanks for being so lovely and such an awesome person xxx

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  3. This is amazing! Its so nice to hear you use photography as an escape from your depression! I think using an art is such a powerful and creative way to help fight mental illness! I don't suffer from depression but I love doing photography as a means of escape when I'm feeling low. Keep strong x

    http://thriftyvintagefashion.blogspot.co.uk/

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    1. Thank you Nicole! Definitely, arts are amazing...I am so glad I got into photography more. It is lovely to hear that you too feel the same about photography :)

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  4. This was an amazing post to read! Keep smiling x

    http://theperksofmeg.blogspot.co.uk/

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  5. Thanks for sharing this! Very helpful :)

    Yousra | Mystic Tales

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    1. Ah, I am glad you found it helpful, you are very welcome!

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  6. This is such an important post, I really love it when k see a blogger post about mental illness and there really needs to be more awareness about it, and honestly this could really help somebody. When I was 16 I become REALLY depressed but I never seeked help for it and it kind or went away in its own after a while. I've been suffering from quite bad anxiety recently as well, but I've found it really hard to get anywhere with doctors - I finally got referred for CBT, but it's still such a long wait for that! I wish mental illness was taken more seriously. I do think it can be as bad as somebody having a broken bone or having a physical disease - but just because those are physical they will get treated straight away, but most people seem to just brush mental health aside like it's nothing!

    The Velvet Black | UK Style & Beauty Blog

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    1. I agree with you so much Alice. I love to see bigger bloggers posting about the topics surrounding mental health, it shows me that I am not alone, and it also helps to raise awareness and fight the stigma! I am sorry to hear about your experience with MH, it is such a struggle. I began suffering at about the age of 14 due to quite severe bullying. I have been fighting it ever since and I am not 16. It does feel like such a long journey to recover from MH illnesses. Doctors are quite unreliable with anything at the moment but I do agree with you that more effort and support needs to be put into mental health services. Mental health issues are on the rise in so many young people (and adults too). Certainly, physical and mental illnesses are treated totally different, and that is a huge problem for those who suffer. Thank you for sharing your experience Alice, it makes me feel so happy that you felt you could share that on this post. I love hearing about other people's experiences. Keep talking about it! Good luck with the doctors too - CBT saved my life!

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  7. I'm so glad you done this, any future sufferers from this can easily and freely read this and find out ways to cure themselves rather than keep it hidden or feel too embarrassed to go to a doctor/tell their family. luckily I suffered from ED when there was a lot of body positivity coming through so that really did help me so hopefully this post will save those who are in depression too.
    Love, Dalal x
    monochromedaisies.blogspot.com

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