There are many articles written about depression by people who have never been depressed in their lives. This is not one of them.
I found depression a very isolating experience. No one knew I was depressed and how would they? I did a very good job of hiding it from everyone.
I had good days and bad days and on those bad days I never thought I would be happy again.
If you are reading this and feel the same know that you are not alone.
I believe that depression is unique to each individual and no general article can possibly sum up the far reaching causes of depression for unique individuals.
How I dreaded those days when I would wake with that cloud of depression hanging over me. And the only thing that got me through the darkness was the hope that one day the depression would lift and I could come out into the light. But on those light- filled days, I was wondering how long it would be before the dark days would return.
I suffered from depression when I was a young mother, living alone in suburbia with only two young children for company. My great career plans were put on the back-burner as I kept the home fires burning.
Somewhere in the layers of my unconscious I knew what was wrong and yet I seemed paralysed in my efforts to rectify my life choices. I struggled with myself to reclaim my lost power which was the source of my depression. I emphasise my depression, for your depression may be quite different.
This road to powerlessness and helplessness led me to seek help from a psychologist and thereafter I left my marriage of 19 years to start again anew.
Understanding why you are depressed is the first step into slaying the dog but that is just the beginning. Every day I battled the dog, everyday I made baby steps to being well and dare I say happy, so it can be done. I have made steps forward and then gone back because I was afraid and then I have pushed forward again.
From my own experience with depression and my experience as a psychotherapist I know that there is a big difference between understanding what the problem is and physically doing something about it.
Awareness and action are the two things needed to wage this war against depression.
Depression is a downward spiral into the dark, there is no light, everything is black. You cannot pull yourself out of it if you tried. But if and when the black cloud lifts then you can take some action.
6 Simple actions you need to take if you are depressed.
- Tell one person you need help. You will need their energy because you have none of your ow
- Ask your friend to help you make an appointment with a counsellor or psychotherapist and to accompany you there on the day.
- Commit yourself to psychotherapy or counselling.
- Get out of the house for 30 minutes a day for a walk
- Write down every mortal thing that you are feeling.
- Take notice of your dreams and write them down.
- See your therapist regularly for at least 3 months preferably longer.
Depression is the enemy, it is the wild dog waiting at the gate, it is the dog that can be tamed.