It’s dreary today here in Maine. The cold and dark is beginning to wear on everyone. It is especially hard for those diagnosed with depression. Depression is a serious diagnosis that requires treatment. For more information on depression, check out the National Institute of Mental Health. I also urge you to talk with a health care provider if you believe you may be depressed.
The trick with depression is that it cons you into doing things that make you feel worse. It says, “stay inside and isolate yourself from the world until you feel better.” It says, “eating junk food is the key to getting better.” Or “just sleep all day, it will help.” Or (my least favorite) “this is the way you are, nobody can help you.” In short, depression makes you think that doing less, eating poorly, being still, sleeping too much or too little, and not seeking help will (somehow) help you out. It always makes it worse. Depression is a big fat liar.
When you have depression you must make small steps to do things even if you do not have the energy. Leave the house, meet up with a friend, go for a walk, make a doctors appointment, look for a therapist, take a shower- every little step gets you going in the right direction. Then you add another challenge the next day. Each day needs to contain an activity aimed at outsmarting depression. Depression is treatable. Doing positive, social, healthy activities are depression’s kryptonite. Don’t trust my word- please try it.
Once you gain some skills to outsmart depression, you need to do prevention. It takes staying up on taking good care of your body and having fun in your life. For ideas on how to keep your depression in check take a look here and here for helpful posts.
If you are thinking about counseling, you are not alone. It’s been a busy few weeks with lots of folks starting therapy. I hope that you will consider that depression can get better. A lot better. For some encouragement about starting therapy, take a look at my recent blog on this topic.
How do you outsmart depression?