Depression makes you frustrated and angry. You may feel overwhelmed. The smallest task seems too much. You might feel sad, hopeless, or listless. How you react to depression depends on if you are a woman or a man. This is because women and men react differently to depression.
Your situation may seem hopeless but it isn’t. In spite of how you feel there are things you can do to improve your circumstances. I say this because I too suffer from mental illness. Along the way I have learned somethings that help. I sincerely hope they will help you, too. 🙂
Shoes are made for walking
Suggesting that you put on a pair of walking shoes and go for a walk is the last thing you want to hear. But exercise is one of the best ways to help you get better. A brisk 20 minute walk is all it takes. By the end of the day the gloom begins to lift. This is because exercise releases endorphins, in our brains, that create a feeling of well being. If the sun is out this is an added benefit to outdoor exercise. If 20 minutes is too much, start with 5 or 10 and work up.
Once you recognize the benefit of exercise it may become a daily habit. On other days, you will have to push yourself out the door. But it is so worth it. For many people regular exercise works as well as medication. Isn’t that amazing? Daily exercise is best. But 2-3 x times a week is better than no exercise at all.
When the weather turned bitter, cold this winter I stopped walking. It’s past time that I start again! Even if you stop exercising there is no reason why you can’t start again. If you need motivation, find someone to exercise with.
Denial is not just a river in Egypt
The second thing you can do to help yourself is embrace your illness. Stop denying it. It is normal to want to ignore an illness. But guess what? It isn’t going to go away. You may as well accept it.
By accepting your illness you will open yourself to receiving help. This is especially true if you need more help than exercise alone. A family doctor is a good place to start. If your doctor recommends you see a specialist, such as a psychiatrist, do it. Don’t put it off. Psychiatrists are experts in the field of medication. They will help you.
Discovering the right medication can be a challenge. If the medicine you are on is not working keep looking for something that works. Change doctors if you have to but don’t give up. It is tempting, once you start feeling better, to stop taking your medicine. Medicine is a blessing. It makes you better. If you stop taking it you will feel bad again. Be good to yourself. Take your medicine.
Next on the list is locating a counselor or therapist. Going to a therapist is important. The way we think affects the way we feel. An objective voice can unsnarl thought patterns which contribute to depression. Finding the right therapist is like finding the right medication. It takes time. So don’t give up. Keep working at it until you find the right match. I have had several therapists and learned something valuable from each one.
So far, I have suggested four things: start exercising, embrace your illness, discover your medication, and locate a therapist. There is one more which I will save for a future post.
You may feel overwhelmed just thinking about these four. If so, pick one and accomplish it. Then start another. This way you will get through the list and feel good about yourself. ❤
Up Next: The Spiritual Side of Depression
health.harvard.edu – Exercise/all-natural treatment to fight depression
Can what you think affect how you feel?
© 2019 Lena Rae
Disclaimer: I am not a mental health care worker or physician. I have tried to be factually accurate.