More often than not, it seems that the struggles of terminally ill patients and patients locked in a losing battle with incurable diseases are genuine, but those struggling with the obstinate demon called ‘depression’ are ignored and hushed away! Sadly, people with depression attract labels that either indicates attention seeking behavior or a gimmick prone ‘states of mind’. ‘Depression’, ‘anxiety’,’ and bipolar’. are words used so often and in such loose contexts that they’ve lost their meaning, connotation and what they stand for. They stand for grave,perilous and agonizing states of mind. The statement that ‘they reflect the struggles, each day of the people who actually HAVE these ‘labels’ is actually an understatement.
1) No, I don’t mean to romanticize ‘depression’ but do not emotionally invest in people who tell you to ‘snap’ out of it or try to be more positive or even just ‘fuck it’.
You definitely don’t need someone to be telling you what to do. Instead, believe in someone who believes in you and walks the path with you and, has the ability to visualize and feel the path that is yours. Differentiate between people who ‘empathize’ and ‘sympathize’. People leave, friends change, but those who truly love you will never leave your side, irrespective of what you’re going through. Simply put, believe in the God who believes in you!
2) Getting out of bed can be a herculean task each day.
So pat yourself on the back every morning for making the effort to leave the secure confines of the bed and stepping out to face the big bad world while, keeping your head above water all through.
3) The lens of depression is not adjusted by the love of family and friends,unfortunately.
Sometimes even their convincing cries of reaching out to you and telling you how much they love you sound so hollow. Try and count your blessings, then, and count your friends and family in. I know that is hard, especially when you see yourself becoming aloof from your social circle and drifting away.....get them aboard! They will surely bail you out during the darkest moments!
4) There is no harm in bringing out, the inner Britney or the inner Kanye in you and letting your hair down.
You can count on music as being a live antidepressant and delectable soul food. Check out some fun YouTube tutorials on zumba, yoga or dance and try them out, even if you do it within the confines of your own room at home!
5) Get lot of rest and keep yourself hydrated. Keep a bottle of water or your favorite juices and drinks handy.
Depression does affect physical well being, too, and it is important to keep your body healthy for overall wellness. The fighting spirit will come best from a fit body! P.S. Chocolate always helps!
6) Make a journal and maintain it consistently.
Sometimes there's a lot brewing internally and tons of thoughts are constantly racing through your mind, or maybe even none at all. Either way, keeping a journal and writing regularly can be very therapeutic. It's also very insightful to go back and read past entries and reflect on how you have grown or changed.
7) Follow a ‘happy diet’.
Everyday, do one small little thing that makes you happy. It can be as small as painting your to nails, organizing your drawer, watering the plants or stretching for 5 minutes. These baby steps may seem small, but they can actually be a huge step to helping with depression, trust me. A little goes a long way!
8) Most importantly, it’s OKAY to cry your heart out, even if you don't know exactly why you're crying.
It’s OKAY to sometimes sleep too much or not sleep at all. It’s OKAY to feel too much or not feel anything at all. It’s OKAY to ask for help and go to therapy. Talking about depression doesn’t mean you’re weak. Don't let the societal stigma on mental health issues like depression stop you from conquering this battle. You’re a fighter; remember that! You are a warrior in battle with yet another life obstacle, the depression dragon. Remember back to a time before depression; remember what you were like. Be kind, be sensitive and be there for yourself first and for others, too. Acknowledge the fact that everybody around us is fighting a battle and celebrate the fact that you’re fighting the big, ominously obstinate demon and winning, each moment, each day, as you go about the mundane and the sublime rhythms of life!
If you or someone you know struggle with depression, please know that we care! We want to help you, and we want to be here for you. Talk to a professional or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will help direct you to the right resources. If you or someone you know has suicidal thoughts please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255.
Nikita Bakhshi is a twenty something pop culture scholar and beach bum with altruistic beliefs, liberal views and a mind that lives and breathes fashion. Green tea is my elixir and picking on nuts, grapes and berries is my definition of meals! Catch me on Facebook, Instagram, and 7cups!