I think in today’s day and age depression is a very common issue. And before I start writing about it I want to clarify that, by writing about my experience with depression, I do not mean to upset anyone, or make their experience less important. Just the opposite. I would be as happy as possible if this article can effect positively even one of you who feels sad, anxious or depressed for whatever reason, or with no reason at all.
I will start with a few things, that I think will be interesting and useful for you – who suffer from depression, or know someone who does.
- There is no age for depression, it can occur at any stage of one’s life.
- Depression is definitely treatable, and you don’t have to live with it.
- Depression is different for everyone, and cannot be specified just by saying someone is “sad”.
- When, or before, things get too bad for you to handle, there are many kinds of ways to help yourself, or let someone else help you.
And so, after mentioning a few things I consider important, I would like to share my experience with you.
I was twenty years old when I got my first period of “serious” depression. And by “serious” I mean I was experiencing some classical symptoms such as constant sadness, loneliness, a feeling of complete emptiness, lack of any motivation to do even everyday things, constant nightmares and lack of sleep.
This was a very hard time for me, and I let it last way too long, just because it was the first time I was experiencing it and I did not quite know what it was. And the other reason was that I didn’t have anyone to share my problem with, anyone who would listen and understand, or so I thought.
Looking back to that first time, I can see my major mistake – not sharing with anyone, not talking to anyone about it, not consulting a psychiatrist.
If you are feeling any of the symptoms of depression and it has been a while already and you feel no improvement. Please, please talk to someone. It shouldn’t necessarily be a family member, or a boyfriend or a girlfriend. You can talk to strangers online, you can get an appointment with a specialist and share what is bothering you. There are lots and lots of depression forums, and the people who are there have experienced what you are experiencing at the moment. They can understand you better than you think.
The next thing that really helped me, and I am hoping it can help you as well is working on projects. Start with something small. Try to keep a diary. Try to cook something. Try to do something you haven’t done in a long while.
Something that really helped me at that time, and I know this may sound weird to some of you, but I went to a numerologist. I didn’t really care about her foresight about my future and rather it will turn out to be true or not. It just surprised me on such a deep level, the fact, that someone was talking about my future. That I had future. That in years to come, things will happen to me. That I will not disappear, just because I am feeling this way at the moment. And this was a huge push in the right direction for me.
After doing some small projects, you can turn towards something more major. For me, that was setting a goal several months ahead in the future. I signed up for the Work and Travel program for students, and I spent three unforgettable summers in The USA. I don’t think I would have done it if it wasn’t for my depression that drove me to this decision. And those are such priceless memories that I will have for the rest of my life.
Once you have reached the stage of setting a long-term goal, you can think of something – a hobby, that used to make you happy in the past. Did you take piano lessons as a child? Did you play football? Did you paint? Did you repair things? Whatever your brightest memory is about something that you did, that made you happy and satisfied. Start doing it again. This instant. Do it.
Our happiness is very fragile. We need to protect it. We need to make time for ourselves in our own lives, in order to be happy. Happiness is everything. Keep it within you. You’re never alone!