"Whether you're short or tall, black or white, straight or gay, poor or rich, etc: No one is doomed to fail in this life."
How I did it: Beating my depression was one of the hardest and longest yet most significant battles in my life so far. I don’t quite know whether a how-to is useful here because this battle is different for each and every one of us. However, I feel like sharing some advice to those out there who are still fighting valiantly, although some may have lost the reason why, already.
Understand. I had been living with a depression for over 5 years without realising that I actually was depressive. I did not know that it was not normal to feel useless, lonely, listless and indifferent. I often wept myself to sleep with no apparent reason, slept far too long, skipped classes, etc. And it got worse from day to day. I started skipping classes at school, sometimes I skipped school 3 or 4 days in a row. I gave up playing the guitar, stopped drawing, which usually were things I was deeply passionate about. One day, after 5 years of wasting my life away, I finally realised that something was wrong with me. That was the day I thought about committing suicide. Luckily those suicidal thoughts were my epiphany, however, I know now that it doesn’t have to come that far! The thing is that you have to understand that you have a depression. You have to see that you need help and that it's OK.
Talk. Next step for me was informing my parents that I needed professional help. It took a lot of courage. My parents were shocked although they had - literally -seen me disintegrate. My mother even tried to change my mind and told me that it was all my imagination. Some people, even those who are pretty close to you, may react harshly because they think they’re responsible for you being depressive. Especially family members won’t know how to cope with it and may ask you what they did to you. Don’t let anyone tell you these things! You don’t need to explain your condition!You need to understand it all yourself first. You need to get better as soon as possible by looking for someone who can help you. Look for someone who understands, someone you can talk to about it. It’s vital. You don’t need to feel embarrassed about it. Just think about all the people who are in the same position as you. You’re not alone.
Seek help. There are psychologists and psychiatrists. If you're uncertain whether you need medication, it's best to go for a psychiatrist. Psychologists are specialized in talk-therapy and aren't medical doctors. Bare in mind that you need to feel at ease with your doctor. If you don't, tell them so and start looking for a new doctor until you find someone you feel comfortable with. I heard all kinds of stories where people got themselves into vicious circles because their doctor didn't look after them properly. Keep in mind that the doctor is getting paid for helping you. If you think they're not doing the job correctly, you have to tell them.
Be patient. It may take some time to get used to therapy, medication, etc. In the beginning I kept telling myself that it was all so useless, that I'd never get better, that I was doomed to failure. That's not true. No one is doomed to fail, that's rubbish! You will gradually get better, it takes time. Don't push yourself! Learn how to tolerate yourself, respect yourself and, eventually, love yourself. Be grateful for the things you have.
Let go. 22nd August will be the last time I see my therapist in her office. I know how I used to dread that day. I was scared I'd stumble back into depression when she wouldn't be a part of my life anymore. I feared that everything would come back to me and eat me up. I see it all quite differently now. I'm looking forward to that day. I know that I'll never have to see her again because I won the battle. When I will shake hands with my therapist, I will shake hands with my Depression as well and make my farewells. And it will slowly vanish as I turn my back and close the door. I will smile and mean it.
- suicide hotlines
- therapist, group therapy, close friends, pets, etc.
- 43 Things
- (volunteer) charity work
- art (self-expression, theatre, music, etc.)
Here are some useful links:www.nhs.uk/Conditions/depressionwww.depression.comwww.enotalone.com/forum/www.deviantart.com
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