Have you ever felt the black dog on your shoulder?
One in four people is affected by mental health conditions such as depression.
But, although depression is so common, it is also not something that many feel able to talk about themselves experiencing. Often, for many, they may not even realize that they are depressed.
Understanding the signs within yourself is essential. As is knowing where to turn when you feel depressed.
Here are some suggestions of things that you can do to take care of yourself when you are depressed.
Talk About It
One of the biggest problems with mental health is that there is still a stigma that surrounds it. Even though so many of us on the planet struggle with depression, it’s still not easy to tell those around us that we’ve got depression.
But you should make every effort to reach out and talk to those special people in your life. Tell your partner, close friends, or family members. Start by telling someone that you know will be empathetic and supportive. They may be able to give you some objective support that could greatly benefit you.
Keep talking about it. Be honest and open about how you are feeling.
It will feel unnatural to want to talk about it. One of the problems with depression is that it seeks to isolate you from those around you. Don’t let it.
There are many avenues for getting help with depression. From cognitive behavior therapy through to Family Psychotherapy, there are professionals who are there to listen to you and help you find ways of dealing with any feelings that you may have.
You could also visit your doctor. Antidepressants can work for some people, however, read up and ask questions before deciding whether it is the right choice for you. There are many options available, and some people will find greater success with one type of medicine over another.
There may be times that you really feel that you need help. For example, you might have moments of crisis, or you may feel suicidal. Have a plan in place for who you would contact in an emergency. If you think that you may ever need it, save the number of an organization such as Samaritans in your phone.
Be Kind to Yourself
Did you struggle to get out of bed this morning? Was motivation hard to find?
Don’t beat yourself up about it. Depression is a genuine medical condition and many of the personality traits that you might feel bad about are actually symptomatic of your illness.
Understanding that it is not you that is to blame is important. Many people struggle with coming to terms with this fact, and this can often lead to you making yourself feel even worse.
Learn to be more gentle with yourself. Admit that it’s okay to not be okay. If you can’t get out of bed, or find the energy to do the housework, don’t hate yourself for it. Tell yourself that it’s okay.