5 Lessons I’ve Learned Overcoming Depression That Can Help You If You’re Struggling.

how to cope with depression naturally
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“What is depression like?

…It’s like drowning, except everyone around you is breathing.”

Disclaimer

Please always remember that there is no quick fix for any mental health issue. In order to overcome it, you have to address your problem and ask for help a mental health professional. There are many mental health institutions where you can find professional support. Suffering in secret is never a good idea. Mental health professionals are out there to help people with any type of mental health issue. Don’t minimize your problems, sometimes everyone needs help and there is nothing to be ashamed of. If you find it difficult to go to the mental health institution just call a helpline (you can easily find a number online and it’s free!)

Remember you are not alone even if you feel this way. Many people have mental health problems especially in today’s world where it becomes more and more difficult to cope with stress and anxiety.

"Depression is like Being in an Abusive Relationship with Yourself."

I couldn’t agree more. It’s hard to notice red flags in the early beginning of this incredibly complicated relationship. The warning signs like sadness, fatigue, loss of energy, insomnia or lack of appetite can be easily ignored or mistaken for other condition. Not to mention the social stigma associated with mental health illness that certainly makes things worse. Honestly, I think that because of the stigmatization of mental illnesse lots of people who suffer do not seek help.

It’s just tearing me apart because most of the mental and physical health conditions, if detected at an early stage, can be easily treated. That’s why it’s so important to develop self-awareness and increase attentiveness. These skills are essential in creating a healthy relationship with yourself and understanding your needs, values, and beliefs. Furthermore, they will help you to set healthy boundaries with others that will protect you from misunderstandings and false beliefs invalidating your condition. I am thinking, in particular about common misconceptions about mental health issues that lots of people believe are true. I don’t know about you, but I myself have heard some incredibly ridiculous stuff when I was talking about depression or anxiety with people who apparently didn’t know anything about these mental health conditions. 

The top 7 are:

  1. “Just stop worrying everything will be ok.”
  2. “Stop exaggerating, people have bigger problems than you.”
  3. “Couldn’t you just think about something else?”
  4. “Just smile and you will feel better.”
  5. “It’s all in your head just stop thinking about it.”
  6. “Go and do something that will make you happy.”
  7. “Come on, don’t act like a victim. Now, get your sh*t together and stop overanalyzing things. Just keep busy, don’t look back. Live your life. Go running or something…”

And the list goes on… 

So basically, for some people if you are depressed you just have to think about something else because apparently, it could be much worse… Yeap, it’s exactly how it works. If you are severely depressed you just need to smile and pretend that everything is all right. Because what could be better than having a big, fake smile plastered on your face when all you want to do is just sit and cry? Just shake it off and move on! Yeap, it’s exactly how it works. Duh! Why didn’t I think of that? It would have saved me a lot of time…
Anyway, the point is that depression is more than a low mood. It’s not a joke or a personal choice.Depression is a serious illness, a complex health condition that has to be treated properly. Otherwise, it will slowly take control of your mind, body, and spirit.

Depression has this ability to suck your life out of you slowly draining your physical, mental and spiritual energy. And more importantly, it can happen to anyone, regardless of personal background, religious beliefs, economic or social status.
That’s why it is so important to spread awareness about mental health because we live in times where mental health issues are on the rise. Just look around, more people than ever suffer from mental health problems. And all of these people need to know that there is always hope!

Giving up is really not the option!

Why? Well. I will tell you why.

Because life is worth living! 

AND

Because friends, I don’t believe in the no-win scenario in life. There’s always a way out. Sometimes all you need is to just calm down and take a couple of deep breaths. Other times writing your thoughts and feelings down helps to think things through again. Personally, I always try to look at things from an entirely different perspective and to do that I talk about my problem with others.

Every time I fell like I can’t go on I stop. I stop exactly where I am. Then I take a couple of deep breaths and when I start to feel calmer and more comfortable I say to myself:

I am strong because I chose to be strong.

And I try not to think whether it is my conscious choice or the only option I have. Sometimes it really does not matter. In moments like this, it’s the end result that counts, not how you get there. You need to survive at any cost. It’s all that matters. Because life is a gift! 

If you want to succeed, you need to give up on an easy life. It’s just how it works. When life starts going to hell it’s time to act. You will have to sacrifice, compromise maybe even alter the rules of the game a bit to survive. The moment like this requires to exploit the power of your mind. You just cannot give up. You have to fight for your life. It’s not the time for self-pity but for personal growth.

 

There is ALWAYS hope.

 

Even if your inner voice tells you exactly the opposite. If you hear the voice in your head telling you that you will never make it, just tell this voice to shut the f*ck up. It’s your mind playing tricks on you. You need to silence a bit this negative voice. And the best way to do it is to act, get busy, distract or distance yourself from the situation (in a healthy way). It’s incredibly important especially if you suffer from depression or severe anxiety because these two mental health conditions can really make your mind plays tricks on you. And as we all know it’s not too far from there to complete madness. That’s why it’s extremely important to act before the situation worsens. There is no time to lose. If you start feeling low act immediately.

I don’t know about you but when I feel hopeless a lot of stupid thoughts come to my mind and I start to beat myself up for having these thoughts. 

But now I know that to minimalize the risk and avoid this dubious pleasure of indulging in negative self-talk, you have to take intentional action. You need to act before your situation worsens.

It’s never easy and it takes effort but it’s worth it. You know what’s best about it? That you are doing this for yourself. For your present and future self. 

It’s all about adopting the right mindset. If you’re going to win this fight you have to know your enemy first. You need to know the rules. Or accept that they may not be the rules at all. Depends on the situation. Most of the time when depression kicks hard it life becomes like a rollercoaster ride. Keep your eyes open and hold on tight and you will surviveIf you won’t let it it will not destroy you. But remember you have to have an idea what you’re up against.

depression is a serious mental illness

Lesson 1:

Never Disrespect Your Opponent.

Depression comes in very shapes and forms and it affects each individual differently. Most of my friends who struggle with depression say that it comes and goes in cycles. When I was experiencing depression it was coming in waves. Sometimes it came in slow, small waves and other moments, it hit like a tsunami ruining everything in its path.

The hard part of being depressed is that you never know how’s it going to be next time when it hits you. This is because it’s a very sneaky disease. It comes like a thief, stealthily and with our “consent”. It just sneaks up quietly under the cover of darkness and robs you of your motivation, sense of purpose and emotional stability. Sometimes you can be fairly fine and you can act like nothing wrong is happening but other times depression hits so hard that you cannot even breathe. In the blink of an eye, everything can change. You feel quite normal almost happy and upbeat and then everything changes within a fraction of a second. Your peaceful state of mind turns into a hurricane. You feel like you have been thrown into complete and utter chaos. Nothing makes sense.

And suddenly, all your plans and goals for the future ceases to have any meaning. The only one that matters is “here and now”. And now you must do everything you can to survive. You just want to make it through… at all costs. That’s all you care about. Because when this rollercoaster of emotions stops you will have to deal with emotional numbness. And if you ever been in such a state you know that it’s even worse from emotional chaos because emotional numbness is a lack of anything that makes you a real human being. You become more like a living corpse without a soul because it was stolen from you when you haven’t been paying attention.

The worst thing about depression is that it hits hard when you least expect it to. It doesn’t ask for permission nor waits for you to be ready to repel the attack and leap to safety. No, nothing like that. It just shows up out of nowhere.

Depression is like an uninvited guest, a persona non grata that has the nerve to sit in the middle of the table right in front of your face. 

So rudeIf it was a random person you could just ask them to leave and it should work. But not in this case it doesn’t work like that. You have to acknowledge and accept its presence. You need to collaborate with your depression. You need to make some sort of peace with this illness. Denying its existence will only cause the monster to grow stronger inside of you. Acknowledge you have a problem and ask for help. Admitting you have a problem is the first step in fixing it. 

Depression is like looking at the world through the glass window.

Lesson 2:

Acknowledge You Have a Problem

Depression is brutally honest. It will find your weak points and then it will make the most of them… And trust me it won’t stop until you acknowledge its existence. Just like any other health condition, it won’t go away only because you want it. It Depression will not disappear only because you have better things to do than dealing with it. Furthermore, if you keep trying to deny its presence it will become your worst enemy. And believe me, you’d prefer to avoid this.
 
Another option you have is to admit that you’re depressed and seek for help. I know, it may not be the easiest thing to do especially if you’re struggling with feelings of guilt and shame, but it’s necessary. Besides, we all need to ask for help to get through life. It’s a part of being human.
 
So stop telling yourself that you’re stupid, weak or pathetic because you’re not able to fight depression by yourself. No one is. Accept that you’re struggling and ask for help.
 
Acceptance is the first step toward freedom and recovery that’s why it is so important to do it. But you have to make the decision first.
 
It’s a choice between fighting an endless battle or acknowledging a problem and asking for help. The first option is doomed to failure, while the second one is a first step in the right direction.
fighting social stima

Ask for help not because you're weak, but because you want to remain strong.

mental health

Best Posts About Health:

  1. 10 Things I Do When Depression Hits Me Hard HERE
  2. It’s Just A Bad Day Not A Bad Life HERE
  3. 23 Ways To Support Your Friend Or Relative With Their Mental Health HERE
  4. 10 Powerful Tips To Survive An Emotional Breakdown – Finding Hope In The Face Of Personal Tragedy HERE
  5. Free Yourself From Unwanted Intrusive Thoughts HERE
  6. The 20 Most Unexpected Benefits Of Anxiety HERE
  7. Simple but Powerful Self-Care Tips for Solid Mental Health – be your own therapist HERE 
  8.  Smart & Powerful Ways to Deal with a Panic Attack in a Public Place HERE
  9. Everything Start in Your Head – 12 Rules for a Strong Mental Health HERE
  10. Put Yourself In A Positive Headspace HERE
depression is like drowning in sadness

Lesson 3

The Downside of Denying

If the denial is your modus operandi your situation can only get worse. It happens because living in a state of denial not only does not resolve your problem but also it can easily make your situation even worse. You can’t solve a problem until you admit you have one. It makes sense, right?
 
Being completely honest with you, I was afraid to admit that I was struggling with depression when my dad was dying from ALS. I’ve been in denial for months because I really didn’t want to deal with this particular issue. My father was dying and all I wanted was to help him at all costs.
 
And this is exactly what I did. I entirely focused on him while completely denying my own health problems. As you may guess, it made me even more depressed. So please, don’t make the same mistake. If you’re feeling depressed, sad, hopeless ask for help. Address your issue because denying it will only make things worse.

Depression is like drowning in sadness.

Download Your FREE Mental Self-Care Worksheets!

Lesson 4

See Problems as Opportunities

A really hard time in life happens to teach us something important about life and ourselves. Your problems are not a punishment from God, life, the universe. Your problems are opportunities to become a better version of yourself.

Everything depends on how you look at things. I chose to look at my problems as opportunities to grow as a person. I chose to use a tragic situation I was experiencing to become more humble, respectful and grateful person. I chose to use my problems to my advantage. You can do the same.

Sometimes hitting the rock bottom is not only inevitable but also necessary for a person to be reborn again.

So don’t miss the chance to become a better you!

problems are opportunities to grow as a person
ask for help if you need it

Lesson 5

Learn the Art of Asking for Help

If you feel you cannot handle your problems all by yourself ask for help. And let me tell you asking for help reveals the strength, not weakness. Admitting that you can not handle your problems by yourself it’s not a personal failure but an act of courage.
 
Asking for help is an act of self-compassion, self-kindness, and self-love.
 
Asking for help means being mindful and understanding the importance of human connection. We as human beings are not designed to live in isolation nor coping with everything by ourselves. None of that stuff.
 
Human connection is one of the most beautiful experiences that can happen in your life. But to make it happen to have to make the first step. You need to learn to ask for help and be grateful when you receive it.
 
Your depression is your opportunity to grow as a person. So use it to your advantage!

Have you checked my FREE printable workbooks on self-care and prioritizing life? If not, you can DOWNLOAD your 2 FREE workbooks here, just CLICK on the photos!

P.S.

Stay Positive

Be Mindful

And Fight For Your Life Because It’s The Greatest GIFT!

xo Kate

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Simon
Guest

My thoughts are with you Kate… keep going 🙂

Invisibly Me
Guest

Aw Kate, this post nearly has me in tears. You are so spot on with how you describe depression, like being an uninvited guest and how it can hit when you least expect it. I personally see a difference between being depressed and having depression. With depression, as you say it’s not like just ‘snapping out of it’, or smiling and positive thinking for a few minutes and you’ll be all good. It infuriates me beyond belief when others, or myself, are treated like that, or told ‘cheer up, others have it far worse than you’. That just makes us… Read more »

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Hey, I’m Kate. I am a blogger with a holistic & mindful approach to life. If I am not here it’s because I’m enjoying my creamy cappuccino in one of my favourites coffee shops… 😎

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