Does this sound family? Well, it kinda sounds like it is part of a good ole fashion children’s song that I learned when I was young. The only difference is that there’s nothing funny about this title. Some people think it’s just being sad or having the blues for a day or two, but I have to disagree. I’ve been putting up with it and trying to “handle” it for most of my life, and it is so much more . Sometimes I can fake it to make it for a short while, but since November and and even the beginning of this month it has been rough. I mean really bad.
The kind of depression that I’m talking about is the kind that totally takes over your life and sends your mind into the outer limits of the known universe. It makes you feel helpless. You don’t want to think. You don’t read books because they make your head hurt because of thinking too much. You try to get lost in TV shows and movies. You will do anything to take your mind off your life You don’t want to get out of bed to even go to the bathroom (but of course you have to). You want the whole world to just leave you alone and just go away. You have no energy to fight the world around you. You have lost interest in doing even the smallest things. You either sleep all the time or if you’re like me you hardly sleep at all. You curl up on the sofa if you make it out of the bed, and either eat all you can or hardly anything at all.. You go from one extreme to the other. Your emotions are all over the map. You feel totally our of control. You keep “falling” until you get to the bottom or want to commit suicide which is hitting the bottom with only one final outcome possible.
If you are really lucky, you have some friends that can tell when you are on the slippery slope of depression and will help pull you back from that edge. If not, here are some tricks to try before you hit the dirt bottom:
- The first and foremost thing that you should do is get into a good therapy program with a good medication plan. This is the best way to break the depression cycle. I’m not saying that it will keep the depression away, but it will lower the number of times that you will have to combat the depression.
- Changing your Physical activity and lifestyle. The more active you are the less depressed you will be. When you are inactive or not sleeping, your brain cells die, cognitive throughput slows down your brain creates false memories, you lose your filter to your brain, your right superior frontal cortex reduced in volume, and it doesn’t adequately regulate your feelings
- Change your way of thinking. Most depressed people have negative thoughts most of the time. A lot of them come from abused or difficult lives. If you can learn to forgive and put behind your past, then you can change your thinking from negative to positive. Start by looking up positive thinking in the Bible. It will not be easy but if you start with just one verse at a time, before you know it you will be thinking more positively in no time.
- Get in a routine. Depressed is the enemy to a meaningful life and days blend into each other. It strips away all the structure and framework in your life. You no longer want to go out with friends. In fact, you want nothing to do with anyone much less your friends. If you have a gentle routine that you can get back into, the depression will not be able to keep its hold on you.
- Set goals. Depression sits heavy on your heart and you like nothing is going your way. You feel like you can’t accomplish anything. Of course, this does not help your self-image. By setting small “doable” goals that you can succeed at and you will start to feel better about yourself. As you start to feel better, upgrade the goals to challenging yourself.
- Exercise. I know this doesn’t sound like something that anyone wants to do when you are depressed and to tell you truth it’s not. I’m not talking about going to the gym and work yourself out on heavyweights, but taking a walk about the apartment complex or block is not that much to ask. You will be surprised by the way that it will help you feel better.
Just by using one or two of these tricks can help you get out of the depression sooner. They have worked for me and I have 29 years experience dealing with Bipolar II-depression. It’s not easy, and I’m not telling you it is, but you can deal with it. My prayers go with you.