When Depression Takes Hold

Depression

It has been a hot topic lately and, unsurprisingly, a common health issue for women. I’m talking about depression.

A couple years ago, I found myself bursting into tears during the day for no particular reason. I would sit at my home office and just sob without understanding why. I stopped doing things that I loved and completely lacked motivation.

I am normally not a “crier”, nor do feel sorrow often. Even with all of my medical issues and circumstances, I strive to live positively instead of allowing the chronic pain to defeat me.

There was something different about me. I felt an unexplained, deep sadness that wouldn’t go away.

My husband was very supportive of my decision to go on an anti-depressant and also suggested that I seek counseling. The more I talked, the more I realized what was happening with my mental health.

So what was the problem? I had spent years holding in the pain from being harassed at work and witnessing unprofessional behavior. It left me feeling afflicted, confused and worthless. No one should ever have to bear this kind of burden alone.

Did you know that suppressed emotions and feelings can cause depression? When we choose to hold everything inside, eventually our emotions boil over and effect our mental health. That’s why it’s so important to talk about it.

How to Deal with Depression:

  • Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. It’s hard to heal if you expect yourself to feel better right away. Depression is a healing process. Take your time and go at your own pace. The last thing you need is more pressure to feel well.
  • Get outside and go for a walk. Sitting around and staring at your walls can make everything feel more depressing. Get out of the house even if you don’t want to – it can make the world of difference.
  • There is nothing wrong with medications or counseling. Sometimes meds can help to pull you out of the low points, it doesn’t have to be forever. When medications aren’t enough… maybe seek counseling. I learned a lot about myself by going to counseling – which can also be for a short time period or whatever works best for you.
  • Be honest with the people in your life. Trust me, people will notice that you’re sad. They might be more understanding than you think if you’re willing to be open and honest. There is no shame in feeling sad.
  • Write it down. Don’t underestimate the power of journaling. I have done a lot of journaling and it helped immensely as I recovered from my motorcycle accident. If you can’t say it out loud – put it on paper.
  • Write a no-send letter. Did someone in particular trigger your depression? Tell them how you feel in a letter. The idea of a no send letter is to say everything you’re feeling without them actually receiving it. I know this helped me!
  • Shift your focus from negative to positive. It takes a lot of practice but trying to find the positives in each day gives you a better chance at healing. Start by finding 3 positive things each day… write it down and reflect on it. The more often you practice a positive attitude – the less often you dwell on the negative.
  • Give yourself something to look forward to. A short trip to see family, an outdoor event, gardening, music… anything!
  • Prayer. In time of need, I turned to the Lord for comfort and guidance. Thankfully after the deep valleys come mountain tops and through prayer I was able to get there.

What have you learned through depression? Please share your thoughts below and help contribute to the conversation.

Most of all… remember that you aren’t alone – even though it might feel that way. Many of us have been in your shoes and want to help you through these dark days. There is light at the end… have faith that God will lead you there.

 

Copyright 2014 WordsByMara. All rights reserved.

 

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4 thoughts on “When Depression Takes Hold

  1. Lots of good thoughts as usual, Mara. But I do want to emphasize that there can still be prejudice, and “stigma” associated with both counseling and drug therapy! I encountered that from within my own family, and it nearly destroyed me! If you do feel that you need outside help, I suggest asking your doctor for the name of a reputable therapist or psychiatrist so that you can have plenty of reassurances from a perso\n that you are confident is good and also impartial! Don’t go to “Aunt Suzy’s nephew who will give you a big discount!” That’s not a reputable reference. Your mental health depends on it!!

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  2. I HAVE GONE THRU AT LEAST 4 X’S IN MY LIFE, SERIOUS DEPRESSION, LIKE VERY CLOSE TO NERVOUS BREAKDOWNS. I SHUT OUT THE WORLD & ALL AROUND, INCLUDING FAMILY. THEN I REALIZED I WAS ONLY MAKING MYSELF MORE SICK, & DECIDED TO GET BACK OUT IN THE WORLD, THE REAL WORLD OF THE LIVING!! I ONLY WENT FOR PROFESSIONAL HELP ONCE, & WAS NEVER SORRY I DID!! GOOD WORDS FROM A WONDERFUL NIECE! XOXO AUNT DONNA

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  3. I am currently going through depression, and in the beginning, I felt so guilty about it I couldn’t even talk about it. I thought I was in sin and that as a Christian, I should be having more joy in the Lord. What I have realized that has really helped me is that it’s not my fault. Plain and simple. If God is truly Sovereign, that means that He is allowing me go through depression because it’s a part of His greater plan. This releases the pressure on me to “snap out of it” and frees me up to talk about it openly, ask for prayer, help, and be on antidepressants. I do believe that somehow, it’s a part of God’s bigger plan. I know that it is already showing me my need for God in every moment of every day. He is my sufficiency, my strength, and my joy.

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