Life is so much easier now that I’m not stuck in depression anymore. Which has gotten me thinking about what depression really is and the misconceptions that surround it.
So here are some truths I have learned about depression that I hope others will understand:
- You can’t think yourself out of depression. My thought process did not change from when I felt depressed to now. I didn’t just make a decision to see the world in a new light and suddenly have depression disappear. It was easier to think positive thoughts once I didn’t feel depressed, but positive thoughts did not change my state when I was in depression.
- I don’t know what got me out of depression. I can’t pinpoint a certain event or a specific activity that ended depression for me. I know that therapy, exercise, proper sleep habits, vitamins and eating healthy foods, time with friends, and perseverance all helped me through that period of depression. But none of those brought me out of it.
- Life is harder when you’re depressed. I didn’t have more responsibilities while I was depressed or more demands on me or more stress in my life. Everything just felt harder. All of the normal everyday things that I can do easily now were harder when I was depressed.
- I didn’t make myself depressed or control how long it lasted. Although there are some things that can help delay periods of depression, if you have a tendency towards depression or a persistent mental illness, no amount of positive thinking can completely prevent periods of depression. I didn’t choose to be depressed. It just happened.
- Getting angry or frustrated or tired of my depression didn’t make it go away any sooner. Sometimes when you’re depressed, people tell you to snap out of it or just stop thinking negatively or that things aren’t as bad as you make them seem. None of these things are helpful or change the situation. Most of us yell at ourselves enough for not feeling positive. Other people yelling at us just prevents us from getting the positive affirmations we need to combat our own negative thoughts about ourselves.
- Last but not least, depression doesn’t look the same for everyone. For me depression includes suicidal thoughts, desires for self injury, and an overall mind fog that affects everything I do. For some people it’s more debilitating than that or more physically demanding or a number of other things. Depression is as different as the people who suffer from it.