Are you in a state of depression? You can win the battle and you can win the war!

 

Everyone experiences depression at some point in their life.  If depression is prolonged and severe it may become a clinical problem. 

Depression was described by Winston Churchill as the “black dog.”  Churchill was describing the depth of misery that depression can inflict on sufferers.

Depression is a misunderstood condition.  People often say “just snap out of it.”  They think if you cannot get out of bed that you are lazy.  Depression is like a 500 lb weight on your back that prevents you from enjoying and living life to its fullest.

Depression impacts your social skills, hygiene, motivation, and thought processes.  Suicidal ideation is a concern and it is important to have a safety plan in place.  

So what is the solution?  If you can understand that depression in most cases is a phase and will lift then you are miles ahead of the game.  A support network is also essential.  Friends and family provide a reason for people to fight the battle and continue living. 

A counsellor can be very helpful in structuring goals and developing a routine.  A counsellor can help provide insight and put things into perspective and help you cope with your daily struggles and challenges.

You should always see a GP or psychiatrist before you begin any program to alleviate depression.  For the most severe cases it may be beneficial to take medicine.  The right drug with the dose may do wonders. 

But medicine is only one part of the equation.  Just like a car needs more maintenance and care than just regular fill-ups of fuel. 

You still need to eat well, get good sleep, and exercise.  Swimming can help you feel refreshed and alive.  A regular routine of any exercise can help improve your mood and physical stamina.  You can start by just going through the motions and putting in an effort.  Even walking and getting in touch with nature and the environment may lift your spirits.

Positive thinking and reinforcement can also pay dividends.  Simply writing “be active” or “be happy” on your bedroom wall may help lift your mood and get your day started on a positive note.   

Recovering from depression takes time.  There is no overnight cure.  The good news is that with every depression you recover from, you gain new skills, tools, and experience.  You become better prepared to recognize the signs and symptoms of future battles with depression and can put a plan of action in place. 

Just remember you are a part of creation.  Your lineage date back thousands of years and you are a survivor just like many of your ancestors. 

Depression is not your fault.  It is a daily struggle.  If you can just increase your socialization and escape the alienation and isolation that our society sometimes inflicts on people you will be taking a small step towards recovery. 

Psychosocial rehabilitation may help you re-integrate back into society.  This rehabilitation may include learning to cook, learning the local bus routes, or attending a clubhouse.  In addition, it may include learning new vocational skills such as gaining computer skills and volunteer work to help prepare you for the world of work.   

With a little bit of effort every day, you can win the battle and you can win the war!  You just need to believe that your future is full of hope and happiness. 

For more information and support on depression and mental health issues please check out Here to Help, the Mood Disorders Association of BC, and the Canadian Mental Health Association

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