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Depression affects a lot of us. When I say a lot, I mean an estimated 19 million people in the United States alone struggle with depression.
What is it? People throw that word around a lot: “Ugh, I’m just depressed today…”
You know, we use a lot of terms without actually knowing what they mean, and depression is honestly something that’s considered a mood disorder. Now, what does that mean? That just means that our mood is depressed, as in, it’s a down mood. You know when sometimes we’re feeling very excited, we’re very energetic and we don’t know why but today’s a great day, and then we feel that way?
Right, when we’re depressed we may feel tired, we may feel achy, we may not enjoy the things we used to enjoy like oh, your girlfriends call, some of your friends call and are like “Hey, we’re headed out to go out on this hike!” and you used to always do that with them. But now you either don’t pick up the phone, or it just doesn’t sound like a good time.
Or you might even try to get yourself to go and you don’t even have the energy. So, those are some of the common symptoms of depression. As well as that feeling at night, when we can’t almost can’t shut our brain off, so we’re tired all day long, and all we can think about is “I can’t wait to get back to bed, can’t wait to get back to bed,” and then we get to bed, and we can’t sleep.
How annoying. Right? And the cycle just goes and goes and goes.
Now, what do we do? Because, to be honest, I would even venture to say, and this is just my opinion obviously, I would venture to say that everyone has had a depressive episode in their life. We’ve had times when we feel down, things get really stressful and we’re overwhelmed, so you’re not alone. Don’t think you’re alone at all.
But now that we think we may struggle with it, “yeah, I do feel kind of depressed and I do have trouble and I don’t enjoy things…” we need to find a therapist. Now I know many of you feel like, “I just don’t know” or “that’s expensive” or “I don’t know what to do.”
That’s the first step I would take. And I would look into options. I have a video that I did, it feels like ages ago, about how to get treatment when funds are low, and I know I talk about eating disorder treatment in there. But I also talk about seeing a therapist and getting them to work on a sliding scale.
Okay, so now we’re going to go try to see a therapist. Well, then what? What if that’s not enough?
We see them once a week and things aren’t changing. You may want to make an appointment to see your doctor or your psychiatrist because there medications out there that they say can help. There are also homoeopathic remedies, there are things that we can do, right?
So, don’t feel like if therapy isn’t enough and you feel a little better but you don’t feel quite back to normal, don’t feel like you’re stuck. Okay? That’s one of the first things that we need to do.
And the thing that I tell my clients, so if you come into my office and you’re telling me these things like “I’m really tired, and I don’t enjoy anything, I was feeling overwhelmed,” whatever it may be, however you present and I think to myself “Well it sounds like they are kind of having a depressive episode. What would I do?”
I would encourage you to try and do the opposite of what your depression tells you to do.
Now a lot of what I do is externalizing the issue so the depression, I would kind of give it its own identity. It’s this other thing. It’s like this fog that rolls in and just hangs, right? So, what do we do about it? Well, we need to force ourselves out. So, if you wake up on a Saturday and you’re like, “I would rather just stay in bed all day,” don’t do it!
Don’t listen to that depression, it will keep you in it forever! I would encourage you-text that friend, go out for coffee to make a plan. Make plans you can’t get out of. And I know you’re thinking “Katti, that sounds horrible, and I don’t want to,” but we have to fight back.
Because although depression can come and go, when we just submit to it and submit to it, it can get worse. Okay? Does that kind of make sense? It’s almost like anything,
If we just keep doing negative things and expecting a positive outcome, that would be crazy, right?
So, we need to start doing positive things in preparation for a positive outcome. So, let’s call that friend. Let’s vent a little, let’s cry, it’s okay! Put on a sad movie, let yourself cry. Put on some sad music. I honestly love that, it feels so cathartic, it’s just so good to cry sometimes.
So let yourself, but, once a week, this is my challenge to you, once a week, let’s talk back to that voice, and let’s do something that it tells us we don’t want to do, or we’re too tired to do, or whatever. Because we have to get out. We have to push ourselves. You could have a good time. Who knows? Right?
But we don’t know if we don’t challenge it. And otherwise, we’re just listening to that nasty voice, and it will just get worse and worse. Does that make sense? In addition, there’s a lot of things that we can do, and we can work it out. So, we’ll find a therapist, and then we’ll probably go to our doctor or psychiatrist because we might want an antidepressant or some medication that could help. And, we’re going to force ourselves to get out.
Do something. I promise it will feel better.
It just feels good sometimes to just shower, and to put on some clothes. Maybe like some jeans and a t-shirt, and we walk to the coffee shop, even though we don’t really want to. I promise you it will feel better just to take that step because the more we stay in bed and the more we just wallow in our depression, it will snowball on us and we’ll feel so caught up in it and we almost can’t see out.
So, while we can, let’s get hold of it, and let’s get our lives back because we all deserve to have those happy moments, and to be excited and to get out and have relationships with people because people love us and people care about us. And we need to go out and enjoy.
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