Health

Four Simple Actions For You to Take When You’re Experiencing Debilitating Depression

man standing in front of the window
Photo by: Sasha Freemind/Unsplash

Depression prevents self-improvement. According to Healthy Place, you can’t fix your way out of depression. Now I get it.

At the age of 26 and as a sufferer of depression, anxiety, and onset schizophrenia, I totally hate how self-improvement addicts tell me to wake up at 5 am, go for a jog, meditate for ten minutes, write for hours, eat this, drink that… the list goes on. It causes me even more anxiety in the first place.

I’m currently in a mental clinic to heal – here’s self-improvement for the depressed from my perspective.

Trying your best not to go back to bed being in a mental clinic is tough. Some days you don’t even want to get up, although you know the therapy may help. I guess it has to do with the place and rhythm of life too. 

One of my friends here has it hard. He’s in such a deep depression that he will sneak back into bed after breakfast and miss the morning round, but there’s nothing else he feels he can do. 

If this is you: try your best not to do it. I know going back to bed seems like the only option when your head and heart and body feel heavy, but it will only make you feel worse. Sleeping off depression is like a regression. Regress and digress with depression, and it will hold you there. I’ve been there before.

Before I came to the clinic, I was in bed all day and felt paralysed. I tried to get up to make some food, but even that was difficult. The moment I made the decision that I would write instead of doing nothing, for example, the moment it got easier for me to get up and do something. Whatever it is that may stimulate your creativity — hold on to it and do it without judgment. That may mean making music, writing, drawing, etc. 

Remember: depression makes you feel many bad things about yourself, so that’s the reason you want to get back to bed. Research shows depression often looks a lot like low self-esteem.

Do Something For Yourself 

Doing something may just be eating or cooking, or showering. The little things matter the most. When I was in a deep depression, cleaning myself didn’t sound like a good idea. I wouldn’t even make myself a cup of tea at times because I felt unworthy. Sounds ridiculous, right? It is too. 

But it’s the way it was… and still can be at times when I fall back into it. When you feel like going back to bed, remember that you can do so many things for yourself that make you feel better. I tell my friend here to go on a walk because of nature’s healing benefits.

Write Out Your Feelings 

I’ve written about this before. Journaling your feelings out is a tremendous tool in healing and moving forward. It helps me to come to terms with my emotions and let them settle. For example, if I am feeling super anxious and nervous, I write them down and then let them out on paper. It is a physical and mental process — try it out, here’s how: Journaling: An Effective Way to Release Emotions My best friend passed away when I was 21. Since then, I’ve gotten into the habit of journaling whenever my heart is… medium.com You can do this whenever. I told my friend to do this in the notebook I made for him in work therapy. One of the therapies we get here is paper therapy. We make notebooks and folders. It’s a great way of getting better because you feel proud of what you’ve made, especially if you can gift it to someone else to help them. In his book, I wrote reasons to stay out of bed and ways to start talking to yourself better for him to look back on.

Speak To a Friend or Family Member 

This always brings me back to me. Even when I am totally down in the dumps and don’t know what to do with myself, I know hearing someone’s voice will cheer me up. And it does every time. Research shows that hearing someone’s voice causes dopamine to occur in the brain. We are stuck in our own minds when it comes to depression. Anything that will help us reach out is a great task.

I know this happens when my mum or sister calls me. Even when I don’t feel like picking up the phone, and I do, they seem to bring me back to me. At times, it’s because they talk about themselves so much that I forget about my own mixed-up world and am then asking them questions about their lives. This helps. 

Anyone that can put you off your own stress helps because sometimes talking about depression makes it worse, and you then get lost in your own feelings; at least that’s what it’s like for me.

My mum can talk for England(!), so I love it when she just chit-chats her way to feeling okay with me. It makes me feel better that she can talk to me about all things and everything because that way I don’t have to tell her all about my depression and her stories then take me further away from what’s going on with me.

In Conclusion 

Don’t push yourself too much. I know that when I was hard on myself for not doing anything, things got worse and I paralysed myself into bed. It was tough and trying. So that’s why you can try out these small things that will help with the bigger things. Firstly remember to not get back into bed and use all your might not too! 

Then do something for yourself like cooking or cleaning. Remember to then write your feelings out and speak to a friend or family member to feel better. Hope this helps!

You can follow Grace @graceygrossmann for all things mental health and more.

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