Depression for me wasn’t just about the sad moods; it was more about the numbness, the state of oblivion, feeling the need to walk away from everything that mattered around me. “What if I could just go away and leave it all behind?” says my thoughts every single day, don’t get me wrong, this thought wasn’t suicidal; I just wanted to stay away from everything and everyone and just stop existing. This really wasn’t the first time I had experienced it, it’s very seasonal and I just get better, but this time was completely different as everything I cared about didn’t even matter anymore. I would smile and laugh on the outside but deep inside I was lost, I had a lot of people around me and still felt like I was alone. At first, I was going through my normal daily activities, trying to avoid people asking if something was wrong and gradually, I couldn’t anymore, I stopped working/taking jobs, talking to God became hard. I would just sleep all day, rather than sleep at night, all I would do was just cry and cry until I fell asleep. It was the same circle every day, I wasn’t talking to anyone and I wasn’t doing anything about it. I think it’s easy to see depression as a product of the bad things happening to you, but mine wasn’t, it has never been, it just always happens and I’m never able to figure out why. I was gradually withdrawing from people and things that made me happy, everyone especially my mum would always ask me if something was wrong and I was always so fast at saying “nothing”. This kept on happening and I could see it in my mum’s face that she was worried and confused on what to do, she tried her best but to no avail. I went through the same circle every day for weeks, then months (3), I was seriously losing weight and it was just getting worse. As the months were passing by, I was feeling the need to talk to someone but i couldn’t decide who because I was ashamed.
One night after I had shed so much tears, something in me just made me go down on my knees, at first it was hard to talk because my mouth felt too heavy to open, after a while, I just did, I spoke to God that night like he was standing right there. I said all the things I was going through and all of a sudden I started singing worship songs until I fell asleep. The next morning felt different, it felt like a heavy load was just lifted off my chest and I felt the need to talk to someone, so I picked up my phone and called one my closest friend, told him what was happening and that was how I started recovering. I was glad he understood what I was going through, he sent me some articles about depression which I read, he would always pray with me and spend hours on the phone talking to me and making sure I was ok. All these helped, I started going out and I was always keeping myself busy so that I don’t find myself back where I was gradually leaving. I didn’t want to talk to family because everyone always saw me as the strongest, I always felt the need to remain that way even when m not. My recovery has been improving, though m not there yet but m sure m getting better every day as m taking it a day at a time, I still have my off days, I think everyone does but m gradually learning to stop been so hard on myself. To be honest, there is no better way to overcoming depression other than finding your way back to God, doing it might be hard at first, but the moment you do, it would get better.
However, depression is a mental/ emotional disorder and it’s something that should be taken seriously and attended to on time. Dealing with depression requires action but taking the action could be hard and exhausting because of the things you need to do to get over it. Taking the first step to overcoming depression could be very hard to do but the moment you are able to do the needful which is most importantly talking to someone about it but not just anybody, preferably someone you know can help you positively, it gets easier and better. Healing is not a rapid process, so don’t be so much in a hurry, take it one day at time.
Here are some signs of depression:
- Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
- Feelings of hopelessness, or pessimism
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
- Decreased energy or fatigue
- Moving or talking more slowly
- Feeling restless or having trouble sitting still
- Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
- Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
- Appetite and/or weight changes
- Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
Tips to overcoming depression
- Acceptance: The best and easiest way to overcome depression is to know and be ready to accept that you are depressed. The moment you realize this then you start healing.
- Pray! Whenever you are feeling sad or depressed go on your knees and talk to God about it
- Get help! Try talking to someone preferably a therapist or someone you know has an idea of what depression is, not just anyone you would talk to and all they would tell is “its well”.
- Involve yourself in activities that make you happy or feel good about yourself, such as listening to good music (relaxation music), be involved a lots of exercises and exercise groups, take a stroll at least once or twice daily.
- .Surround yourself with positive people, I mean people who add value to your life and also value your existence.
- Eat healthy: studies shows has eating food that contain certain nutrients such Vitamin B (B-12, B-complex), Omega-3 fatty acids (salmon, herring, mackerel, anchovies, sardines, tuna, and some cold-water fish oil supplements)play and essential role in stabilizing mood. Also reduce your sugar intake and be sure to include food like citrus fruit, leafy greens, beans, chicken, and eggs in your diet.
- Read motivational books and spend more time doing what you love.
- Always believe in yourself and keep your faith strong and always remember that self-empowerment is key!
To anyone reading this and going through depression, I just want you to know that you matter, do not listen to that voice in your head that is telling you that you don’t, you are loved and cared for, you are worth so much more than you think, you have the power to achieve everything you want in life, you are only human and its ok to feel something. Get help, talk to someone/people, share your story (ies), speak up about the things that are bothering you rather than letting them pile up in your head, as the popular saying “a problem shared is half solved”, you can’t get the help you need if you don’t open up about whatever it is that is bothering you. If you are finding it hard talking to people around you, you can also reach out me to via email, let’s rob minds together.
To dear friend (s) and family (ies), ensure to check on your loved ones from time to time, not just checking on them, ask them how they are doing, what they are up to, say nice things to them, express your feelings towards them in a positive way, this way you just might me saving a life because truly, everyone is fighting one or two battles no one knows about. Treat people nicely, every single act of kindness matters!
Have a story about depression that you’d like to share? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment in the comment section.
Thanks for reading!
Picture credit: Google