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Dealing With Depression

My problems with depression seemed to slowly and quietly twist their way into my life for years.  At points it was so subtle I would be able to ignore it, or push it away, or think that it was just another bad day, nothing out of the ordinary.  Somehow day after day grew, and without even realizing how it had gotten there, I began to carry a burden that felt like the weight of the world on my shoulders.

While I was always a worrier, always an anxious person, I could still find happiness very easily and I didn't think depression would ever be a problem for me.  I wasn't expecting it to become a daily struggle, I never expected it to escalate so far.  By the time I truly noticed how badly off it was, I was already far gone.  I lived in denial of it for too long, I realize that easily now.  I think the most important thing is to acknowledge it, to accept it, because once I was able to do that, some of the burden lifted.

I can still remember the time I first realized that depression was a real issue for me.  While I had always had other mental illnesses and always knew others that had to deal with depression, I could never truly understand their thought patterns, what they had to go through.  But one day, it suddenly clicked -- I could understand how they could think the way they did, I could understand being afraid of facing the day, I could understand why one wouldn't want to face the day ahead of them.  I think that was the first moment that I realized that I truly did have these thought patterns and symptoms to deal with myself.

My symptoms would greatly vary.  That was the first thing I noticed, and then I began to notice how truly hard it would be to get up in the morning, how hard it was to look forward to anything.  I would feel isolated from everything and everyone at times.  I would feel like I could never face the days or nights, I would feel lonely and needy.  I would also have physical symptoms, as if I was in so much mental pain that my body was in pain as well.  This was perhaps the most upsetting thing to me, which would only make me even more depressed.

I eventually did get diagnosed with my psychiatrist, but even making that initial visit was hard.  I hope there is a time where it is easier to be open about such matters, but even in that setting, I feel like there is still so much of taboo.  I would be afraid of saying too much about my symptoms and seeming too much of a mess, or not saying enough and seeming as if nothing was wrong.  I was very lucky to go to someone who knew my mental history and was able to be understanding and come to a quick diagnosis.

Considering I always had other mental illnesses (mostly anxiety disorders and phobias), it seemed to me that the depression followed after them.  Like one couldn't exist without the other.  I will never know for sure, but what I do know is that they all absolutely would feed off each other for me.  I don't know if I would know one without the other, they all follow so closely together.  The worse my depression would be, the worse the anxiety, and vice versa.

While it has deeply affected my life in so many negative ways -- missed chances, lost days to depression, etc. -- I also feel that it has given me an even greater appreciation for every good thing.  I feel like the most important thing for me in dealing with depression on a day to day basis is to look for the good things, no matter how small they are, and to hold onto them and to appreciate them with every fiber of being.  This alone has saved me many times.  I also find it very important to have things to look forward to, be they big or small.

If I am truly having a terrible time and can not see the good at all, I make sure that I keep lists that I can refer to.  Lists of good things, good memories, reasons to keep dealing.  I also keep lists of things that can distract me.  If I find that I am not able to do this on my own, I ask for help from an understanding person in my life.

With depression, I often worry that I am a burden to those that I care and love in my life.  I know that it has affected these people, which can make me feel worse and guilty.  So I find keeping an open communication helps me a lot with everyone I know.  I try not to hide what I have to deal with, or to make excuses for it.  I am usually pleasantly surprised by how understanding people can be.  I find support from others to be so important.  Be they family, friends, therapists, groups online, anything and everything helps.  Even just reading from others who also have depression can help some of the loneliness and isolation.  I've found various books and various places on the Internet wonderful to keep me from feeling that isolation.

Those are the steps that truly help my recovery, as well as changing any environmental things that may help.  Whatever I could do to help my external environment be calm and happy, I would do it.  Meanwhile, I would work on accepting the things that I can not change.  Built together, this can truly make a difference.

I know many people have been greatly helped by anti depressants.  Sadly, I went through about half a dozen to a dozen (literally!) medications, none of which worked for me.  I seemed to only get the side effects.  I tried very hard but in the end the best decision for me was to stay away from anti depressants.  It is so hard to deal with, no matter if you are on medication or not, and I admire everyone for dealing with it, no matter what road they go down with the medication decision.

In terms of other professional help, I have found that therapy has helped me at times as well.  Of course, the most important thing was finding the right person.  After that, I find it's important to explore what kind of therapy works.  I find personally that talking about older issues, childhood issues, and things of this nature does not really help me... but working in therapy on what I go through here & now, day to day helps.  At times the skills you can learn in DBT therapy or CBT also helps me greatly.

A combination of acceptance, support, knowledge and understanding has been the help for me.  I didn't choose to go down this path by a longshot, but feel as if I have learned and appreciated more now because of it all.

suzanneontheriver suzanneontheriver 26-30, F 56 Responses Jul 12, 2006

Your Response


I have a couple of suggestions and they are based on my own experiences. I'd been in therapy many years and a few things really helped me out. One was meds and another was an insight I had when I realized that there was a side of me that was working against myself. I felt I was not worthy of self acceptance and if I was I would have to face the world and social situations I'd been unfamiliar with. To stay the way I was may be terrible but not being able to deal with social situations in an uncertain world would be worse. In other words, "The devil you know is better than the devil you don't". It was hard to believe but I was actually shielding myself from positive changes.
Another thing that helped me out a great deal was concept of behavior modification. As you feel, so do you react and...As you Act so do you feel. If you change your behavior, you change the way you feel. When I'm feeling down and anxious, I stand up straight,take a deep breath and keep a good posture. The feelings disipated. You have to train yourself to do this. It'll take while because your not accustomed to this behavior change. But after awhile it becomes a part of you. I t made a big difference to me. Also get the right sleep, keep a good healthy diet.

Great post, I am going through something similar.

Great post, well said

Thank you so much for sharing this, as I was in the trenches of despair with my depression, your story has reminded me that it is okay to feel these feelings, and not fear judgement. I feel hope after finding this community at a time where hope has been incredibly difficult for me to find. Thank you.

Depression is common to my family; it's affected half of my immediate family, including one parent. One sister was hospitalized as a teen and now her daughter has depression and autism. My brother's death was ruled a suicide. My mother gave birth to me and soon after had to bury her young husband. She stopped being my parent, at least emotionally. She seemingly didn't care when others abused me.
My illness is caused by a chemical imbalance, so I don't feel as stigmatized. Another sister "lost it" when her boyfriend left her, so even now, years later, she is still in therapy. In my case,
therapy never worked, so meds are a better solution. Even so, I have a laundry list of those I've tried.

Great post and I relate. I use my experience and background to help others in a type of social work. All the best to you.

Thank you for sharing this. I am dealing with depression myself. I have reached a point where I find it difficult to deal with day to day activities.

I just want to isolate myself. I'm embarrassed of who/what I am.

Isolation can make things a lot worse :(

I'll try to make a list of positive things :) thanks for this.

I totally relate to everything you mention! I went through depression and once the sun started shining again the sun was bright-it really helped me appreciate everything good that I have in my life. Now when I get depressed I try and remember these, I try to stay positive and go on with my life. Battling depression isn't easy but that's life, we go through obstacles, we learn, and we grow.
Thank you for your story :)

You're very lucky! You're very smart too! You seem to really know your stuff and sounds like you have a lot of support! I hope to be where you are someday!

Your story relates to mine greatly. Especially how you express the guilt you feel and the burden it puts on loved ones

If you suffer from any form of depression, Ayahuasca can cure you.

Take a minute to read my story about my experience with Ayahuasca.

I recovered from 20 years of severe uni-polar depression by taking Ayahuasca 8 times over a two week period.

If you suffer from depression google it. If you know someone who does get this information to them. Please.

I have written my Ayahuasca story out on this site. You can read it in my stories. I talk about my childhood abuse, experience with depression and miraculous recovery.

truly inspiring

Same story.

Depression is hard to say the least and it is great that you have found a way to deal with it. I specially like your ideas about keeping lists.

Thankyou for sharing your story..

I cant tell you how much I admire you. You are a brave courageous lady. For the future let me tell you that after years in depression and working on my problems I have managed to gradually step by step work my way out of depression. You can do the same. So keep working and keep strong, you and all the others like you. I assure you there is light at the end of the tunnel. There can be a time when you will feel joy in life and be glad to be alive.And thats a truly wonderful feeling.

Thank you for sharing your story

Thanks for sharing your story <3

Thanks for sharing

I have had depression all my life. My mother commited suicide when I was 5, I inherited the gene. I was emotionaly and physically abused by my step mother, my dad did nothing to stop it. In my situation, I believe that my depression came 90% from environmental and the other 10% from my genes. I have tryed to commit suicide several times. The last time was April 2009. I jumped off a freeway overpass. I have mobility challenges, but ironically, me jumping saved my life. I still get depressed and lonely, but don't think about suicide anymore. I know there is a God now, he saved me and sent me several Angels. And have taken the toxic people out of my life.
I think the internet is great for people like us. I get anxious or depressed and don't want to leave my apartment. But, now I'm not alone. I can talk to someone on the intenet. I have learned to appreciate the small stuff.

Kee ur spirit up dear.

Here if you ever want to talk.

Thank you, for sharing your story. It is all about accepting your situation. Accept rigth now i don't want to accept it, am just mad. I hope one day i can.

Thank you, for sharing your story. It is all about accepting your situation. Accept rigth now i don't want to accept it, am just mad. I hope one day i can.

Thank you, for sharing your story. It is all about accepting your situation. Accept rigth now i don't want to accept it, am just mad. I hope one day i can.

Wow, thanks for sharing your story, at-list now I knew it how to prevent the depression. I am relating to your situation and suddenly suffering loneliness that nobodies listening at me. :/

Thank you for your story which mirrors mines. Talk to me and tell me how to get through this

Wow! I feel like I wrote this myself! Thank you for so courageously sharing your story. You are absolutely right, acceptance is the most important step. Knowing how to handle your worst days and being prepared is key. Good luck to you my friend!

I agree with everything and i can relate to it I get bullied and I hate myself and cant find a cure but this has kept a little glimmer of my hopes alive thankyou

I can totally relate to everything you have written. My Depression began about age four years old. I am now fifty-eight and Disabled with Double-Depression and Panic Disorder-Severe.<br />
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The only thing I do not have is negative self-talk. Never did either. My depression is a physical illness, as much as a emotional illness.<br />
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The brain does not emit the proper hormones, and sets you up. My body did not go through the normal processes that a woman has for reproduction. I had severe excess hair on my face, and body, among other problems. Thank God for electrolysis that killed it. <br />
<br />
Or have Panic attacks?<br />
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I have good years where I do much better, and have success, then I nose-dive for several years. Sounds like Manic-Depressive but it is not. It it simply the cycle I have come to see after fifty four years old suffering.<br />
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Medication helps, but not enough to keep me living a normal life. I have come to accept that I will get better eventually, and if I get worse, I'll get better eventually. <br />
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The ONLY thing that has kept me from killing myself is one tiny scrap of hope that my life will change with God's help.<br />
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Losing everyone and everything in my life that I attained has been hard to live with. But it is not like I am the only person in the world to ever have that happen. <br />
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For all of those who are suffering: Know that you are among millions of people that have a messed up situation.<br />
Try to step back from your situation and see it as a Movie, Book, or TV show.<br />
Laugh that the dumb depression is a life stealer---but not like MANY other things.<br />
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It is not your fault, BUT you do have to live with your own circumstances, take responsibility for it by seeing your doctor, and taking Medications. and just going on "trying" to improve things.<br />
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Take care