Is a feeling that all living have experienced at point in their life whether they will admit it or not. Lets start with the question what causes depression? There are so many causes for depression because there is so many difficult situations that can put us there and there is some depressions far more darker than anybody has ever experienced. The loss of a loved one, divorce, troubled marriage, spouse betrayal, feeling like you dont have as many friends as you should, feeling as if your life isnt as good as you want it to be, health problems, drug addiction problems, sexual abuse, watching a traumatic event happen, the list goes on.
Symptoms of depression
- Constant sadness
- Lack of interest in things,hobbies, activities you normally would enjoy
- Energy problems/sleep problems
- Thoughts of suicide or being better off dead and not apart of the world anymore
- Isolating yourself from others and spending much thinking inside your head
Is there anything I can do to help get rid of depression?
The first step in any problem is acknowledging that you have a problem. By acknowledging that it is there is something wrong with you is your first step to feeling well again. Just because you have depression that doesn't mean your some kind of psychopath or anything. You are human and there are many high and low moments in life especially with the condition of the economy and the daily drama. Honestly if you dont get sad about anything that means there is something even worse wrong with you. Even people who you think are living it up like celebrities, famous rap artist, rockstars, and tv actors have had a moment or time in their life where they thought maybe things would be better if they were dead. What you see on the outside of someone is not always how they feel in the inside. You can be rich/famous/good family and still suffer from depression.
Okay so I have just acknowledged the problem now what do I do?
You know better than anyone else that you cant just magically make depression go away in an instant. Getting out of depression is like being trapped in a hole with one ladder and you are the only one that can climb that ladder. You know well that it is going to take many steps to get up that ladder to reach the top and be above ground which is similar to depression because it takes time along with reducing negativity in your environment and keeping a positive attitude. It is always easier said than done however but choosing to do something about the problem makes a big difference in your attitude. Caring for yourself and your body is the next step. In order to be happy you have to love yourself and at the same time love yourself even if you have made a lot of mistakes/problems that you dont love so much. Dont beat yourself up about past failures or make up high expectations what you should be because that puts more stress on you. You may not be able to completely forget about the past but you can certainly learn from it and mark that as a chapter in your book of life and start a new chapter where you decide who you want to be and where it leads. Remember all the control is in you and only you, nobody else is captain of this ship.
How can I keep a positive attitiude if I am unhappy and what if I cant control the negativity in my environment?
Sometimes people are put in a situation where they dont have control over their environment like having abusive parents as a young kid. A kid cannot just simply up and leave and live on his own. This next step is the reaching out stage because remember you are captain of your ship and sometimes its up to you to reach your destination.
Reach out by talking to others, now remember not everyone is going to understand because some people cannot relate with your experiences and have no clue what to say or do but there always will be someone out there that will know. Here are some ways of reaching out and reducing the negativity in your environment which will help keep your mind on a positive attitude.
- Join a sports team you love doing. This is a really good way to meet people and make friends, exercise, and boost your self esteem all at once.
- Pick up a new hobby, learn how to play an instrument, set your own personal goals such as writing a book or anything that you love to do.
- Stay away from drugs and people that do drugs. You cant be friends with everyone in the world so dont feel bad about discerning who you want to be involved with.
- Take small steps out of your comfort zone. For example if you have social anxiety , go out to the grocery store and buy some random stupid thing and ask the cashier "How was your day" and practice making small conversation. Not only does this help boost your confidence the more you do it but it might also put a smile on the cashiers face because of your friendliness unlike the past 100 customers who are silent and cold.
- Dont bundle up your emotions and problems inside. In order to get rid of stressful emotions you have to express them someway. For example a punching bag is a great way to release some tension in you because you are using energy and getting that adrenaline up a bit. Also exercising or even just simply talking to someone about it. Because when you talk about it , you are expressing yourself and it will make you feel a whole lot better.
What is anxiety?
Nobody is ever taught about this uncomfortable feeling that comes on in your teens and the next minute you are having a full blown panic attack, you think you are having a heart attack and on the verge of dying. The picture to my left is a great visual of seeing that anxiety is a viscious cycle that keeps going. It starts out with an uncomfortable feeling which leads to panic because you think there is something totally wrong with you or your about to die. You then become depressed because you panicked and you think there is something wrong with you which makes you worry about yourself which makes the anxiety even worse causing you to panic frequently and sink to an even bigger depression.
Where does anxiety come from?
It comes from your brain. We were made to have adrenaline to help us in a true time of danger that gives us more strength and run faster so we can get away from danger. The problem is sometimes your brain wires something non-lethal or irrational into thinking that there is a real sense of danger and it becomes a habit inside your brain so that the next time the event occurs you automatically react to it with anxiety.
Is there anything I can do to get rid of anxiety and stop having panic attacks?
You must always remember that even though panic attacks are very scary, you will never die from a panic attack. Now that you understand that its just your brain causing you to react like this you now can have control over your fear. The next time you have a panic attack remember to remind yoursef that everything is going to be ok. What happens to some people is they develop a fear of having a panic attack which makes everything worse. Do not feel embarassed if you had a panic attack in front of other people because just as much as you worry about yourself, they worry about you too and they want to understand what is wrong but not everyone has had a panic attack so sometimes they just cannot understand. Here are some ways to fight anxiety and things to remember when battling anxiety because like depression anxiety takes time to get out of too.
- No one has ever died from a panic attack. The 70 year old man smoking a cigarette and driving his car has a better chance of dying at the wheel than you having a panic attack wherever you may be.
- Always remember that anxiety is just your adrenaline surging at an irrational moment or place. Knowing this will help you stop the panic and understand how to accept change in your environment.
- Stop worrying. Worrying does not add a day to your life and it only makes things worse. You need to embrace time one moment at a time and just enjoy life. Take that list of worries in your mind and throw them away and put your attention in better things that give you enjoyment.
- Do not beat yourself up if you are still struggling through anxiety because getting over anxiety doesnt happen in just one night. You have to face your fear by taking small steps out of your comfortable zone and make small accomplishments which will make you proud of yourself and want to take bigger and better steps until you have finally overcome what is bothering you and stopping you from having peace of mind.