Going through depression is like going through labor – only you know how much pain you’re in. While the result of labor, no matter how long, is a bundle of joy, depression ends up taking its toll on both mind and body. I should know, I’ve been through the symptoms a couple of times in my life – you’re not able to eat or sleep, you’re scared to get into bed because of the nightmares that haunt you so you drink yourself to sleep, getting out of bed each morning is a drag because you can’t seem to think of a reason to get up and face the day, and your mind wanders in its own lonely and sad cocoon irrespective of what people around you are saying and doing. I do have one good thing to say about depression though - it can be cured without medical treatment if you’re mentally strong enough. Here are a few pointers from my suitcase of memories to help those battling this disease:
- Keep yourself busy: There’s no better antidote to the slow poison called depression than work, work and more work. The more you try to drown yourself in some useful activity that contributes to your self-worth, the better you’re bound to feel. So get up, get out of the house, go to work, and throw yourself whole heartedly into the tasks that await you, and you’ll see a remarkable difference in your mental status in as little as a day or two.
- Surround yourself with loved ones: One technique I used to pull myself out of the quagmire of depression was to talk, talk and talk some more to friends. If I was not hanging out with some of them, I was on the phone with a few others. Even though my heart was not in it, I took part in all their activities, mostly the ones that painted the town red. And believe me, pretending to be happy and carefree actually resulted in the feelings becoming a reality.
- Avoid substance abuse: Sure, alcohol or drugs can provide you with a momentary escape from the ghosts that torment you, but the relief is fleeting. And when the effects die down, the ghosts come back with a vengeance that leaves you even more devastated. It’s not going to be easy to stay away from the bottle and the pills, especially when you’ve become addicted to them for their soporific effect, but a little will power goes a long way. Stay true to your resolve for a day or two, after which the going gets easier.
- Get some exercise: A good sweat is enough to chase away the demons that are swirling in your mind, so put on those running shoes and jog your blues away. An iPod loaded with upbeat songs is the only thing you need for company. Alternatively, you could take up a sport and let the adrenaline flow as you battle it out with your friends – the camaraderie and laughter will make you forget you were ever depressed.
- Give meaning to your life: Turn your life around so that you find some sense of purpose to your presence on earth. Involve yourself in an activity that fulfills your soul and makes you want to face each day with renewed vigor. This will prevent you from slipping back into your moody, reserved persona.
This article is contributed by Sarah Scrafford, who regularly writes on the topic of x ray tech schools. She invites your questions, comments and freelancing job inquiries at her email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.