Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Dealing with Depression

I've written about my own struggle with depression a lot. I thought I would write a post about dealing with it. This is something I could have used years ago.

*There is nothing wrong with you. Know that having depression doesn't make weak, unworthy, or that you did something wrong. Think of it like you would any other medical condition. If you had a thyroid problem you wouldn't view yourself as weak or unworthy, you just have a medical condition.

*Seek help. It doesn't matter if you turn to a friend, family member, doctor or therapist, start somewhere. I put this off for so many years. I didn't want to admit that I really was depression and that I did need help.

*Medication is okay. I had people tell me, before I went on them, that antidepressants would just mask the problems and that they are addictive and you shouldn't take them. I believed these things for over 10 years. Sometimes it takes trial and error to get on the right medication for you, but when you do you don't feel like it is masking the negative stuff. Instead you feel normal. Some people need medication their whole lives while others might go on them for a while and then eventually go off them. And for some they don't need the medication at all, they just need to work through stuff with a therapist.

*Exercise. When my doctor told me this I just rolled my eyes. My exercise, nope. Eventually I came around to the idea of it. For a year and a half I would exercise off and on whenever I was physically able to. I have felt like my medication is most effective/ the depression is best managed when I am exercising daily. It took me a while to find what I enjoyed, but once I found it I couldn't stop doing it. Everyday I look forward to going out and cycling.

*Do the basics. This has been the hardest for me to do. Reading your scriptures and praying daily is essential. It is so important to try to stay close to the Lord and turn to him instead of drawing away from him.

*Take care of yourself. Often as a wife and a mother you think that doing anything for yourself or by yourself is being selfish. It is not. If you always put everyone else's needs first you will never have time for yourself. Sometimes it is just little things like going to a store without any kids!

*Find a hobby. Often I am jealous of my husband's hobbies because they get him out of the house while mine keep me cooped up inside. He loves hunting and shooting while I love crafting and making jewelry. Having that outlet helps so much. At times I will really be struggling with the depression as I start working on some jewelry. Once I start I am focused on what I am doing and by the time I am done the depression doesn't seem so bad.

*Don't isolate yourself. Another huge struggle for me. I'm a quiet person by nature so it is easy for me to distance myself from others and not socialize at all. It can be so hard because you want to isolate yourself and yet when you do you feel lonely!

*Sleep. Have a regular, healthy sleep habit! When my depression was at it's worse I would stay up until 4 am and then not get up until 2 or 3 pm! It was so unhealthy. I have finally found what works best for me, I fall asleep easily and wake up feeling more refreshed then tired and groggy. For me it is 1 am to 8 am. If I try to adjust it like 12 to 7, it doesn't work!

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