Dealing with a mental illness can have its difficulties, for me recently being diagnosed with Depression and Anxiety has been a game changer in my life. I have always known that I wanted to go to therapy to deal with some childhood trauma and abandonment issues, but what the results of those issues caused in my life is what I really needed help with.
Before I was professionally diagnosed, I consistently had moments of hopelessness, fatigue, sadness, mood swings and many other symptoms for long periods of times. I would use working a lot as an excuse to get out of things when really it was something else going on inside me. I knew I had so much to do but felt guilty because my mind had me strapped to the bed. While people commended me on working hard and being social, I was still struggling internally.
While I still struggle with my depression and anxiety, I have better coping skills and things in place that help me deal with my them daily. Today I want to share what I am currently doing in my journey. Remember that I am not a licensed professional, I am sharing my thought and view from my personal journey.
Finding a therapist was the first step I took to get my mental health back in shape. I created a list, so I knew exactly what I was looking for when I began my search. Here is the short list that I started with:
- Psychiatrist vs Psychologist
- In-network for my insurance
- In office visits
The list can go on and on, but these are the things that I focused on. I knew some of the topics I wanted to expound on in my sessions and knew I would needed to be extremely comfortable. If you feel that you want to seek therapy began to create your check list and let’s get started on the road to healing. Know that you may not find your perfect match on the first try and that is OK. If you do thing you are ready for face to face visits you can text-message based therapy such at Talkspace. You can also research affordable help in your area.
UNDERSTANDING AND ACCEPTANCE
After being diagnosed my psychiatrist explained the importance of understanding and acceptance in my journey. Understanding not only helps me process what’s going on but it also helps me explain to others how I feel.
Acceptance is the start of my coping process. You know that saying the first step in getting help is admitting you have a problem. Well, that is what I was going through. Accepting that these low moments are serious, and I needed to get help and learn coping mechanisms to battle through. I asked many questions, I did my research and had conversations with myself. Accepting that this is apart of who I am, but with acceptance and hard work it won’t define who I am.
How are you going to work on your understanding and acceptance phase? Well, I’m going to tell you how. You are going to ask questions, use resources and equip yourself with the knowledge from a professional. Write down when you feel something at certain points express this in therapy or your support group. Ask question to learn new ideas and see if they work for you.
Finding Genuine Support
He is just a regular guy who loves a girl with a mental disorder, and she is my best friend since high school and they are a very understanding bunch. They are both motivating forces in my life. See the key to finding they right support group is understanding. A friend or family member who understands they can’t fix your or your situation, but who helps you stay on track and that’s what these two do for me. They remind me of my micro goals, they motivate me when I may be on a low. They are both just a phone call or hug away.
It may be one family member, or a friend, it could be a support group in your are. Support is what you need on this journey. Don’t let thoughts are being a burden hinder you for asking for help. Sometimes we need to make people aware of whats going on so they can give us a check up phone call or text. Don’t be afraid to ask, “Hey from time to time can I call you if I’m feeling low, just to be a listen ear.” Trust me it helps to have help.
Sometimes it can be hard to manage my long-term goals when I fall into a depressive state. To help me see contentious progress I learned the art of making micro goals. Smaller goals that keeps me going. On the weekend it may look like just writing in my gratitude journal. Some days it may be making a meal or talking to someone about how I’m really feeling. This goal gives me motivation during the dark times to keep going. So, if I didn’t make it through my whole 30-minute workout, at least I put my gym clothes on and did the warm up. Fighting a little harder and accomplishing a little more.
You can do the same. Create micro goals so you can still accomplish things when you are feeling at your lowest. Even if it’s to get out of the bed and walk to the mailbox or cook a hot meal instead of ordering out, it’s something. Something is always better than nothing at all. Learn to be comfortable in your own skin when faced with adversity. It will not happen overnight, but it will happen. You can do it, I believe in you.
The last thing I do is practice gratitude daily, NO MATTER HOW I FEEL. I brought Growing in Gratitude Journal: 150 Days of Expressing Thanks by Alexandra Elle. So, every morning before I leave the house I complete my daily entry. This way no matter how I’m feeling I know that I must be grateful for something. Some days are harder than others, but I try my hardest to focus and change my mindset. Even if it’s just for one moment, I find some type of happiness.
Find a way to get out of your own head. It may be using a journal to practice gratitude or mindfulness, or coloring. Find what works for you and do it.
No matter what just know you got this. Kick those micro goal in the butt. Find that support group or person to express your feeling with. Practice gratitude, but most of all accept that even though you may have a mental disorder, your mental disorder does not have to have you. Take back the control over your life and began to WIN. It’s OK that you get down, acknowledge that feeling and push through. Don’t pigeon hole yourself or let anybody tell you that you can’t. You got this!
Anxiety and Depression Association of America
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255
Crisis Text Line US text HOME to 741741
3 thoughts on “Day to Day Healing: 5 Tips for Managing Depression”
I know exactly how you feel. I was diagnosed with anxiety as a teenager, and clinical depression as an adult. In fact, my therapist stated that I most likely was depressed as far back as my teens. It has been a long, hard road to recovery, and totally worth the work and effort. I found, as I was nearing the end of therapy (due to finally being able to maintain my self-confidence and esteem, among other factors) that exercise plays a big part just in elevating one’s mood. I will often go out and practice my kick-boxing skills or just work out in general just to elevate my mood — and it works! It also helped the fibromyalgia, and I even lost some weight (not my end goal, but a good side benefit). Good luck to you. G-d bless.
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I agree with the exercise, but I notice the difference when I’m not exercising. Thanks for the input and I’m so happy to hear your healing journey has a happy ending.