Mar 02, 2010
Ok, I’d like to start off by saying that I am not qualified in treating depression in anyway. I’ve not even been diagnosed with it. I am however convinced that I have been suffering from it for the last few years, finding myself hitting rock bottom (at least I think it was) about 4 months ago. It hadn’t even occurred to me that I could be suffering from depression until about 8 months ago and even then I dismissed the idea fairly quickly.
It wasn’t until I hit ‘rock bottom’ that I really started reading forums and articles on the internet and began to realize that I was in fact depressed. I almost felt relieved when it finally did hit me. For a long time I just thought I had become a miserable sod who couldn’t be bothered to ever do anything, which in a sense I was, but at least now I knew there was a reason for it. And now that I knew what the reason was, I could start doing something about it.
One of the first things I did was tell my story on an internet forum. I poured my heart out. I said all the things that I would have felt uncomfortable saying to my closest friends and family. My insecurities’, my dwellings on negative & irrational thoughts, my lack of motivation, my feelings of loneliness. The lot. Other forum members were quick to agree with the idea that I was suffering from depression. No matter how lonely I felt, deep down I knew I had good friends but I couldn’t speak to them about this, I’ve mostly always kept my feelings to myself (probably not helping my condition). I had not spoken to a soul about the way I was feeling until I explained things on the forum. This alone made me feel like I had achieved something.
Through the forum I got talking to a girl of a similar age to me, she had read my post and could identify with how I was feeling. We swapped MSN addresses and started talking about what we were going through. It was amazing. Neither of us could believe how we were feeling exactly the same as each other, even the little things that I thought were unique to me. I’m not one for big emotional outbursts but I almost felt like crying tears of happiness. It was such a relief to find out that the things I was feeling, the insecurities that I had carried around with me for years, the constant negative dialogue going on in my head was not exclusive to me. We don’t talk anymore, I think we got to a stage where we had talked ourselves out and didn’t need to do it anymore but I hope she knows how much sharing things with her really helped me.
One thing that all the articles I read and the posters on the forums told me to do is speak to my doctor about it. I couldn’t and still haven’t. The thought of having to sit in front of another human being and speaking about all this deeply personal stuff terrified me. Typing it all down and telling it to strangers was easy, to do it in front of people face to face was to me something completely different.
I think if you can do it, if you can go to a doctor and tell him how you’re feeling; great. It’s the best option. Otherwise, if you’re like me you won’t do it. No matter how much people tell you to do it, you won’t. So for those people, try some of the things that have helped me.
1) Speak to someone
ANYONE! If you feel comfortable speaking to your friends or family about the way you’re feeling, do it. If not, go on to the forums and tell your story. Pour your heart out, express exactly how you’re feeling. Maybe you will find a friend on there who feels exactly like you and discover that you’re not alone.
2) Set yourself goals and things to look forward to
Maybe this doesn’t apply to everyone. But for me, I think some of what I was / am feeling was because I didn’t / don’t know what I want and where I want to go in life. I’ve always struggled with what I want as a career, I’m still struggling. But by setting goals and focusing on things one step at a time, progress is made. Also setting yourself things to look forward to keeps you going through the bad times.
I recommend the below audiobooks. They talk about techniques to help you feel more confident and motivated and also use meditation and hypnotic language. They have really helped me. I think a great deal of my issues were a result of my inner dialogue. The voice in my head that was constantly there, filling it with negative thoughts. This inner dialogue grew and grew until it was more or less controlling me, resulting in almost all my thoughts being negative. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still there, but I’m slowly getting it to shut up and I think this is partly down to these audiobooks reconditioning my mind. For so long my thoughts were negative to the point where I’m not sure if my mind knew how to think anything different. These books have contributed to me thinking more positively and helped me acknowledge as soon as I start thinking negatively which enables me to stop myself. Now these audiobooks might not be for everyone, but give them ago. Listen to at least one of them everyday and see if they have an effect. I usually listen to them before I go to sleep at night. The very least they will do is relax you and help you drift away from your problems for a while.
- ‘Be Super Motivated in 30 Minutes’ by Tony Wright (This is actually available for free on iTunes at the moment)
- ‘Be Super Confident in 30 Minutes’ by Tony Wright (£2.95 on iTunes)
- ‘Confidence’ by Dr Stephen Simpson (£2.95 on iTunes)
As well as these I also recommend the following regular books that can help bring confidence and motivation in to your life (they are also available as audiobooks which is how I bought them):
- ‘Feel the Fear and Do It Anyway’ by Susan Jeffers
- ‘Awaken the Giant Within’ by Anthony Robbins (a bit cheesy but worth a look)
4) Look at old photos
Ok, this one is abit out there and it happened to me by accident when I was going through some stuff. I came across some old photos of me on holidays and on days out with my friends when I was in my late teens and early 20’s. Now I’m only 25 now so it’s hardly that long ago, but when I looked at the photos if felt like it was a life time ago. I was not the person I was looking at in the photos anymore. The person in the photo’s didn’t dwell on the negatives in life 24 hours a day 7 days a week. He had the normal hang ups and insecurities all people of that age have but he also had dreams, thought positively and smiled from within; all things that I had since forgotten. Now I can’t narrow down exactly what looking at these photos did for me but remembering my outlook, my personality, the way I was back then made me realise: if I’ve felt like that before, I can feel like it again. Now this sounds really out there but over the next few days I kept thinking about the photos and how I was back then and from that, in the pit of my stomach I began to feel the old me trying to fight his way back, letting me know that he was still there. Can I bring him back for good? I will have to let you know, I do hope so. But even if he only comes back occasionally it will only ever be a good thing.
So I suggest you try this, dig out some photos from a time when you were happy and had a better outlook on life and try and bring back the feelings, its surprising how they rush back and hit you, how they can make you feel inside how you did years ago. Maybe this will work for you, maybe it won’t. This one happened to me by mistake but I would only suggest doing this if you can do it in the right way. Don’t do it if you’re going to look at the old photos and compare how great your life was back then to how bad it is now. Use them as inspiration; use them to remind you of who you really are.
Now just because I have written this does not make me an expert. These are just some things that have helped me out of the really bad times. I still have bad days, I still have bad weeks! But I certainly feel better now than I did a few months back and it’s because of the things I have written about above. As I said before, if you can bring yourself to go the doctor about your problems, do it. But if you can’t, try these things that have helped me, maybe they will help you.