how to beat Depression

how to beat Depression

Life is tough. We are all susceptible to experiencing depression from life altering events – loss of a loved one, heartbreak, postpartum depression, miscarriage, bullying, rape, financial woes, divorce, medical problems, disability from an accident, survivors’ guilt and so on. The list is endless.

Privileged or not, everyone is dealing with their own set of obstacles that they’re trying to overcome.

While not a psychiatrist, my insights on depression come from first-hand experiences. Here are tools and insights for friends and family members on how to best support someone experiencing depression, as well as for individuals who are dealing with depression themselves.

HOW CAN I HELP SOMEONE IN DEPRESSION

1

IDENTIFY AND RECOGNIZE.

A person with depression doesn’t always exhibit obvious signs. To the contrary, they often look happy and “normal.” So look for subtle cues within this “normalcy” such as loss of appetite, loss of interest in activities, a general sense of indifference, and even talk of not wanting to live anymore. Trust your instincts and reach out to them.

2

ZIP IT AND LISTEN.

Allow them to express themselves without interruption or judgement. If you make it a struggle to speak to you, they will retreat within. Instead, just listen. Listen with a compassionate ear and a genuine desire to understand. Listen with your heart.

When you listen with your heart, it makes the other person feel like they’ve been heard or understood. Listening with empathy and understanding can provide immense comfort and support. Being heard and understood has the power to heal wounds.

3

ASK QUESTIONS TO SEEK UNDERSTANDING.

Ask questions with a genuine intent to truly listen and understand what they are thinking and why. And without judgment. This can help uncover the root of the problem.

4

MAKE YOURSELF AVAILABLE.

Let them know you’re there for them willing to listen anytime. And that they can reach you anytime. Please say this only if you mean it. And if you do, know that your consistent support and reassurance can make a significant difference.

5

CHECK IN REGULARLY.

Connect with them regularly. Ideally, every few days through text, email, calls or visits. If you can speak or visit them in person, that’s always better. Small gestures of kindness and encouragement can go a long way.

6

INVITE.

Invite and encourage them to join for social activities, outings or dinner get togethers, even if they seem reluctant. You may have to persuade them. Give them that little nudge. This may help them feel less isolated.

7

PATIENCE GALORE.

You can take a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. You can’t make them do or feel anything. And neither can you make their problems go away. They have to make the choice to want to get better. It might take them a while, but it has to be when they are ready to do so. Free will is a bitch!

Understand that recovery takes time and offer support without pressure or judgment. Be patient and continue to provide encouragement and understanding.

8

OFFER SUGGESTIONS, NOT SOLUTIONS.

Ask for their permission before you share anything. If and when they consent, share stories from your past about your aha moments, how you solved a similar problem or something that you read that was very helpful. Respect their autonomy by offering suggestions rather than imposing solutions. Let them know you're there to support them in their journey.

9

BE HONEST.

If you’re unable to fully understand their experience and unable to relate, be honest and tell them that. You can still offer to listen to them and try to understand to the best of your ability. But don’t say that you understand what they are experiencing if that’s not true. Your honesty will be much appreciated. And will go a long way in garnering their trust which lends itself to keeping the communication channels open.

10

REACH OUT.

If you are unable to help them, reach out to someone that can. It could be another friend, family member or coach. Or a professional – psychiatrist, counselor or therapist. Offer to assist them in finding the right professional for them.

 

 .  .  .  .  .  

IF YOU ARE IN DEPRESSION

Not all storms come to disrupt your life. Some come to clear your path.

Before diving into actionable steps, it’s essential to acknowledge some hard truths. Think of them as pre-requisites. Our road to recovery may only truly begin once we understand, accept and surrender to these truths.

If you’re at rock bottom, that’s good news! If you’re down, the only way is up. It can only get better moving forward.

If you want to overcome this, you must face your issues head on. Issues don’t just disappear if we look the other way or run far away. Facing and dealing with your issues head on is the only way.

Life is not a bed of roses. Everyone is tackling some kind of hardship. This is yours. Understand it. Learn from it. And rise from it.

Insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results. So, if you want a different outcome, you HAVE to do something different. You must think different. Then act on it.

Something good always comes out of something bad. It’s hard to see anything clearly while in the midst of a storm. But when the storm passes and everything clears, you will see the sunny side to these hardships. Life is not happening to you. Life is happening for you.

And lastly, you need to answer one question honestly – do you really want to get out of depression? Do you really want to be happy? If the answer is no, that’s okay. Perhaps you still need time to process, grieve or cry.

You have to WANT to get better.

TOP 10 THINGS YOU CAN DO

1

SHARE WITH SOMEONE.

You have to help yourself. If you don’t say something, then no one can even attempt to help or offer any reprieve. Tell your best friend, family or someone you trust and can confide in. Tell them how you really feel. If they reject your emotions, upset you even more or don’t listen to you, please don’t give up and shut down. Tell someone else.

2

TURN OFF THE NEGATIVITY TAP.

Determine all sources of negativity. Then turn them all off. That includes turning off the television. Inactivate your social media accounts. Block phone numbers. Create distance between yourself and friends/family who bring you down. Say no to the whiners. And that includes yourself.

This is your time to focus on your healing and invest in yourself. Do so, guilt-free. And when you’re feeling better again, mindfully take the time to decide – who you want to keep in your life and who to maintain distance from.

3

HONOR YOUR EMOTIONS.

When dealing with hardship, going through a sea of emotions is normal. In fact, it’s part of the healing process. You may feel anger, sadness, frustration, indifference, numbness and more. Experience them. Honor your emotions. And without judgment.

4

JOURNAL AND GRATITUDE.

Write. Write every day. And write like there’s no one reading your thoughts. Write how you feel and what’s truly on your mind. This is your safe and sacred space to write and say anything you want without reservation or judgment.

And while you write unreservedly about your feelings, also write about at least one thing you’re grateful for every day. It could be that a wonderful stranger was kind to you, your friend called to check on you, your colleague complimented you or you saw a flower blossom. Gratitude has the power to change your perspective. And therefore, your life!

5

GET OUT. ONE DAY AT A TIME.

You probably want to stay inside and hide. But force yourself to get out. Even if it’s inconvenient and you don’t feel like it. Go out when your friends invite you. If you keep saying no, your friends will learn that you always decline. Eventually, they’ll stop inviting you. At that point, you cannot crib that no one invites you; that’s your own doing. So make an effort and go, no matter what.

Go for a walk and take in the sun. Exercise at least 3-5 times a week; just do it. Don’t think any further than today. Focus on today and get through today. If today is tough, let it be tough. This too shall pass. Tomorrow is another day.

6

READ.

Explore books or resources that speak to you. During my dark times, the only time I had some semblance of peace was when I read Joseph Bailey’s book, “Slowing Down to the Speed of Life.” In hindsight, this was the perfect book that laid the foundation for new and healthy thoughts. It truly changed my life! I highly recommend it.

7

REDISCOVER AND REINVENT.

Take an honest journey inside. Garner a better understanding of yourself. Re-evaluate yourself and your life. What do you like about yourself? What would you like to improve on? What thoughts are hindering you? Do you love yourself? What are your fears, insecurities and attachments? Identify them and then figure out what you want to do with this incredible knowledge about yourself. What are you willing to change and do differently?

If you want to get better, you must think differently. Then act on them. Rediscover and reinvent yourself.

8

LOSE YOURSELF.

You’ve seen dancers perform, right? Have you noticed how completely immersed and lost they are in their art through motion and focus? They transcend to a different place. It’s a liberating feeling.

What’s your thing? What is it that takes you into a zone and you forget where you are? Go find your thing. Then lose yourself in it.

9

FORGIVE OTHERS AND FORGIVE YOURSELF.

Let go. This is one of the toughest things to do. But when you do, it feels like a big weight has been lifted off your shoulders. It’s the most incredible feeling! Let go of the hurt and baggage. Forgive others. And forgive yourself. Get light and liberate your soul. This is true freedom.

10

SEEK PROFESSIONAL HELP.

Reach out to a psychiatrist, counselor or personal coach based on the help you need. Interview them and find the right match for you.

Athletes need coaches to help them win games. Actors need acting coaches. This is no different. This is about your well-being. Nothing else matters. Do whatever it takes to heal and be healthy in body, mind and spirit.

RESOURCES

Documentary Film — Happy 
Book by Joe Bailey — Slowing Down to the Speed of Life
Article by Deepak Chopra — How to heal from depression.
Article by Sheenie Ambardar M.D. — 10 Ways to Improve Depression and Anxiety Without Meds

Published: August 21, 2014

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Twizted Myrtle is sustained by readers like you. As a solo creator, crafting each piece demands significant time, money and resources. Your ongoing support, big or small, makes a real difference. If the content here enriches your life in any way, please consider becoming an ally as a  sustaining patron.

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From Global Roots to Unearthed Truths

Asha was born in India, raised in Oman, and lived in London before settling in the U.S. Her multi-continent, multi-cultural, global experience was a clear predecessor that fed her insatiable curiosity – and the inspiration for her defining Twizted voice.

As a rare breed, she’s truly mastered the art of metamorphosis in body, mind and soul. In her first adult incarnation she graduated Magna Cum Laude from ASU and pursued a vibrant career in the hospitality industry. Then, she grew new wings. Ever intrepid and intrigued by the unknown, she launched and helped grow a thriving e-Commerce technology company with her business partner, proving herself as an entrepreneur and demonstrating both the skills and resolve required of a woman intent on succeeding in a male-dominated industry.

In 2014, she boldly stepped into uncharted territories again, starting a new venture, Twizted Myrtle, in pursuit of her undeniable thirst to confront and create consequential social change. Few understood why she would leave behind a burgeoning e-Commerce business that served marquee clients like Amazon, Samsonite, Viacom, Pokémon, Red Bull, Taylor Swift and other household names – all during the pinnacle of a successful career.

The impetus for leaving the traditional business world for a less conventional path was intensely personal; a deafening voice and inimitable force inside her told Asha that she needed to contribute to the world in a very personal and life-changing way. Asha found herself in the throes of depression and new depths of loneliness. She was acutely aware her “success” was empty. Like many, she had lost her soul in the daily grind of chasing unhappiness.

Ironically, during this time, her depression revealed spiritual clarity; it connected her to the struggles of others who face the same suffocating walls of relenting darkness. Photography became a sacred respite that unleashed a strident voice; like a caged tiger set free, she could never again return to the confined existence dictated by society.

Twizted Myrtle became the multi-pronged platform to confront social issues that we’ve been plagued with for centuries. To break free from these vicious circles, she challenges what we accept, without question, as “wisdom,” and our conventional way of thinking through artistic means – provocative writings, thought-jarring podcasts and captivating photography.

Bringing a refreshing curiosity with the unique empathy of a true global citizen, she speaks with an open mind and unfiltered honesty on a host of issues where most would fear to tread. Her work compels us to see and think differently to help unlock our mindsets from self-imposed limitations. In doing so, she seeks to help people break free from the invisible chains that enslave us as oblivious prisoners. 

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