When we are under depression, we lose a great part of our energy, hope and drive. This makes it difficult to take the steps that will help us feel better.
Moreover, the things that can help us the most, seem to be the most difficult, like being in a relationship, or making friends.
While the process of coming out of loneliness can be different for every person, this Reddit thread is giving us some really good ways to deal with it.
“I’ve struggled with depression for most of my life. The thing is that my mental toils grow stronger with every other struggle I have to deal with. Summers used to make me extremely happy because I could only be focused on work and making money. College was horrible because it took almost six years and the only thing I envisioned my diploma to be was a giant question mark instead of a marker of success. I was tired, angry and overwhelmed for those six years. I thought about killing myself a couple times because of all the strain. But I thought that if I killed myself, I wouldn’t have known if I’d have finished school. Your whole life you hear that a degree brings happiness and success. It doesn’t. Do I have a career to show for it? A nice new car and a house? No. I have debt but at the same time I’m carefree. So, depression might not go away but you will mature and things will get easier. But it’s never truly gone.”
“I’d say find a hobby, the most depressing times in my life were when all I did was go to school/work and watch TV until I went to bed to wake up to go to school/work. I’m not saying TV isn’t a hobby, but it wasn’t mine. I started playing a phone game that hooked me in and took up cross stitching. It gave me something to look forward to after the monotonous day to day life. I honestly dreaded every time I would have to go because I wanted to slip back into depression sitting at home watching trash TV. But every time I went I had an amazing time just doing something different. It was honestly how I fell in love with myself and my alone time that fully pulled me out of the funk.”
“I started faking confidence. I started finding things about me that I liked, which was difficult, but I got there. I like that I have blue eyes, even if one of them is lazy and looks at my nose. I like that I can grow a full beard. I like that I’m tall and I like that I have nice manners. Over time, that faked confidence became more and more real and I started to genuinely like things about myself. It makes you peaceful as a person and really helps your motivation to do other things. If you want to do what I did, just start with one thing every day. Get up, look at yourself in the mirror and decide on one thing you like about yourself. Say it out loud, it sounds silly but do it! Say it out loud to yourself in the mirror, then get on with your day.”
“The reality is that everyone’s mental issues are subtly different. Mental illness don’t group as nicely as physical illness. What works for one person’s depression might not work for your depression. Main things you need to know and keep telling yourself. It is not your fault, it is not a weakness in your personality, you are not screwed up. You have a medical condition that negatively affects your brain. It is simply that we do not understand enough about how the brain works to be able to say exactly what is wrong. It will go and it will come back but you can change this pattern. You can make improvements.”
“I went really downhill after a bad breakup around four years ago. I was in a mental space where I hated my job, hated my living situation, and hated my loneliness. I believed my ex was the rare source of happiness in my life, and in my mind it was her fault I was feeling what I was. I drank a lot, begged her to take me back, drank more and more. Ultimately I made peace with most of those demons, but kept drinking. Ultimately my drinking contributed to me losing my job. I did get better, but I’m nowhere near as optimistic as I used to be. I’m drinking less. I play in two bands, and DJ often. Channeling my emotions into music has been a healthy and rewarding outlet. I have a new job where I feel valued. I have a new relationship (2 years now) with a great and supportive woman. But I still struggle with trust issues. I feel emotionally disconnected. I show up for my friends, family and partner, but I do so because I feel like it’s what I’m supposed to do, not because I actually want to. I used to be warm. It’s like a switch turned off and never got turned back on. So I’m better, but I don’t think I’ll ever be the fun, funny warm and welcoming guy I used to be.”
“Relationships happen because you have a life to share. So don’t go looking for it. Build a life for yourself first. Get a plant or pet and bond with it so you have some form of responsibility and a reason to become more disciplined. Once you’ve sorted out the basics, find what would make you happy or proud of yourself and actively chase down that dream. Sometimes it helps to remember that you could put yourself in an absolute hell if you left things to deteriorate. So spend a bit of time contemplating how easily things could get worse if you did nothing. Just don’t ever forget: you have something to contribute to life. Even if others cannot or do not appreciate what you are doing. Every small step helps! Give it time.”
“Things changed for me when I started to view my depression and anxiety as non-narratively. They weren’t a sign of weakness or failure. It was an underlying functional problem with my biology and thinking. It wasn’t anything to be ashamed about. It took years, but slowly I changed how I thought. I did some great cognitive behavioural therapy. I started to become aware of the thoughts that went through my head, and aware of how those thoughts would trigger negative emotion. By simply observing and discarding those thoughts I can stop tormenting myself. The biggest thing you can do, is be kind to yourself. Give yourself a break. You’re going through a really tough time. My rule when self talking is never say anything to myself I wouldn’t say to a friend. I am a friend to myself. I take care of myself. Another thing I really remember my therapist saying – Act don’t feel. If you wait until you feel like going out to a coffee shop, you will never go. The act of going is what will make you feel better. Lack of activity is strongly linked to depression. Every time life gets rough I remind myself it’s a cakewalk compared to the shit I’ve been through.”
“Not all activities have to be done socially. I don’t have a lot of friends and never have. One of the things that I really enjoy is going camping or backpacking. It feels really good to be out in nature in a place where being alone isn’t a bad thing. I garden. It felt really good to pick and eat a blackberry from a plant that I’d taken care of since it was a tiny little seedling.”
It’s okay to talk about depression and anxiety and if you need help with any kind of mental health issues, you should visit a trained professional or mental health practitioners.
Design Credits: Kumar Sonu