1. What is depression?

Clinical depression (major depression) is a common and serious mental illness that negatively affects how you feel, the way you act or think. Depression Causes a feeling of sadness, loss of interest in activities once enjoyed. It often leads to both emotional and physical problems and can decrease a person’s ability to function at work and at home. Fortunately, depression is treatable.

what is depression?

 

What it feels like to live with depression

My depression started with sadness…There is a difference between depression and sadness. For example, Loss of a loved one is a difficult experience for a person to endure. In this situation, the individual experience painful feelings intertwined with positive memories of the deceased. However, in major depression, mood and pleasure are decreased for the must two weeks coupled with feelings of worthlessness. The sadness I thought was normal due to limited physical ability my body has to now adapt to. I was an able and hyperactive woman who would stop at nothing to achieve her goals. Life had thrown me to the curve more than I could count, but I had always managed to find my way back to my path. However, illness has thrown me deep down the rabbit hole that finding my path seemed impossible. I became angry at the world, irritated by what others will not even blink about. I could not see past my physical limitations. The things that once brought me happiness mattered no more. The Noise of my kids became a trigger for my anger, I felt like my family was suffocating me. I felt empty inside. It did not matter how many times my family reassured me of their love, or how supportive they try to be. I wanted to disappear as if my pain would also disappear. The so strong, guarded woman is nowhere to be found, my faith was shaken as I started questioning everything. Eventually, I found my path, but it wasn’t without help.

what is depression?

 

How I found my way back

It all began with one simple question, “What is the most important thing to me ?”. Anybody who knows me would say the most important thing to me is my family. It became clear I have a decision to make. I either accept help and enjoy my family or refuse help from the professionals,  support from my family and live in sadness and self-loathing. It took every ounce of strength in me to accept help and acknowledge that even the strongest among us are not immune to depression. Accepting help is the best thing one could do when dealing with mental health. There is no quick fix to getting out of the rabbit hole of mental illness, it takes effort, patience, empathy for self, consistency, and understanding to see a positive result.

what is depression?

 

What helps me?

The first step to getting better is to accept that you are depressed. It can be extremely difficult to acknowledge this. The stigma associated with mental health makes it strenuous to seek help. I started writing my feelings and thoughts in a journal, this helped me filtered rational and irrational feelings and thoughts. Also, I sought professional help to manage my depression. I had to learn about depression and how it affects my body and mind. Below is a list of my coping mechanism for depression:

  • Practice relaxation technique
  • Take a walk for 10 minutes three times a day
  • Antidepressant
  • Structured routine
  • Bedtime routine 
  • Therapy
  • Accept help from loved ones
  • Eat healthily diet
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol
  • Create a support system
  • Do things that make me feel good
  • Join a support group for depression
  • Keep stress in check
  • Develop a “wellness toolbox” for depression,  these are things I do for a quick mood boost. For example, prayer, music, a long hot bath, spend some time in nature.
My support team

I leaned on my husband, friends, and family for support; not everyone understood my predicament but I focus my energy on the ones ready to listen and help. My husband was and still is my number one supporter, he had a lot of learning to do but that did not scare him away. He’s a God-given husband and friend, I appreciate you, dear husband.  To my friend, Jennifer, I say thank you for your endless support and love. You are indeed a friend to cherish, my family loves you to the moon and back. May God’s blessing never depart from your household. And  Adeola, my friend from way back,  thank you for loving and accepting me for who I am. I know I can be hard on you sometimes, and exceptionally blunt with you, I hope you know it’s coming from a good place. I love you. To my family all around the world, I say thank you for your prayers and love. And last but not least, my kids, know that you are my strength, my motivation, my world, the fire in me that burn every weakness and the force that propels me to move forward. You and your father are the best gifts the Almighty blessed me with and I love you with my whole being. I am grateful to have all these people in my corner, I deserve nothing but God gives me everything I need.

 

How do you deal with depression? How does having depression affects your life and loved ones? Perhaps, it’s your loved one living with depression, how does this affect your relationship with him? Do you have a support team? How does this team make you feel?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Subscribe

Enter your email to subscribe to my latest updates in mental health.

Author

Raina is a psychology student who understands the importance of caring for mental health. She blogs about depression, anxiety, fibromyalgia, men and mental health and parenting kids with ADHD.

18 Comments

  1. Raina, I love this post about clinical depression. We need bloggers like you to get this message out to the public as much as we can. Well done.

    • Thank you, Beth, one of the ways to stop mental health stigma is to talk about our experiences and others the opportunity to get an insight into what if feels like to live with a mental illness.

  2. This is such a great post to share and could really help some people. I like the idea of a ‘wellness toolbox’.

    • I appreciate your kind words. Mental health is a topic dear to me, my goal is to encourage others to seek help when needed.

  3. Chris Kosto | GoldenBloggerz.com Reply

    Keep up the good work. Depression is a no joke & you’re really helpful for those who need it!

  4. Hi Raina. Very helpful tips on coping with depression. Thank you there are many people out there that will benefit from this article 🙂

    • Leona,
      Thanks for your kind words. depression of a silent killer, and pretending to not having it is an unfortunate mistake.

  5. What a great blog post! Depression looks different on everyone but I think what everyone can learn here is how to manage it! Thank you for sharing.

    • Mellissa,
      I agree with you, depression looks different on everyone. I didn’t know I was depressed and even when I was diagnosed, I said they don’t know what they are talking about.

  6. I have heard of depression over and over again but had no idea what it was since it has never happened to me. But i have learnt a great deal and can help people suffering from depression a bit.

    • Fredrick,

      Depression was never part of my everyday language, I knew very little about it. Well! It became part of my life after getting a diagnosis of a chronic illness.
      Thank you for visiting my blog.

  7. Thank you for being vulnerable and talking so openly about a subject that so many avoid! You’ve listed some great techniques for managing depression – I will definitely share this with others

    • Britt,

      I appreciate your kinds words. If we want to reduce mental illness stigma, we need to openly talk about our experience to give others insight into our lives.
      Thank for visiting my blog.

  8. Thank you so much for sharing your post at B.O.S.S. I echo what many others stated above. Not enough has been written about this topic and in such depth. Thanks again. RT

    • Esme,

      I agree with you all, and the only way to shed light on this topic is to share our personal experience and be open to discussion. Thank you.

  9. This is such great information! I am so glad you are shedding light on such an important cause.

Write A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.