Depression: “To other people, it seems like nothing at all. You are walking around with your head on fire and no one can see the flames.”
So wrote depression sufferer and best selling author Matt Haig. He’s right. It’s debilitating and it is not always clear when someone is suffering from it.
Depression is the leading cause of disability in the world. Many, many people (often secretly) suffer from it.
If you are a sufferer, how do you start to get out of it, and turn your life around? Here are some ideas to keep reminding yourself:
1: Remember That Depression Is Not A Disease
There is so much research these days that shows that depression results from many different factors which contribute to its onset and course. Your thinking style, your circumstances, the behaviour of friends, family and co-workers, how proactive you are, can all have a massive impact. Depression is not an inevitable mental condition.
2. Learn To Be Discriminating (it really helps)
Whitney Houston was only half right when she sang “How Will I know? / Trust Your Feelings!”. You trust your feelings (and intuition) when you feel mentally strong. While you are still building up to that point, your feelings can mislead you. Every time you feel depressed, it’s best to rely a little more on your logic and facts. Practise discriminating between what you truly know and what you feel (there is often a vast gulf between the two).
Use your discrimination to notice and AVOID Global thinking. Here are some examples of Global thinking: If you are struggling to make your mark in your current job, instead of concluding that maybe the job is just not a good fit with your skills, you tell yourself “I am useless at EVERYTHING I try my hand at.” Instead of thinking that you need to better understand why you are choosing the partners you are choosing, you will conclude “I am simply UNLOVEABLE.”
Every time you feel overwhelmed by a situation ask yourself some basic questions:
- “What specifically are you doing wrong on this occasion? And what are you doing RIGHT?”
- “What are you, and what are you not, in control of?”
- “Are your expectations from this situation realistic or not?”
3. Take Action (even baby steps)
“Don’t just stand there, do something”. It is not always good advice, but with depression it often is. Taking action gives you a sense of agency. They might be small steps. Like taking more walks, or speaking to friends you have not spoken to in a while, or joining an online group or making a suggestion to your boss that you would normally withhold. All of these things make you feel just a little less passive, a little less inclined to say “Why Bother?”. Small steps, action taken, adds up.
4. Craft A Life Narrative For Yourself
Depressed people feel that they have no control over their lives. Having an understanding that your life has a story (rather than being a series of random events) is perhaps one of the most powerful tools at your disposal. We don’t know all the answers of why we are here – no one does. So we have a choice how we fill in the blanks. If we go with a positive story we can start to understand that suffering and setbacks have often been blessings in disguise, helping us to evolve and grow. The more you consider there to be some purpose to your life, the easier it is to bear temporary discomforts and emotional setbacks. Fostering a life story will also build within you a positive expectancy. You’ll start to spend more time thinking about what is still possible in your life rather than what you lack or chances that were missed.
One of the Most Powerful ways of Building Expectancy and Beating Depression is through Hypnosis. if you or someone you know would like a free 15 min consultation with me, drop me a line at [email protected] or +44 (0)7713 593366