Try One Step At A Time
Granted, it seems impossible. How can someone live without feelings? Without them you have no drive, no motivation. Could you imagine walking without any feeling in your legs? It would be impossible.
Or would it? Perhaps you could walk if you practiced in front of a large mirror and watched your legs moving. One step, wobble, another step. It would all be very mechanical, but it could be done.
People have learned to walk in the midst of depression. It doesnt seem natural, though other people wont notice either the awkwardness or the heroism involved. The trek begins with one step, then another. Remember, you are not alone. Many people have taken this journey ahead of you.
As you walk, you will find that it is necessary to remember to use every resource you have ever learned about persevering through hardship. It will involve lots of moment by moment choices: 1) take one minute at a time, 2) read one short Bible passage, 3) try to care about someone else, 4) ask someone how they are doing, and so on.
You will need to do this with your relationships, too. When you have no feelings, how to love must be redefined. Love, for you, must become an active commitment to patience and kindness.
Trust Your Gut Instinct
You are the only one who knows and understands what is right or wrong for you. To keep the depressing world from hammering on your door, remember to follow your intuition and have faith that you are going in the right direction. Its when you believe that you can survive anything that you will have happiness back in your life. Dont forget that there are no mistakes in life, there are only opportunities to grow.
#2 Sadness Is Brief Depression Persists Much Longer
Emotions are momentary conscious experiences. They fade with time. If an emotion continues during a phase in life, it does so in lapses. Thus, it can last for a few hours before decreasing, at least a little. Even during a sad period, there are moments in your day where you feel ok. You are able to laugh, enjoy your favorite song, or the presence of a friend. Sadness fades with time thats its job.
Depression lasts longer however, without proper attention: It persists for most of your day for at least two weeks, to be exact. Snapping out of it is not an option. All the symptoms you are having appear to be constant, although they might be worse during the morning. Nonetheless, depression defines your entire day. It seems unthinkable that you will ever feel better again.
But The Bad Days Are Unbearable
Now for a bad day I fight with myself to wake up and have to truly shame myself into showering and getting myself together. I put on makeup alert people about my internal issues. I dont want to talk or be bothered by anyone. I fake being personable, as I have rent to pay and dont want to complicate my life any more than it is.
After work, I just want to go to my hotel room and mindlessly scroll on Instagram or YouTube. Ill eat junk food, and feel like a loser and demean myself.
I have more bad days than good, but Ive gotten good at faking it so my clients think Im a great employee. Im often sent kudos for my performance. But inside, I know that I didnt deliver at the level I know I could.
Be The Change You Want To See In The World
The world may be a depressing state of affairs, especially when you listen to negative people and the media. If you want to see a change in the world and have happiness back in your life, then start changing your own beliefs and attitude. Its when you change that you can become what you want to see in the world. If you are more loving, then you will experience that more within your daily life. If you want more happiness then be happy, if you want more money then give moneythe list is endless!
So, what ways can you have happiness back in your life when the outside world appears to be so depressing?
Youre standing behind the curtain, just about to make your way on stage to face the many faces half-shrouded in darkness in front of you. As you move towards the spotlight, your body starts to feel heavier with each step. A familiar thump echoes throughout your body your heartbeat has gone off the charts.
Dont worry, youre not the only one with glossophobia. Sometimes, the anxiety happens long before you even stand on stage.
Your bodys defence mechanism responds by causing a part of your brain to release adrenaline into your blood the same chemical that gets released as if you were being chased by a lion.
Heres a step-by-step guide to help you overcome your fear of public speaking:
God Speaks To You In The Bible
Keep your heart open to the fact that the Bible has much to say to you when you are depressed. Here are a few suggestions of Bible passages you can read. Read one each day and let it fill your mind as you go about your life.
- Read about Jesus suffering in Isaiah 53 and Mark 14. How does it help you to know that Jesus is a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief?
- Use the Psalms to help you find words to talk to God about your heart. Make Psalm 88 and Psalm 86 your personal prayers to God.
- Be alert to spiritual warfare. Depressed people are very vulnerable to Satans claim that God is not good. Jesus death on the cross proves Gods love for you. Its the only weapon powerful enough to stand against Satans lies.
- Dont think your case is unique. Read Hebrews 11 and 12. Many have walked this path before you and they will tell you that God did not fail them.
- Remember your purpose for living.
- Learn about persevering and enduring.
Sadness Vs Depression The Essentials
Sadness: You are sad about something for a few hours at a time. After a negative experience your mood changes, at most for a few weeks. Over time it gets a little better by itself.
Depression: Most areas of your life are affected, and you show a combination of depressive symptoms for most of your day during at least two weeks, causing general distress.
Take The Depression Test
Depression strikes millions each year, often with debilitating consequences. This psychological disorder is so common that it is sometimes referred to as the “common cold” of mental health, with nearly 10% of the population suffering from a depressive disorder at any given time.
Depression has a high cure rate. Effective treatments exist to help bring people’s lives back under control. Yet tragically many people suffering from this illness go without diagnosis and treatment. This depression test is a tool that may help you recognize the symptoms of depression and decide to get help. Please note that only a licensed professional can diagnose depression.
Causes And Treatments Of Depression
Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Steven Gans, MD is board-certified in psychiatry and is an active supervisor, teacher, and mentor at Massachusetts General Hospital.
If you or a loved one are struggling with depression, contact the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for information on support and treatment facilities in your area.
For more mental health resources, see our National Helpline Database.
can have many causes, all of which are complex and can be difficult to understand. In some cases, feelings of depression can be clearly connected to an experience in someones life, such as a tragic loss or a violent event. Other people may be aware they have a family history of mental illness and, as a result, may not be caught off guard by a diagnosis of depression.
However, some people become depressed and dont know why. They may feel they do not have a reason to be depressedespecially if they perceive their life as being good or easy compared to others.
The pressure to explain or justify how they feel can make depression worse and may prevent people from getting necessary treatment.
Vandrevala Foundation Improving Mental Health Care In Maharashtra
Cyrus & Priya Vandrevala Foundation, whose charitable activities include mental health care, has submitted a plan to the Maharashtra government to improve services in mental health institutions in the state. This move follows the publication of a World Health Organisation reporting India with the highest rate of major depression in the world. India is going through social and economic change, industrialisation and urbanisation are changing Â traditional support systems.
#1 Sadness Is An Emotion Depression Is A Mental Illness
Sadness is a basic emotion and a part of what makes us human everyone knows what it feels like. Experiencing sadness might even be helpful in working through difficult experiences in life, such as rejection, a breakup or disappointment.
Depression, on the other hand, is a mental illness. This means that it shows itself in many different depressive symptoms for at least two weeks. The things that once brought you joy or cheered you up dont help anymore. You feel constantly exhausted and at a loss of motivation.
Persisting sadness is only one part of depression! It is likely that some of your thoughts, behaviors, and even physical experiences have changed alongside with your emotions, causing general distress and a fundamental change in your perception and attitude towards life.
When To See A Doctor
Those who are experiencing symptoms of depression should seek medical assistance. Depression can worsen without treatment and affect a persons quality of life.
A family doctor or mental health professional will discuss treatment options to help the person manage their depression and carry on with daily life.
In severe cases, depression can lead to thoughts of suicide or physically harming oneself.
Any suicidal thoughts or statements about not wanting to live should be taken seriously. In times of crisis, a person should seek help from a hospital emergency department.
Help is also available from the National Suicide Prevention Helpline by calling 1-800-273-TALK , or visiting the Helplines website.
Your Life Is Lacking Meaning
From an existential perspective, we require meaning in our lives for happiness. If you’re in a career you despise, or feel “lost” in life, depression has likely come about to tell you that the way you’re living your life does not align with your values and desires. Take it as a positive sign that change needs to happen, and consider how your life would look if you felt fulfilled in your work, relationships , creative endeavors, and spirituality.
What To Do What To Do
Ive posted another entry about how creatives heal from walking depression, and here are the highlights:
- Develop a meaning practice.
- Change your life.
These steps are simple to say, not easy to do, so make sure you get as much support as you can.
Important: If you are in dire straits, please contact your doctor or visit the International Suicide Prevention Wiki to find a hotline near you.
People Dont Understand How You Could Be Depressed
Many of my high-functioning depressed clients argue that the toughest thing about their condition is that it is not apparent to others, said John Duffy, a Chicago-based psychologist.
For example, Duffy said he has counseled a college student who felt hopeless and depressed most of the time despite achieving straight As, appearing put-together and accomplishing everything on her daily to-do list.
You cant be depressed, he said people told her. Look at how well youre doing.
Seeking Help Feels Like A Monumental Task
Many people dealing with high-functioning depression have a desire to feel better and be more engaged and connected in their lives, according to Kost. However, mustering up the energy to seek help can be extremely difficult when youve been pretending all day despite a constantly low mood and little motivation to complete tasks.
Sometimes the suggestion to get help can feel patronizing, she said. Chances are the person suffering has thought of seeking help, they just havent figured out how to get it done yet.
Understanding A Loved Ones Depression
If someone you care about is dealing with depression, you may not be sure how to support them. If your attempts to help are rejected or dont seem to do any good, you may become frustrated and impatient.
If you feel tempted to tell someone who is depressed to try harder or just snap out of it, it may be a sign that you are overwhelmed or experiencing burnout. If this happens, its important that you pause and take time to reflect on your own feelings. You wont be able to help someone else until you have taken care of your own emotional needs.
When youre worried about a person you care about, the feelings of fear you have may come across as anger when youre talking to them. Even if you aren’t mad or speaking in anger, depression can make it harder for a person to really hear what you are saying. They may interpret your words as being dismissive, accusatory, disappointed, or any number of emotions that arent necessarily accurate.
When youre speaking to your loved one with depression, keep this in mind if it seems like your conversations are full of miscommunication. Although you may want to remind them of all the good things in life or point out that it could be worse, platitudes such as these arent usually helpful for a person with depression to hear.
You Don’t Get Outside Enough
When’s the last time you got outside surrounded by green? Recently, “ecotherapy” or “green therapy,” has popped up as a way to ease depression. Getting out into nature has been shown to foster mindfulness and feelings of calm. Try to fit a walk outside into your daily routineeven if it’s for only five minutes! If you live in a big city, make a point to hit up a park or shoreline.
Strategies For Overcoming This:
- Select your sources of information very carefully, prioritizing great books and high-integrity websites/blogs.
- Stop following most, if not all, news sources.
- Adopt the attitude that if something is sufficiently important, youll hear about it .
- Learn about political tribalism to stop getting jerked around by polarizing political infotainment.
The Different Types Of Depression
Depression is classified in a number of ways. The types of depression that this test looks for are: major depression, bipolar disorder, cyclothymia , dysthymia , postpartum depression, and seasonal affective disorder or SAD. Each one presents different symptoms and represents a distinct diagnosis. You can learn more about each of these types of depression after you take the test and get your results. Please note that other variants of depression exist which are not tested for on this web site.
Youve Been On The Internet For So Long That Youve Forgotten Theres An Actual World Out There
Heres a question: How many Netflix shows have you watched this week compared to how many places youve gone? How many times have you checked your Facebook compared to how many times youve checked up on your friends IRL to make sure theyre doing okay? Were all guilty of it. But life doesnt happen from behind the glare of your phone screen. Go outside, man. Your life might get a lot less boring.
About the author
I Was Depressed Before All Of This Now What
Even in my 6,000-person town, sadness about the pandemic is everywhere. Its been hard to cope.
Before all of this, I was already struggling. In early March, when many of us werent taking the coronavirus seriously, my partner staged an intervention. You have not seemed happy in so long, he said. You cry all the time. Im worried about you.
I was feeling depressed, anxious, and isolated. A year ago, after living in big cities for three decades, we moved to Taos, New Mexico, a small town in the high desert, population 6,000. It was a choice made out of necessity because it was affordable, and it was also a challenge to myself, as a journalist and as a person, to push myself to grow. We moved into a small adobe-style house, 30 minutes north of town, situated in a rolling expanse of sage. The gray-green brush stretches on for so long, and grows so tall, that it sometimes feels like were living waist deep in an ocean.
Ive dealt with depression for as long as I can remember. As a kid I was mostly buoyant, but sometimes I had sudden bouts of deep sadness. When people asked me about them, I often said my grandfather had just died, even though his death had happened years before. I didnt have a better explanation. The anxiety came later, as the traumas of life stacked up. Even before the virus, every day involved finding the armor to keep myself protected enough to live, work, and love.
People Keep Asking You To Hang Out And You Keep Saying No
Cut the bullshit we both know youve turned down several invitations to hang out over the past month because it seemed too hard or too far or it was too cold outside and you werent feeling social. If you want your life to be more exciting, youre going to have to invite other people into it. A lot of the best stuff happens once we get past that feeling of Noooooo I dont want to go outside and talk to people, aughhhhhh.
#3 Sadness Is A Specific Reaction Depression Is An Abnormal General State
Sadness usually is a reaction to something, for instance a painful event. Your sadness is caused by this particular experience and it is a normal and healthy, nonetheless often unpleasant, emotion. But Depression often occurs without any apparent reason.
Maybe your life seems like it should be fine. During depression, your symptoms dont only occur when thinking of a certain event or person. They are present within nearly every situation. Your concentration might be lower. You have a negative view on the future, you possibly feel unreasonably guilty or suffer from a helpless feeling of being out of control.
If depression begins after a specific event, it was probably the trigger rather than its sole cause. In this case, your behavior and reaction are out of proportion with the event and it is harmful to you. If disregarded, it can turn into a downward spiral.
The loss of a loved one causes a severe grieving response that goes beyond what we call sadness. It is hard to distinguish from depression because symptoms such as loss of appetite and sleeping problems can be a part of grieving. Grief tends to be a long process that comes in waves. Like sadness, grief tends to fluctuate from day to day. Depression does not so much.
Changes To Your Role In Life
Even life changes that youve expected and planned for can be harder to adjust to than you expect. Changes in role, like becoming a parent or retiring, usually affect important areas of your life, such as:
- where you live
- peoples expectations of you
- your beliefs
- who you have around to support you.
The difficulty, challenges and conflict that come along with these life changes can contribute to depression and anxiety.
Keep in mind that a major change for one person can affect the whole whnau. For example, having a baby doesnt just involve new roles and responsibilities for the parents. It can also bring about changes for the whole whnau, including brothers and sisters, grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles. These changes require some adjustment by everyone.
Find out more about some of the most challenging changes we go through below:
Satyamev Jayate Makes An Impact
Hyacinth Pereira, Senior Vice President of the Vandrevala Foundation, reports on the volume and range of calls received after the Foundation’s mental health helpline number was shared on the popular Indian television talk show Satyamev Jayate hosted by popular Bollywood actor and filmmaker Aamir Khan.
Making And Sticking With Plans Can Be Difficult
One thing thats frustrating that people dont understand is the depressed persons tendency to make plans then cancel flake, said Kathryn Vercillo, a writer in San Francisco.
As a person with high-functioning depression, Vercillo said she will often truly feel excited about plans she makes with others. Then the day comes around and if its a good day, I go and have a good time. But just as likely its not a good day, and I have trouble forcing myself to go, at which point I cancel, make an excuse, or when I was younger, embarrassingly, just dont show up, she said.
This habit may frustrate others, but Vercillo said the situation is much harder on her than people realize.
We feel terrible when we cant make ourselves go to something weve agreed to but we just cant get ourselves there, she said. We feel guilty, beat ourselves up and ruminate about it and this spins us further into the depression.
You Complain About Work A Lot
If you’re truly unhappy and unfulfilled with your job, you may start to spend a lot of time and energy explaining to friends, family, and anyone who will listen just how bad your job is at the moment.
This release might feel good in the moment, but Morin said it’s not healthy because it “robs you of mental strength.” This, in turn, can increase your risk of distress.
There’s Too Much Pressure To Be Up All The Time
If youve ever been told to cheer up, look on the bright side, or count your blessings, this ones for you.
Americans on the whole are a positive bunch: Wed better be positive if we want to fit in. In Bright-Sided: How Positive Thinking is Undermining America, Barbara Ehrenreich does a wonderful job chronicling the American overemphasis on . She examines how our culture came to overrate positivity and underestimate the worth of negative emotions, like sadness and regret.
As it turns out, thats not good news.
According to a recent study, societal overvaluing of positive emotions, and undervaluing of negative ones, may have an unintended consequence: Rather than vanquishing , a lopsided emphasis on happiness may be breeding it. Its ironic enough to be almost funny: The more we downplay negative emotions and try to focus on the positive, the worse we seem to feel.
Dont Be Sad
Researchers studied people with depressive symptoms and asked them to rate other peoples desire for them not to be sad or from day to day. What they found was that the more pressure a person receives from his social environment not to experience negative emotions, the more likely that person is to experience an increase in depressive symptoms.
It seems our unhappiness is amplified by comparison with the more socially desirable cheerfulness: Not only are we sad, anxious, or depressed, but now, because of social pressure, we feel bad about ourselves for not being happywhich makes us feel worse.
The Lived Experience Of Depression
A person who is in good physical health, is employed, has a safe home to live in, enough money to care for themselves and their family, supportive friends, and hobbies may struggle to comprehend why they feel persistently sad, angry, or .
In the absence of a clear trigger such as the death of a loved one, a divorce, or the loss of a job, they may feel that it doesnt make sense for them to feel depressed.