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Coming out of depression
How to do it and what does it feel like?
Depression is a difficult illness and coming out of depression may seem out of reach. However, even if things seem hopeless, recovery is possible. In fact coming out of depression is more than possible; it is a certainty. It will help if you do something to treat your depression, but even if you did nothing at all, your depression will naturally lift after a certain period of time the same way even the worst stormy weather eventually gives way to calm blue skies.
[bctt tweet=”Your #depression will naturally lift after a certain period of time the same way even the worst stormy weather eventually gives way to calm blue skies.” username=”edmcounselling”]
Coming out of depression: Do things seem hopeless?
If you are currently suffering from depression or think you might be, the idea of coming out of depression and living a “normal” life may seem impossible, out of reach, or hopeless. Please remember that one of the biggest symptoms of depression is that it steals away all of our hope. That is perhaps the worst part of depression.
If things seem hopeless, that is just the depression talking!
So, if you feel that the situation is hopeless and will never get better, that it CAN never get better — that is the depression talking. That is the illness putting ideas in your head that are contrary to your best interests. The tragedy is that many people end their lives, not realizing that coming out of depression is possible and will happen for them.
[bctt tweet=”If you are feeling #suicidal or in #crisis right now, get help immediately. Call your local #emergency number or a crisis hotline. #depression” username=”edmcounselling”]
This is something I say in more than one post because it bears repeating: If you are in a serious depression right now, and you think you might be a danger to yourself, please reach out for support and keep reaching out until you get proper help. I would suggest starting by calling your local emergency number if you are actually on the verge of harming yourself. Alternately, you could call a local distress line or hotline in your area.
World wide list of crisis lines
International Association for Suicide Prevention, a division of the World Health Association
An easy to see at a glance list of help lines by country
Coming out of depression: How to come out of a depression
So, as I mentioned, time alone will allow your depression to lift. However, there are several things you can do to get better. We may discuss those things in more detail in other, future articles. However, I will go over the basics here.
- Exercise, good nutrition, and “sleep hygiene” – One of the nastiest things about depression is that our “instincts” steer us to the wrong places. Often, when we are depressed, we feel like eating poorly or not at all. We don’t want to move. We can’t sleep or we sleep all the time. Or we sleep during the day and are awake at night. Any inroads you can make towards improvements in these areas will help your depression. Examples:
- make a healthy snack for yourself — it doesn’t have to be fancy.
- try to stay awake a little longer than is comfortable to regulate your sleep if you can.
- do very easy, simple exercise such as walking. If walking is too hard for you (and I know it is for some people), just stand up for a few minutes each hour. And the walking can also be just for a few minutes each hour for a few hours of the day.
- remember that very small changes can be lasting changes while when we make huge changes all at once, it can be too much sometimes.
- You could try going to counselling. If you cannot afford counselling, find out if there are local options that are free or low cost. As well, there is a do-it-yourself on-line therapy program for people with depression called MoodGym that I have heard good things about.
- Meditation. Mindfulness-based practices are currently highly recommended for overcoming depression. The following book on CD is one I highly recommend. It is called “The Mindful Way through Depression,” and was written by pioneers in the field. I recommend purchasing the book on CD or audiobook rather than the paperback because if you are depressed, you may not have the drive to read. However, playing a CD can be a background activity while you do something else and you can listen to the CD more than once if necessary:
- Alternative Meditation Practices: There are many ways to meditate that might not seem like meditation. These include any practice that take up your whole attention and keep you in the present moment. Of course, you can do these in a non-meditative way, but they tend to be meditative. To name a few:
- prayer if you are religious/spiritual
- Medication: As you probably know, there are many medications that help with depression. What you may not know is that it can take quite a bit of trial and error to find the correct dosage and medication for you. When you have the wrong medication, it either won’t work or it might even make you feel worse and this might turn you off of medication. However, the right medication at the correct dosage can be like magic. Suddenly, the dark clouds of depression part and before you know it, you are coming out of depression! If your depression is severe, this is definitely an avenue worth exploring.
- Other treatments: There are many other treatments for depression, but I only wanted to go over the major ones in use right now.
Coming out of depression: What is it like?
Some have described it as though they are seeing a patch of blue sky through parted clouds.
Coming out of depression is a wonderful thing and it can feel almost magical. You might feel as though you are able to see in colour again after seeing only in black and white. Some have described it as though they are seeing a patch of blue sky through parted clouds.
This can be a wonderful time because you have more energy and there is a return of some hope for the future. However, it is important to realize several things. Most people do not go from severely depressed to not depressed overnight. There are stages in between.
unfortunately, it can be a dangerous time
During those in between stages, when a person has more energy, unfortunately, it can be a dangerous time because they have more energy to carry out any suicidal plans. Please see the blue/purple box above for information on suicide hotlines in your area.
Coming out of depression is a process that takes time
Please remember that coming out of depression is a process that takes time. You need to re-awaken to new sensations. Also, there may be a letdown of realizing that you have to deal with responsibilities you may have put off when you were to depressed to deal with them. However, ultimately, coming out of depression is a happy, beautiful thing. And, if you have cultivated a mindfulness practice, this would be a good time to stay in the moment and simply enjoy the feeling of tranquility — the calm now that the storm has passed.
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