I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder in 2016 and have been trying to escape it ever since. Depression is like a deep pit, or a black hole that no matter how hard I try to escape, I always fall back in again. I cannot say that I have gotten past the depression, but I have learned some lessons from it. Here are just a few of those lessons:
1. Forgiveness is key
In many cases people with depression report that it stems from their childhood, from feeling unloved or unappreciated. It is important to forgive the people that made you feel this way. This will allow you to forgive yourself, and ultimately help you understand that you don’t need other peoples approval.
2. You need people
Everyone needs support at some point, it’s impossible to get through life without it. It is important to find people who truly care, people who will listen to you and help you through the hard times. Without these people we can end up feeling completely alone, lost in a sea of people who don’t understand.
3. Not everyone will understand what you are going through
Let’s face it, we all meet people who don’t understand our depression. They will tell us to grow up, to get over it. What I’ve learned is that the people who truly love you will try to understand, and will keep trying until they do. The people who judge you for your depression are a negative influence and can safely be ignored.
4. Don’t forget to take care of yourself
A lot of people with an MDD diagnosis are people who are constantly giving. These are the people who are always supporting others, always working to make the world a better place. Sadly, these are the people who end up seeing the worst the world has to offer, and don’t end up taking time to care for themselves. It’s important to take time for yourself. Take a day off once in a while. Do something that makes you happy. Recharge your batteries. After all, it’s impossible to pour from an empty cup.
5. It’s okay to let it out
It feels good to let our feelings out. A good cry goes a long way to helping us feel better. Don’t be afraid to express yourself. If you have a good support system in place and have someone who is willing to listen, go talk to them. If not, sit down and talk with a therapist, or even just write out your thoughts. Getting the feelings out there helps a lot.
I could list a dozen other things that living with depression has taught me, but I just wanted to give you a short list, a sample.
Do you live with depression, or know someone who does? What lessons have you learned from it? Leave me a message in the comments so I can read your story.