April 21, 2021

How to treat and overcome depression

Many of us have been there and most of us are still struggling.

Depression happens due to a lot of stress, lack of TLC for our selves, not eating well, not sleeping well, too much work and an overwhelming number of daily chores and lack of free time.

For some people depression just happens to us that don’t have an overburdened life style, its a mental illness that it sometimes doesn’t make exceptions…

Official statistics show that 50% of the earth’s population is suffering from depression but unofficial statistics show that the numbers are much higher and climbing.

Usually depression starts like this:

At first you feel as though you are on top of the world as you up and running your daily tasks managing to get everything done…then  you start having small uncontrollable thoughts but these are not your own thoughts, its not like you sit somewhere thinking…”hhhmmm I wonder how many eggs I have in the fridge…?…or “what should I eat today?”…or “I wonder how is so and so doing?”.

These are thoughts that start to make you question your self, they have the capacity to reduce your personal energy, and you can feel that as your feelings start to get numbed, you feel a tightness in your chest which causes your mind to get cloudy and not being able to think clearly but in the beginning you are trying to hide it cause many people don’t understand what mental illness is and they relate depression with negative thinking or just being sad, so they resent it immediately simply by turning their back on you, or telling you to snap out of it. Depression is not being sad or being obsessively negative, first if all its a mental illness, its not a personal choice, these thoughts torment you no matter how much you fight them. These thoughts will try in the end and take your life if you don’t ask for help cause they are somehow synchronized with everything that you see and do  in your daily life. You don’t know if you are going to live in the next day cause these thoughts will try and convince you that you need to leave this world because you are hurting your family, your relatives and your loved ones. That is the final blow in the process of depression. These thoughts are not true!

On one hand the church says that committing suicide is a sin, and its belief is acceptable because noone has the right to take someone’s life or even their own. But what about the people who have depression and do not want to die but the mental illness convinces them to take their life by telling them that the people they care about will be much better off without them?

People with depression need help and understanding, many times they are fighting their battles alone and most of the times they are not showing it, they hide their problem behind a big smile and by being the life of the party to remove all suspicion from others and therefore removing any possible stigma of being called “crazy”. The world resents mental illness and sees it as a taboo but times have changed….its the norm around us. Before we finger point someone with mental illness we need to remember that the other three fingers are pointing at us! God’s finger is pointing at us when we judge others without trying to understand their situation and that means that the reverse countdown has started where we are going to be in a similar or other difficult situation in the future.

Let me share with you a personal story:

I was at an exclusive music festival for professional musicians in Belgium in 2010, over there I got to know two other musicians, one of them was from Holland his name was Peter (not his real name) and the other one was David (also not his real name) he was from Belgium , we hanged out alot and we jammed together a few times. We had a blast! We stayed in touch after the festival. About a year later David posts on his Facebook wall that he got in a mental institution. As soon as I saw that I contacted Peter to see if he knew anything more about what happened to David. He immediately said to me: “I dont know man…that guy is crazy…I want nothing to do with him!” I replied: “Dude! you cant just say that we dont know what he has been through…!” He repeatedly replied: “I don’t care man….I dont hang out with crazy people.” Little is to say that two years later Peter ended up with depression and he had to make major changes in his life to alleviate his mental problem.

So we should always try and understand people’s mental issues, and even if we are not able to put our selves in their shoes we should never fingerpoint at them or criticism them, if their mental illness somehow affects us in a toxic way we need to find ways to handle it or keep a certain distance but still keep these people in our prayers and help out if needed.

Here are some ways to treat your depression and overcome it:

  1. Seek professional help (visit a psychiatrist or download apps such as TalkLife, Moodfit, etc)
  2. Find self help groups in your area where you can discuss your issues with people who have had the same problem as you.
  3. Go with the flow…these thoughts will run out soon and stopping coming in your head eventually
  4. Do things that you enjoy (fitness, socializing, a long walk, call your loved ones, learn to play music, take time off work etc)
  5. Start working towards your self purpose: Follow your hearts desire even if you think you are average in it, try also to solve problems with your true calling. When you start helping solve people’s problems with your passion or at least work towards doing that, you ll start feeling better and better as time goes by.
  6.    This is the most important, its very therapeutic and it doesn’t cost money at all! : Do acts of kindness where ever you go, help others, give value to others in any way you can think of. You don’t need to spend money on this, just smile when you can, say a kind honest word to someone, give a hug, say hello, understand someone’s needs by putting your self in their shoes, pray for someone in a difficult situation or in need, give positive and constructive feedback. People will remember you for your kindness and they ‘ll start giving back, but the spiritual and emotional wealth that you will gain out of this will be immense, you will start feeling gradually better, your endorphins, and also dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin will start kicking in and you will feel rich inside. But make no mistake, don’t help others at your expense! Remember that you need to show TLC to your self first. If you are not sure if someone wants your best interest seek help from someone you trust (friend, relative), or don’t take the chance if you are not sure.
  7. Last and most important seek God and participate in church activities, spend time with the Lord in order to alleviate the stress and allow His grace to heal you! Give your worries to Him and He will listen, watch what He does for you when you truly give yourself to Him! The best way to do this is to find a priest that understands your problem and isnt going to drag you away from the psychotherapist and your healing process. Sciences are of God too!

I speak from a personal experience by sharing all this information with you and I hope that this will help you overcome your challenges, feel free to comment or email me if this article has helped you.

Keeping you in prayer

John Kakalas

 

@John Kakalas

 

 

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