Depression is an evil monster and if you let it win. It’s game over. No matter how destructive it is, you can learn some valuable lessons. These will make you stronger and compassionate towards the suffering of other human beings. After years of torment and struggle, I now see life differently. It isn’t as dark anymore. Depression has grown empathy and understanding in me. Here are the top 10+ lesson I have learned:
- Question perception: Depression is deceiving, constantly throwing pessimism your way. If you’re not careful you will see life through negative lenses. Keep in mind we only see one side of the coin and holding that as the truth is dangerous. Asking your therapist, friends, and family can help you to view your situation under a different light.
- Believe in yourself: Living in darkness is consuming. Eventually, you end up wanting to give up. After each episode of depression you come out victorious. Teaching you that no matter how difficult life may get. You become stronger.
- Solitude isn’t the way to go: Depression is cruel, slowly pulling you away from loved ones. In time you find yourself feeling lonely while you are surrounded by people who care about you. Depression makes you think being alone is the best option for you. When the truth is asking for help doesn’t make you weak. It has its benefits.
- Your feelings are valid: Depression plays a continuous mind game by tricking you into thinking people have it worse than you. Therefore, you have no right to feel hopeless. In all honesty, your feelings are valid. Depression does not judge whether you have loads of money, a home, food to eat, and a successful career. Give yourself permission to process your feelings to let go.
- Self-care isn’t always a spa day: Social media portrays self-care as a day to pamper yourself. Although it’s perfectly okay to take a day off, sometimes self-care is taking your medication, exercising, eating the right foods, and waking up to conquer the day.
- Depression doesn’t make you weak: There is a false belief out there, stating those with depression are weak and can’t handle life’s hardships. This is a lie! Depression zaps all your energy making it nearly impossible to complete daily tasks. Such as, taking a shower and waking up. People battling each day are strong because they push through even when every part of them is internally screaming not to.
- A relationship won’t cure depression: Society tends to romanticize mental illness. Portraying images and movies about how love cured it. The truth is a partner can give you the strength to battle with depression. They can help you get back up, but only you can overcome depression.
- There are people who care: Sometimes we surround ourselves with individuals who belittle your experience with depression. Saying awful things like, “snap out of it”, “just grow up”, “don’t be such a sissy” or “it’s not that bad”. Stay away from toxic people, there will always be someone out there who may not understand depression, but are willing to listen and help.
- Depression doesn’t come in a one size fits all: The media portrays depression as someone who is all melancholic, dressed in black, with cuts all over, and sitting alone. That can’t be farther from the truth. While depression does have a set of specific symptoms, everyone experiences and interprets it differently.
- Past mistakes don’t define you: At times feelings of worthlessness makes you do things you will later regret. Sometimes you end up in situations that you would have not been in if only you were thinking clearly. The truth is we are all human and it’s okay to make mistakes. The important thing is to learn from it. If the people around you keep pointing fingers and reminding you of things you did in the past, then it’s time to let them go. Keeping negative people around you while depressed is a lethal combination.
- It’s okay to stay alive for the little things: Keeping hope during a major depressive episode is impossible sometimes. Staying alive for simple things such as, seeing your mother’s smile again or seeing the next season of your favorite TV show is perfectly fine. Don’t let society make you feel bad for not seeing the world in bright colors.
- Trust your gut: Depression can be blinding allowing you to stay in bad situations. If you feel like something is not right, then most likely it is. Don’t let depression trick you into staying there.
- You deserve happiness: Depression makes you feel like you don’t deserve happiness and that the rest of your life will be covered in darkness. No matter how deep you are in it, happiness can be achievable. Part of being a human is that you will experience all kinds of negative emotions. The trick here is to remind yourself it is temporary.
- Don’t believe false expectations: We tend to put high expectations on what happiness should be. For example, on a scale of 1 to 10, 10 being completely happy. If we are having a good time and feel like we only reached 7 on the scale, then we think we are not happy. Don’t let depression and false expectation define your present moment.
Do you agree with these lessons? If so which ones? Are there other lessons you have learned? Let me know in the comment section below.
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