I have to cope with extreme anger as a symptom of depression as I am angry all the time. Not crabby or grumpy or irritated–angry. Bitter rage intoxicates my brain and makes it impossible to care about anything (Confronting the Dragon: Mental Illness and Rage). I am indifferent, and I’ve never been indifferent. I cannot find enjoyment in anything, and I have always tried to find little joys. Laughter feels foreign and serenity seems like a figment of my imagination. The most infuriating part is that I have no idea why I am so angry, and the anger has created a setback in my process of coping with depression.
Coping with depression during the holidays can be tough. The holiday season is upon us and with it comes all sorts of internal battles, emotional struggles, financial stretches, and difficult decisions. While that’s a harsh description of the most wonderful time of the year, I’ve lived through enough holiday seasons to know that the ratio of holiday spirit to holiday sorrow can sometimes be less than ideal. It can feel like you’re drowning in expired egg nog when you’re coping with depression during the holiday months (What Is Holiday Depression?), so I’ve written down a few ways of surviving the holidays while coping with depression.
Yesterday was Election Day, and though it was the end of the election cycle, for many it was the beginning of post-election depression — but the good news is that extreme self-care can help you cope with post-election depression. Social media and news media outlets have been teeming with election-related articles, memes, videos, pictures, and posts with overwhelmingly negative messages. There remains potential for a severe backlash regarding election results and further negative coverage, so I’ve made a list of thoughts and practices that should help you cope with post-election depression, including extreme self-care (Implement Extreme Self-Care for Depression). Keep reading
Comparing yourself to others is not beneficial while coping with depression. I live by the phrase, “Comparison is the thief of joy.” It means that comparing something of yours to someone else’s can steal good feelings. And while it can certainly eliminate joy or gratitude, a comparison can also steal validation (Mental Illness Validation: Tell Me ‘I Believe You’). Mental health is a vast and varied experience that features ups and downs and pushes and pulls that I can guarantee are not the same for any individual. So comparing your mental progress and experience while coping with depression against someone else’s progress and experience can create massive setbacks in your coping. Keep reading
Meditation has been in practice for centuries, and it’s recently become more popular in mainstream culture, especially as a coping mechanism. Researchers have been looking further into the scientific impacts of meditation, and they have found that regular meditation actually changes the physical structure of your brain. As if that isn’t cool enough, further research shows that meditation reduces stress and anxiety, boosts creativity and focus, and can improve relationships.1 All of these effects can make a huge impact in coping with depression.
My last few weeks have been incredibly active, and it has been great for my brain (Does Exercise Really Make a Difference?). I’ve been doing some home renovations and helping a friend prepare her store for her big fall opening, working early mornings and late nights. Throughout the active weeks, my brain consistently felt more positive and less messy. I loved being active, and the little successes and physical activity involved with the weeks’ activities were beneficial in coping with my depression. Keep reading
Did you know that coping with depression improves with practice? I wish that depression checked prerequisites before working itself into someone’s brain. I want to know that I’ve met a checklist of skills that guarantees that I’m fully capable of coping with depression. Fortunately, coping skills can improve with practice, in which case I think that depression could almost be viewed as a sport. Athletes have basic skills that help them succeed, but they must practice smaller, more specific skills in order to improve their overall success at the sport (Beating Anxiety the Triathlon Way). The same goes for coping with depression. Keep reading
Depression has many well-known symptoms, and one of them is how depression makes it difficult to process emotions. This emotional effect is incredibly difficult for me to handle. I was an emotionally repressed child, and I only just started practicing emotional openness in college. I am still learning how to feel in a controlled fashion, how to conduct myself despite intense emotional outbursts, and how to work with feelings instead of against them. And I’m also learning how to cope during the times my depression blows my emotions out of proportion; because, depression complicates my ability to process emotions. Keep reading
Relationships require communication around depression self-care. I have to remind myself constantly that my depression self-care and mental health goals are mine, and mine alone. I do not share the same goals as others with similar brains, and I should not expect others to have the same goals. One of my uncles told me recently that, “Expectations are premeditated resentments.” Applying that idea to the intimate relationship I maintain with my partner, I realize that I have a lot of expectations regarding depression self-care and mental health, and that I need to communicate my depression self-care needs appropriately in order to successfully care for myself and maintain a healthy relationship. Keep reading
I realized recently depression is an experience, not just a diagnosis and thinking of depression as an experience empower me. Depression spurs challenging emotions and physical symptoms, and it also changes the way I think about things. Depression influences the way I respond to various stimuli, and the way I arrange my daily schedule and plan vacations. Depression impacts the way I interact with people, and the relationships I choose to maintain. Depression is something I experience, so I’ve been trying to define my depression more by its impact to my life than by the medical diagnosis. I’m empowering myself by viewing depression as an experience. Keep reading