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Overwhelming Depression Makes Daily Tasks Difficult

Overwhelming Depression Makes Daily Tasks Difficult

 

I have been feeling overwhelming depression for the past couple of weeks. Living with a mental illness can make anyone exhausted, turning simple daily tasks into daunting and dreaded foes. My responsibilities loom before me like an abysmal darkness that I cannot escape. Practicing self-care feels impossible. Even thinking about housework or errands exhausts me. Welcome to the hard days of overwhelming depression.

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Introduction to Jennifer Smith, Author of ‘Coping with Depression’

Introduction to Jennifer Smith, Author of ‘Coping with Depression’

Jennifer Smith, new author of 'Coping with Depression,' talks about how it took a near suicide attempt to get her diagnosed with depression.I’m Jennifer Smith, and I’m thrilled to be writing for Coping with Depression at HealthyPlace. I was diagnosed with major depression in January 2017. This came as a result of a near suicide attempt which required inpatient psychiatric care. I had struggled with depressive episodes throughout my life, but this was a much more severe event. Up until this point, I had been adept at attributing my depression to simple moodiness or just being tired. I had adopted routines and methods of hiding my depression from others, and the result s of that nearly cost me my life. I am currently on medication and in therapy, and I am learning how to cope with my depression in healthy ways rather than ignore it.

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My Final Post on ‘Coping with Depression’

My Final Post on ‘Coping with Depression’

Tiffanie Verbeke, author of the Coping with Depression blog, shares her final thoughts on feeling like a mental health fraud and achieving mental health.I published my first post for the Coping with Depression blog here at HealthyPlace a full year ago. Today, I publish my last. Since that first, scary click of the Publish button, I’ve read fresh takes on my coping ideas, and I’ve challenged myself to think of depression in new ways. My experience writing for the Coping with Depression blog has rocked my tiny, blue world. I’ve realized a couple of valuable things during my year with HealthyPlace.

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Create a Depression Routine So You Cope and Live Well

Create a Depression Routine So You Cope and Live Well

Depression doesn't follow a routine, so it's important that people with depression do. Establishing a depression routine is crucial. Read this to learn more.

Depression requires routine to successfully cope with the illness. Because depression is not routine, it is important and beneficial to establish patterns that structure the way you live in order to combat the surprises that depression can often throw your way. I’m finding that my depression affects me more the less I follow a routine. I am less capable of bouncing back from a bad brain day; I have less control over my rapidly shifting moods; I dismiss my basic needs (Depression Does Not Eliminate Your Basic Needs). I’ve learned the hard way that living well with depression requires routine.

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Low Self-Control Hurts Your Ability to Cope with Depression

Low Self-Control Hurts Your Ability to Cope with Depression

Coping with depression challenges my self-control in a unique way. I have excellent self-control when I’m having a good brain day; by which I mean when my day is bright and my mind feels light and unburdened. I practice self-care even if I don’t want to and I do what I need to do without complaint. But when I’m having bad brain days and my depression is at its most extreme, my self-control disappears. I make excuses to let myself off the hook for not practicing self-care by not using self-control to properly cope with my depression.

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Comparing Yourself to Others Can Complicate Coping

Comparing Yourself to Others Can Complicate Coping

Coping with depression is difficult enough, but when you are constantly comparing yourself to others, coping can be even harder. Learn why to stop comparisons.

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.

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An Active Lifestyle Improves My Depression

An Active Lifestyle Improves My 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.

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Depression Self-Care in Relationships Requires Communication

Depression Self-Care in Relationships Requires Communication

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.

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Bad Brain Days And Depression Intensity

Bad Brain Days And Depression Intensity

Realizing your bad brain day is only a shift in depression intensity helps you cope with the mental illness. Learn more about bad brain days. Read this.

I have good and bad brain days, and the intensity of my depression varies. Some mornings, I wake up and smile at the sun and sky, make myself a superb cup of coffee, and spend the day enjoying every second of activity. And some mornings, I struggle to open my eyes, I get angry about the beautiful weather, and I skip all of my meals (Depression Symptoms: What are the Symptoms of Depression?). There was a long span of time where I thought it was unfair that my depression seemed to go away and come back without warning, until I realized that I was viewing depression incorrectly. I didn’t realize that depression shifts in intensity and that good and bad brain days just happen.

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About the ‘Coping with Depression’ Author, Tiffanie Verbeke

About the ‘Coping with Depression’ Author, Tiffanie Verbeke

I’m Tiffanie Verbeke and I am the new co-author of Coping with Depression. I’m a freshly-graduated Interpersonal Communication Studies major, coffee addict, avid runner, and music enthusiast. I also pretend to be a good painter (which is an excellent coping mechanism). I have learned and experienced many challenging, wonderful things in my lifetime, but one of my most significant adventures has been learning about my brain. I was officially diagnosed in college with severe depression, anxiety, and mixed state bipolar disorder—a lovely combination of barriers to achieving optimal mental health.

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