In my final post for the "Coping with Depression" blog, I’d like to wish you all a sincere farewell and offer a few lessons I’ve learned over the last six months.
Coping with Depression
Mood journaling for people with depression, which simply means keeping a log of your moods, has many benefits. The act of transferring your feelings to paper can be therapeutic, taking bottled-up emotions out of your head and lightening your emotional load. Practicing writing your feelings down can help you better communicate them to your friends, family, or therapist. And looking back through your depression mood journal entries can help you identify trends, triggers, and possible treatments.
Have you tried to fix someone's mental illness? When we see others struggling with mental illness, we often get the urge to help. But for most of us, we aren’t equipped to treat their disease—and trying to can negatively impact our mental health. Sometimes we have to let go and accept that we can’t fix someone else’s mental illness.
I always thought my depression might be inherited because both my parents have experienced it. But we all shared the same house, town, financial situation, and social network when I was growing up, so I wondered if it was more a product of our environment than our genes. As it turns out, both are correct. Experts think depression is about 50 percent inherited and 50 percent other factors.
In the 15 or so years that I've lived with depression, I’ve built a metaphorical toolbox of techniques and relationships that help me keep the darkness at bay. Two of these depression coping tools are my dogs. Here’s how bundles of fur and slobber, known as dogs, help me cope with depression.
Though our society has come a long way in the perception of mental illness, stigmas around this topic are still alive and well. Stigma can be blatant or subtle; sometimes, it’s as small as an individual word or phrase. Here are some tips for choosing the right words and using language to fight mental illness stigma.
Although our society has come a long way in the treatment and perception of mental illness, there’s no doubt that stigmas surrounding these illnesses are still alive and well. Societal stigma can lead to self-stigma, and both can be very damaging to people with depression. Here we'll discuss common stigmas about depression, why they're problematic, and what you can do to fight them.
I wasn’t surprised when I read a recent study that linked reading with a lower risk of depression. I’ve seen the mental health benefits of reading firsthand, and books are now one of the many tools I use to cope with depression. Reading boosts my self-esteem, distracts my thoughts, and reduces my stress—all contributing to alleviating my depression. Here, I’ll discuss why reading has been so therapeutic for me.
For depression sufferers, it can feel like our minds filter out positive emotions and turn our thoughts into a vortex of negativity. Seeing the pain and suffering caused by natural disasters often exacerbates depression.
As a writer, I’ve found creativity is one of the first things to be affected when my depression rears its ugly head. Depression makes it harder to motivate myself to write and harder to express my unique creative voice—the thing that brings me the most joy.