Resilience During a Depression Relapse
Last month, I struggled with a depression relapse. During one of my therapy sessions, my therapist reminded me that I am resilient. Depressed at the time, I didn’t feel very resilient, but the comment stayed with me. It started me wondering what the relationship is between depression and resilience and how we can increase resilience.
Resilience in Depression Recovery
Merriam-Webster defines resilience as “the ability to become strong, healthy, or successful again after something bad happens.”
Life, with all of its uncertainty, offers many opportunities to practice resilience and particularly for those of us faced with a mental illness like depression. Resilience is particularly important in mental health recovery.
What does resilience in action look like for those of us with depression? It can mean:
- showing up for therapy sessions, even when we don’t feel like it.
- trying a new medication regimen.
- reaching out when we feel like isolating.
The list goes on, but perhaps the commonality lies in taking a chance on bouncing back in the face of difficulty.
Tips to Practice Depression Resilience
Taking that chance can feel really difficult. For the past few months I have been dealing with being unemployed, a depression and anxiety trigger. It’s very easy to feel overwhelmed with the uncertainty of my situation. Now more than ever it’s important to practice resilience if I can. The Mayo Clinic has tips for practicing resilience, which include the following.1
- Get connected. Resilience is about reaching out for support. Cultivate good relationships and don’t be afraid to reach out.
- Make every day meaningful. Do something each day that builds a sense of purpose and accomplishment; set goals to look forward to.
- Learn from experience. Consider skills and strategies you’ve used in difficult times in the past.
- Remain hopeful. Accepting and even anticipating change makes it easier to adapt and view new challenges with less anxiety.
- Take care of yourself. Tend to your needs, including diet, exercise and stress management.
- Be proactive. It can take time to recover from a setback but know that your situation can improve if you work at it.
- Seek professional guidance. Becoming more resilient takes time and practice. If you don’t feel you’re making progress seek out the guidance of a mental health professional.
1 How to build resiliency. (2017, May 18). Retrieved September 29, 2017.
Tazzi, J. (2015, February 4). Resilience During a Depression Relapse, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2020, December 2 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2015/02/depression-and-resilience
Author: Jennifer Tazzi
this spreads awareness on positive psychology . Mental health professional like me would look forward for many more such hope inculcating views
It's wonderful to find a site like this, where people are reminded of their resilience. As someone who regularly struggles with a moderate level of Major Depressive Disorder, I appreciate this deeply.
I'd also like to share with all of you two techniques that help me get through "the dark night of the soul". One is mindfulness. The other is to remind myself that depression is a liar.
Good to hear from someone with similar issues xxx
I feel that finding the strength to push through an active depressive episode can seem almost impossible at times. It's extremely difficult to perform self care techniques during this time, because your depression is so powerful you can't see through the exhausting symptoms to want to do something good for yourself, even the smallest thing, like calling a friend. I live with this daily. If I didn't force myself to participate in therapy and medication management with a psychiatrist, I would not be able to "cope". I need to have a place like this to help me see that I am not alone, so, thank you.
Thank you, Lisa M, for your input.