My Final Post on 'Coping with Depression'
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.
Things I've Learned While Writing Coping with Depression
When I Talk About Mental Health I Feel Like a Fraud Because I'm Depressed
I often felt like a fraud as I wrote about coping with depression because I am not the best at coping with my own depression. A few of the coping mechanisms I've shared don't even work for me. A majority of my articles were fueled by irritation with myself because I struggle to share pieces of my experience without trying to seem more professional, cool, or collected than I actually am.
I worried that I wrote like someone who was good at being depressed, and I didn't want to discourage people by writing about coping as if it was easy. It's not. I struggle to control my alcohol consumption, even though I know that alcohol and depression mix worse than whiskey and pickle juice. I lash out at my significant other, even though I know he's not the problem. I neglect my self-care routines, even though I know self-care is vital to good mental health. But I'm not a fraud for suggesting solutions to problems that I can't figure out for myself.
If you hesitate to reach out to struggling friends because you also feel like a mental health fraud, stop it. What doesn't work for you could work for others. Share everything you can because, hey, you're not a fraud. You're a human being with a chaotic brain, and you have lots of suggestions for other people with chaotic brains.
Strive for Good Habits, Not Perfection
Being mentally healthy doesn't mean being perfect at coping with depression. Instead, being mentally healthy means having reliable coping habits. I will never master my depression, but I will always work to improve my bad brain day responses.
It's also important to remember that having depression doesn't mean that we know everything about depression. Having mental health issues doesn't make you a mental health expert, and there is always more to learn from yourself and from others. As long as we focus on being open to our experiences and others' experiences, we can keep learning and growing in the mental health community.
Last Reminders for Coping with Depression
All good opportunities need to be shared with others. My position writing for the Coping with Depression blog was one of those good opportunities. I fiercely believe that what makes this blog so special is its access to individuals' unique depression experiences. Everyone interprets and responds to their depression differently, and we get to share in some of that here.
It's been an eye-opening year writing for HealthyPlace, and I am anxious to continue my journey as a writer and as a mental health advocate. Please be kind to yourself, and be kind to others. It doesn't matter if it irritates you to be kind. What matters is that you take actions that treat others with warmth and openness. Finally, remember that you can never practice too much self-care. Unless that's the only thing you ever do. Then that's too much. Stop it.
Verbeke, T. (2017, June 28). My Final Post on 'Coping with Depression', HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2021, March 4 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2017/06/my-final-post-on-coping-with-depression
Author: Tiffanie Verbeke
Thank you. It is so important that we share what we have learned as a depression sufferers so that others may try what we have tried. And it is so important for those who do NOT suffer from this awful disease realize that we are not to be feared! There is nothing "wrong" with us. We have simply been dealt a different hand than they have and are still just people!
Thank you for sharing your thoughts and time. I really admire your courage and bravery in facing our depression. I too face with the stuggle of coping woth depression but I'm not really good. I think I've been following your blogposts through a facebook page and articles like yours have helped me in many ways. Thank you
This is a great post, coping with depression can be such a tough thing and the fact you incorporated a video with it is a beautiful thing. To write about it is tough, to get on video and talk about it is even tougher! Thank you for sharing, this is helping a tremendous amount of people
Hi tiffanie, Found you on your last day, but that's ok. I wanted to let you know I love your closing statements. Sometimes I feel like I I could be a member of all the mental health illness clubs. :). Bp2, ADD, depression, anxiety, sensory overload, etc... I loved the comment about feeling like a fraud when suggesting coping skills to others. I find it very difficult to practice what I preach. Duh, sugar and alcohol feed anxiety and depression, yes sleep and eating right will help. And personal care. (just finding out that's apart of all this). But it's so much easier said than done. And that's the nitch, that no one seems to get. Or remember that I guess like AA, you have to take one day at a time. And just because your telling someone that they should stay away from sugars while eating a pint of Hagan Das, doesn't mean it isn't true. Irritation fueled writing seems to be a favorite of mine also. Im 54, and Its been only in the past month that I have been looking at these kinds of sites. I found you off of Hannah. Even though it was your last, I'm glad I found it. And your right, we will never stop learning. Good luck with your future writing.