Friday, February 25, 2011

And This Too Shall Pass...

Coping with depression can be an emotionally draining process. Whether you've lost  a loved one, lost your job, your spouse is cheating on you, or even dealing with the betrayal of a loved one, depression can take a toll on you and those around you.

The first step in getting through depression is to admit you are depressed. Women are much more prone to depression than men because there is more we have to struggle with internally. Our mothers raised us to be strong and self reliant, and showed us through their actions how to keep going, despite the hurt, pain, and exhaustion. Denying what we are experiencing only prolongs our healing process.

If you find yourself experiencing any symptoms of depression; lack of interest, unexplained exhaustion, sadness, change in eating habits, dramatic weight loss or weight gain, seek the help of a professional. Our friends and family members are good to sound off to every once and again, but after awhile, you get the feeling they are tired of rehashing the same old, same old. Look into seeing a professional counselor. Hey people! They get paid to listen. If people didn't have problems, there would be no need for psychologists and psychiatrists.

Depending on your location, counseling services can be pricey, but research online for free counseling services in your area. Some counseling centers offer counseling on a sliding scale if you can't afford $100-$200 a session. Let's face it folks, we're in a recession and I know there are better things I can do with $200 than pay for one day of counseling. If sliding scale counseling services are offered, keep in mind you probably won't see a licensed doctor, but an intern that has over 1000 hours of counseling services under their belt. An intern isn't able to diagnose you as depressed nor can they prescribe medication, so that alone may put some people off.

Try writing as a means of coping with your depression. What should you write? Write about your feelings. Write about how your day went. Just freewrite. During the freewriting process, your words don't have to make sense. You're not writing a book here. You're just trying to alleviate some of the emotions you have bottled up inside of you. The beauty of freewriting is you will end up at some point, writing about something that bothered you that you didn't address at the time it offended you.

I'm no expert in depression, but I have been through it and am battling it now. After the death of my father in September 2010, I stopped facing reality and shut down emotionally. Nothing else mattered to me except for my grief and my life completely came to a screeching halt. Once I opened my laptop and just began to type, I felt the pressure around my chest begin to ease a bit. Healing isn't an overnight process, but it doesn't have to take forever either. There is a wonderful life out there waiting to be discovered and I decided I want my piece of happiness too.

1 comment: