Thursday, 21 November 2013

Mental Illness : Depression. Ways to cope.

 
 
 
I've wanted to write a post on this for awhile as I feel very strongly about awareness on mental illness. Even in this day and age where mental illness is becoming far more acknowledged and diagnosed there are still a wide number of people out there who suffer and don't know the right ways to live a relatively normal life like everyone else.
 
 
 
I myself have suffered with depression and anxiety and have done for many years. It was only up until 2010 when I was officially diagnosed did I realise that I could do something about it. Before then I was confused and didn't understand the way I felt. I was moody and irrational and I never wanted to go out. I sabotaged relationships with people and stopped myself progressing in life. I pretty much just wanted to live in my bed and never associate with anyone. Obviously that's not the way to go and through understanding and help I've now learnt of ways to catch my "illness" early and learn to control it.
 
 
If you suffer with depression/anxiety then read on as I'm going to explain a few little things I do to keep myself happy. Maybe you'll gain something from it.
 
Think Positive
I know its a hard thing to do when you feel like your world is falling down but the best thing to do when you feel a wave of depression coming on is to look at the world a little differently. Instead of thinking of all the things you don't have or need... start to think of the things you do have. If you feel worthless or hopeless.. think of the people who care about you, your friends, your family.. even your pets! If you feel like you haven't achieved anything and your going nowhere in life then set yourself targets to progress... even if its the tiniest thing. Every little thing is a big step to over coming the way you feel. Thinking positive gives you a different outlook on life and when you think positive you start to feel positive and it'll have a massive boost on your mood.
 
Be Around People
If your socially awkward like I can be you may be thinking "god no" but being round people, even if its just the one person can be a massive help. Push yourself to go round to your friends for the night or spend time with your family. Being around people and doing things with them takes your mind off the issues in your head. Its never good to be alone when you feel horrible. It just makes matters worse. Go out! Or invite someone round!
 
Get A New Hobby
A little change in your everyday life such as getting a new hobby is a good way to help your moods. For instance, I started this blog because I like to write and its a good way to get away from my worries. Learn an instrument, Buy a sketch book and draw or even take up a class in kick boxing! Doing something new is exciting and fun!
 
Eat Better And Exercise
Doctors say having a healthy diet and a good amount of exercise is a great way to improve your moods. Exercising releases endorphins causing you to feel good. If you cant be bothered going to the gym or paying the costs then go for a run or a long walk. Use that Wii board that's been propped up in the corner for years. Plan a nice healthy meal and then go down to the shops and buy and prepare it. Doing things you know are good for you and your body will help.
 
Get A Diary
My (ex)therapist told me a great way to deal with issues is to write them down. Buy yourself a little diary and whenever you have too many negative thoughts in your head write them down. It doesn't matter how horrible it sounds. Releasing those feelings will cause you to worry less. Its a good way to cope if your not comfortable talking to people about the way you feel and it clears your head temporarily.
 
Change Something About Yourself
I'm not telling you to completely change everything about yourself and become someone new. Sometimes something as little as a new hair cut or new look makes you feel a million times better. When I was down and not feeling like myself I went a bit drastic and dyed my hair bright red. 2 years on I still have it and I love it :)
 
Treat Yourself
When I feel like crap the first thing I do after I finish a shift at work is head into town and buy myself something. Whether its a new pretty dress or something small like a hair accessory its always nice to have something new.
 
Do Things You Enjoy
Its easy to just sit in bed and wallow in self pity. Snap out of it and tell yourself you deserve better. Go grab your favourite film, buy a ton of chocolate and takeaway and have a night to yourself. Read a new book, go to a gig, or play a computer game. All good things that'll stop you from feeling sorry for yourself.
 
Cut Out Negative People
I myself can not stand to be around negative people. They give off bad energy and rub off on your own mood. If you have people in your life who bring you down and are never happy then be around people who bring out the best in you. I learnt that certain people who used to be in my life triggered my moods. Sometimes its just better to look after yourself and do what's best for you. Surround yourself with good fun happy people and they'll bring positivity to you.
 
Tidy Your Area
Its no good having a messy house/room and trying to cheer yourself up. Living in a mess is bad for your health. When I had a massive mental break down me and my family spent a whole week redecorating my room. We painted it and bought new things, I changed the colour and made it feel more relaxing. It made a huge difference. Once I felt more comfortable in my room I started to feel more comfortable with myself.
 
Seek Help
You are not a failure if you decide to seek help from someone. You're not weak, You're not pathetic. You are strong. I cried my eyes out when I went to the doctors because I had coped for so long on my own. It was a massive relief to have someone there who would listen and help. If you don't feel like talking to family or friends would help then visit a doctor. They can refer you to a therapist or put you on the right medication.. That brings me to the next topic....
 
Medication
I used to never believe in taking medication. I thought it was a way to supress feelings and that it didn't help.. but inevitably being put on medication became my only option at one point.. and it actually really helped me. I learnt that being on certain pills to help my depression/anxiety helped me to over come a really difficult time in my life. They helped me to get back on my feet and start sorting myself out. If you feel like a therapist doesn't help (like I did) and nothing else is working for you then go to your doctor and discuss what they can do for you. 
 
 
 
 
and finally.......
 
Realise that you are allowed to feel the way you do. Don't let people tell you otherwise. Mental illness affects 1 in 4 of us at some point in our life's. Its not a laughing matter. I've had so many people say "cheer up, there's worse people off than you"... no shit. Mental illness is something you can't just switch off and get over. It takes a lot of time and effort to learn to adjust and live the way you want to. The people who care about you won't leave you. I have a great bunch of friends/family and an amazing boyfriend who understand I can be a little off sometimes. As long as you have the right people in your life then that's all that matters. I've learnt that following some of my tips has vastly improved my life. I now know that when I'm having an episode I know the right way to go about it. Mental illness isn't a nice thing to have. Sometimes it feels worse than anything physical because we don't know how to cope with something we can't see.
Hopefully this post will help at least one person then I'll feel like I've accomplished something!
 
And that's it !
 
 
If you managed to get through this long assed post then thank you :) Please feel free to comment below and add any of your own advice, tips, stories so maybe it'll benefit someone else.
 
 
 
 
 

43 comments:

  1. This is so much more common than people realise, especially when you talk to others. That's why any stigma needs to be lost. I suffered from post-natal depression. I felt that other people expected me to pull myself together and snap out of it. It was only when I burst into tears at my doctors that I got some help. :(

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    1. I totally agree! Glad you managed to get some help about it. I feel really strongly about mental illness. I wish people understood more about it and the way it affects people.

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  2. Just wanted to thank you for this post. It's an issue close to my own heart and it's so good to see other people taking mental illness an mental health seriously.
    Rebecca, from A Little Bit of Glitter (www.alittlebitofglitter24.blogspot.co.uk)
    Xx

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    1. Aww thank you too! I really appreciate you reading it and taking the time out to comment.

      Love your blog btw :)

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  3. I really really liked your post, it was realistic but also helpful :)
    xxx

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  4. All very good advice. I couldn't agree more that asking for help is a sign of strength and a positive step forward. Like you said, hobbies are great, they help you have something to look forward to, and give a sense of achievement which are both really important. Great blog post! Have a great weekend Sammeh. sparkle2day.com

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    1. Thanks for the reply Susannah :)

      glad you agree on some of the points I made. Its all from personal experience so I feel like it'll benefit others too. Have a great weekend too and thanks for reading :)

      x

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  5. Great post - it is such an important topic and you talk about it in such a kind, honest way. Way to go! You are really helping people with this.

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    1. awwww wow! That's such a lovely comment to read and It makes me feel like it was really worthwhile doing this post with you saying that. Hopefully it'll reach out to certain people :)

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  6. Hey :) This is a very deep and insightful post, good on you for sharing your own experiences! Hopefully you will help others! Thank you for following me I've followed back :) xxx

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    1. Aww that's sweet. I'm glad you took the time out to read and comment as its a topic that's close to my heart.

      Thanks for following back too doll! x

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  7. Great post! It's a very difficult topic to talk about I think, because sometimes people around me see this as a taboe you know. The tips are also very helpfull. x

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    1. I'm glad you find the tips very helpful as I didn't do any research, I just went off my own knowledge and experiences. Hopefully more people won't shy away from talking about mental illness with the more they read about it.

      Thanks for commenting :)

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  8. I have anxiety and it just ruins my life.. A diary and talking about it helps though!

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    1. My anxiety and depression go hand in hand.. when I get anxious I get really depressed.. and when I get depressed it makes me really anxious. It goes round and round in a circle. At least you can find one thing like writing in a diary of a bit of an escape. I'm thinking in the near future I'll post a more in depth article on anxiety as I feel this one is more aimed at depression so keep reading for new posts :)

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  9. Hello there,

    I liked the post very much and the tips were great too. I had the anxiety issues before, so can get how complicated things can get.

    Anyway, you have a new follower now ;)

    Raffaella X
    http://r4elle.blogspot.com/

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  10. Hi,

    I suffer with depression and I think a few of those things I could do with practising, as I can get to a point where I just don't want to get out of bed.

    This post is definitely going to be helpful for me to feel better in myself :)

    Vikki
    vikkihale.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Aww i'm glad! Makes it all worth while posting this if it helps people. Thank you so much for reading and commenting :)

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  11. Hi hun, thanks for following me via Bloglovin, I am just stopping by to follow back and check out your blog. These are good tips, being a therapist I deal with patients with clinical depression among other disorders, it takes a while to work out the issues and get them integrated back into society and functioning. I know there are also a lot of people who deal with stress and bouts of depression and don't seek help. We can all fall under a depressive spell but it is how we actively try to get out of it that counts. Its very helpful to have a support group.

    -Erica
    http://diaryofatrendaholic.blogspot.ca/

    Stop by any time :)

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  12. It's really brave of you to talk about this, people still don't talk enough about Mental health, despite the fact that it affects 1 in 4 people.

    And these tips are really handy, whilst not all of them will work for everyone, even if just one of them helps one person you'll know you've done the right thing speaking out.

    Thank you for sharing and I hope to come back and read this again when I'm in a low mood.

    Roxilicious82 @ Simply Roxilicious!

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    1. Thank you :)

      I'm not afraid to talk about it. The more people know the better and there'd be less ignorance in the world.

      I think more people should speak up about their mental illness. Just looking at the comments in this post shows that their are a wide number of people who suffer.

      Thanks for reading :)

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  13. this post is extremely relevant to me right now!glad you wrote about this issue and hope others do the same as there is so much ignorance surrounding it!im now following:)thanks for following my blog:)

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  14. Hi, I just found your blog and I really love it. This post was really relevant to me as somebody who has been diagnosed with depression and anxiety and I'm still struggling with ways to cope with it some days, but it's good to know that I'm not the only one, because sometimes it feels like I am. I will try some of these tips to see if they help me! Thank you.

    My blog is http://girlinmymirrorxo.blogspot.co.uk/ if you would like to check it out. Thanks again!

    Charlotte xox

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    1. Thanks for commenting! I'm really glad this post could help you out a little. I find that the first tip I mentioned is probably the one that's helped me the most.Try and stay as positive as you can. It makes a big difference.

      I'll check your blog out too :) xx

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  15. This is a great post, seriously. I feel like mental illness is such a hush hush subject which just seems to further the issues for people suffering. I have an anxiety and depression and postpartum depression has upheaved my life. Trichotillomania is related to it all for me. It's so hard to talk about because there are too many people that would rather you "just snap out do it!" rather than admitting you have a problem.

    These are great tips, thank you!

    Katie
    Being Dawson's Mom

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    1. Ahhh I bet its so hard for you. I hope you have people around you who are willing to help and listen. It is frustrating to talk to those people who understand nothing about depression and just give you the blunt comment. They just lack understanding and knowledge. I reckon if more people spoke up about their own personal experiences it'd kill that stigma and it it'd make a huge difference in society.

      Thanks for reading and commenting :)

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  16. Thanks for posting this. This is really great advice. I also battle depression and anxiety, so I really appreciate you opening up about your experience.
    x
    Bobbi

    www.productdoll.com

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  17. Anxiety held me down for a long time, only just got myself on track with that. Always good to spread awarness and talk bout it, go girrrl. Love your hair miss my red. :(

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    1. Haha thank you! I'm glad you've managed to sort yourself out and get back on track. Just keep at it and you'll find the more effort you put into it the easier it'll get.

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  18. loved this post! would really love my readers to see this as well as I think it would be so beneficial to them!! x

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    1. Thank you :) feel free to share if you think it'd help people!

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  19. This was such a nice post to read. I suffer really badly from this and people just don't get it. They don't understand how you can still laugh at jokes etc and yet be crying inside. I also had a horrible experience recently where my councillor gave up on me and told me there was nothing more he could do to help. I just spiralled downwards so far it was unreal. I exercise to lift my mood and I found writing my blog helps. I don't even care if anyone reads it any more because its like a little outlet for me. I guess what I'm saying is its nice to see I'm not alone and there are others out there that do understand what I'm going through. Nashx

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    1. As if your councillor gave up on you. Clearly he/she isn't doing their job properly. I used to have a therapist and he was hopeless too. I suppose it depends who you speak to. Some get you, some don't. I totally know what you mean about being able to laugh but still cry inside. You just have to plow through it everyday and try and think as positive as you can. It took me a while to sort myself out but with my tips in place it helps. I still have my off days but i'm no where as near as depressed as I used to be. My blog is like an outlet too but its great to see people like you who take the time to read and comment. It makes me happy! So thank you :)

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  20. This is great! thanks for the follow on bloglovin! :)

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  21. Great Post Sam! I love that you are trying to bring more awareness to this topic. Everyone should be educated about what its like to live with depression, etc. Maybe people won't be as quick to judge others and more willing to offer help if they are informed. Your advice to help cope is great. I know someone that can use it. I also have a young son on the autism spectrum(He is 6) and anxiety is an issue amongst many people on the spectrum so I will keep these tips in mind.

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    1. Thank you so much for your comment. I do think mental awareness is becoming more acknowledged but its all still a slow working progress. Hopefully in a few more years things will be different.

      I'm really glad you can take some of my tips away with you and use them. They work for me so hopefully it'll work for others :)

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  22. This is a great post. You really open my eye to the realities of a silent killer called depression.

    Thx a lot

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  23. It's great to read a post about mental illness - such an important issue that really needs to be spoken about more. It's also good hearing about ways you try and make things more manageable - it means a lot more coming from someone who's going through mental illness, so thank you :)

    Jenny xx

    ramblingsofajaffacat.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. You're welcome and thank you so much for reading!

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  24. This post really hits home with me. Too often my husband tells me to simply pull myself together when I'm in the deepest depression. I'm not sure people realise how hard it is to get into the right mindset when you're depressed.

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    1. I think its hard for people to understand unless they've been through it themselves. I don't even care much if they don't understand it fully. I just want people to be respectful and not say hurtful and frustrating comments. My previous ex partners never understood it either. When I met Danny (current boyfriend) I pretty much told him from the start I can be off sometimes because I suffer with both anxiety and depression and even though he doesn't know much about it he's been really supportive and accepts me for who I am.

      You can pick up leaflets and stuff for your family/friends about mental illness and how they can help loved ones who suffer with it. Hope my post helped you in some way to try and stay on top of things :) x

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