It’s one of those days again! Waking up in the morning; trying to find a reason to get up. It’s not only that you are feeling tired physically, but you’re emotionally exhausted as well. You force yourself to move, to put one foot in front of the other. But there it is; negative thoughts are overwhelming you…
“I am a failure… it’s my fault…nothing good ever happens to me… life is not worth living… people would be better without me…”
But it’s not only getting up in the morning that is difficult anymore. It’s the whole day, during which you experience different kinds of emotions and get all sorts of ideas. You are feeling miserable and unhappy, disappointed, and frustrated, you lack confidence and generally, you are in a sad mood. Your behavior is changing drastically. You cannot concentrate; you withdraw yourself from family, from your friends or your spouse.
I know life sucks sometimes. Especially during the period, we are living in. With unemployment -or underemployment- and the financial strain that comes with it, relationships are getting tougher. Feeling down from time to time, especially under those circumstances described, is a normal part of life. But if symptoms such as hopelessness and despair take hold and won’t go away, you may be suffering from depression.
But no matter how hopeless you feel, things can get better.
The first thing you can do if you experience some of those extremely negative thoughts is to learn more about depression. Put small, achievable, goals in your life, and try to build from there. Make positive choices for yourself. Try to reach out to other people, friends, loved ones that you have pushed away, people who care for you, and people who are good listeners.
Start exercising; try physically stimulating things that will make you feel better. This will put in motion the endorphin in your body which is a natural antidepressant. Try to eat healthily, especially fruits, spend a lot of time near nature, taking long walks by the sea or in a forest, care for a pet, or become a volunteer for a special cause. The more you interact with people for a noble cause, the better you will feel.
The most difficult part is to watch a loved one experience such a difficult situation. Don’t stand there man! You can do things. Be part of the solution. At least try. Be a compassionate listener and act through love. Do not try to give advice, rather express your thoughts showing your affection and understanding. Try to do things together such as walks or encourage a healthy diet. Give assistance if the person asks it from you or ask for the help of a professional if things are getting worse. Remember though, to take care of yourself too because you cannot control a loved one’s depression. Do not be drained!
Nevertheless, it’s difficult living it and a hard thing to watch as a spectator. But with love and care, anything can get better. Believe it deep in your heart and the first step is made. Acknowledge the problem and ask for assistance from a professional – or start a conversation with the person by saying simple, kind words such as “… I have been feeling concerned about you lately…” or “…How can I best support you right now…”
Better yet, try:
For me you are special.
I have faith in you.
You are not alone.