Know your illness – A guide to self help with depression

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Depression
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Let me start by saying I have suffered crippling depression and gone through some awful ordeals so I am talking from experience when I say you can beat this and you WILL beat it. I have suffered for the last 5 years and I know the excruciating lows that it can take you to. Yet here I am still alive and refusing point blank to take pills or to let it beat me. Obviously, I do not recommend this if your on tablets, however, there are a few tips I have that will hopefully help you manage your own health.

 

Firstly what is mental health?

Mental health includes our emotional, psychological, and social well-being. It affects how we think, feel, and act. It also helps determine how we handle stress, relate to others, and make choices. Mental health is important at every stage of life, from childhood and adolescence through adulthood.

So this tells me that Mental health is exactly that, it’s in your head. There is nothing physically stopping you apart from your own thoughts and feelings it’s it’s about teaching yourself to think differently. The best thing I have realised about my mental health problems is I CAN change the outcome of the day if I choose to.

 

The first stage of solving any problem is admitting there is a problem in the first place. The second stage is taking active steps to solve it.

 

Wake up, get up

I have spent many many mornings and afternoons in bed because I can not face the day due to feeling low, or because I have had no sleep the night before. This leaves me feeling more of a failure before I have even got out of bed in the morning. The thing is, the day is going to happen regardless and the longer you stay in bed the less likely you are to sleep that night. It’s time to break the cycle. The first few days will suck ass majorly but by evening you will be so tired that you will actually sleep. and maybe even sleep through the night.

 

 

It is so important to wake up and make your bed at a decent time. Set your alarm and don’t snooze it. You want this, no one wants to be depressed and yet the biggest part of the battle is to break the bad routines that have become natural. Your bed should be used for sleeping and for sex. Nothing else. If you suffer depression and have trouble sleeping DO NOT take technology to bed with you, it’s a recipe for disaster. Although I will contradict that later in the post when I tell you to put some gentle noise on your phone to sleep too.

 

Have Breakfast

They say breakfast is the most important meal of the day and they are right. It is so important for so many different reasons. The biggest two being Weight loss and energy. A good breakfast is crucial to you having a better day. It is an immediate source of good slow burning energy completely different to the fast pick me up a mug of coffee offers. As well as a decent breakfast will help with weight loss if that’s one of the things getting you down. This is because you don’t feel the need to snack before lunch.

 

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With depression, it is so easy to make excuses but DONT, You will not beat this by making excuses and cutting corners. It takes minutes to hard boil an egg, (which I have read several times is the best breakfast to help beat depression) or grab a banana and an apple. There really is no excuse to miss the most important meal of the day. This is a corner you can’t afford to cut.

 

Look in the Mirror

 

This one sounds silly but go with it. Have a wash then look at yourself in the mirror and have a little pep talk. Tell yourself “today I will sort out my money” or “I will go for a run.” I am a very visual person so I imagine my depression as a little devil sitting on my shoulder determined to bring me down. I look him in the eyes and I say aloud not today, Today I am in control of my life. Today I will not be beaten no matter how low you make me feel.

 

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I do this every morning I set myself a goal at breakfast and I reiterate it in the mirror whilst having my mini pep talk. Like I said at the start this is a mental problem so it’s about changing your mindset and giving your body the right tools to help you.

 

Get dressed and go out

 

Start the day with a walk. This gets some fresh air into your lungs and clears the stuffiness that your mental health clogs you up with. Again this seems almost impossible at the start but work with it. Invest in your life and it won’t take long before you are feeling the rewards. Clear your mind and eventually you will start enjoying your alone time lost in your music or deep in thought.

 

Make a list and prioritise

 

In most cases, depression is not the result of one single action or problem. It is a accumulation of many smaller issues that inter wind into each other. Think of your life as a bunch of wires. Each wire relates to an issue that is playing on your mind. Be that money, health, your job etc. When life is well and everything is going alright the wires are straight and they are all easy to manage. However, when you leave them a while it doesn’t take long for the wires to tangle up. Then you have a problem. it becomes a massive cluster fuck and you can get over whelmed.

 

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This is the point that you are at. So what do you do when your wires are all tangled up and you need one? you sit for hours untangling them. THAT’S the key to beating your depression. You don’t try and untangle all the wires at the same time You go for the one you need most. Your top priority and start working it out. Then you move on to the next and the next. So on and so forth until all the wires are sorted out and nice and neat again.

 

Before bed, think of a positive for the day

I can’t stress how important a positive mindset goes towards helping you manage your depression. You are your own worst enemy. Stop and think about that for a second.  You know you have a problem with your mental health and yet you are believing yourself when your mind says you’re a failure. You have survived 100% of your darkest days.

 

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At this point think of your mind as a computer. Depression is just a virus. if you don’t treat it then it could take over but at no point do you look at it and say well this Computer is crap, You know it’s not performing properly because it has a virus and you take steps to fix it. You can go to the PC shop (Doctors) and get an Anti-Virus program to install (Tablets) or you can send it away to a repair shop (Counselling).

 

Get into bed and sleep

 

Pick a reasonable bed time and stick with it. Work towards it and make sure that you can go to bed at that time safe in the knowledge that you have done all you need to do. If you need your phone as an alarm set it in the living room. I also found an app called Sleepo. It plays sounds to you while you’re asleep this soothe your subconscious and help with sleep.  Then take your phone with you but put it down. Don’t sit on it in bed. Like I mentioned before your bed should be a place of Sleep and sex. especially while sleep is an issue.

 

 

So recently my depression has taking over a lot more than usual, I’ve not been sleeping, struggling to get out of bed and just hoping that the day will end before it’s even begun. So Steve sent this to me last night and I followed almost all the steps (I took my iPad to bed to catch up on GoT) I woke up in a better mood, practically jumped out of bed, did my make up and hair and took the kids out, it’s now 10:30pm and I am tired and ready for bed. Today has been such a better day than I have had for weeks. And I am so grateful, I really didn’t think it would work. Thanks Steve!!
I really hope this helps someone else as much as it has helped me.

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Mental
Depression
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I am not a monster so why do I feel like I am

Happy, playful, joyful and strong, a father filled with love, adoration laughter and fun. A job that is sturdy, pays well, that I like. My life is secure, plain sailing and calm, YEA RIGHT! On the outside, I am everything you want in a son, in a dad or a …