It is so very sad to hear about the passing of someone that has had an impact on your life. It doesn’t matter whether they are know by many or only a few. What matters is the impact that they made on your life. It is even more sad to hear that someone has lost their life to depression. Especially when on the outside the appear to be happy.
Can You Appear Happy When You Are Depressed?
Yes of course you can. Suffering from depression doesn’t mean that you are depressed 24/7, it means that you have a chemical imbalance in your brain that affects your physiology and your reactions sometimes.
Robin Williams died from depression today because of the effect of those chemical imbalances and the mental and emotional reactions to them that he experienced. That’s it really. It wasn’t because he was weak or anything ridiculous like that. Robin Williams’ illness has lead to him seeking a permanent solution to what is always a temporary problem. His mental and emotional reactions have lead to him making that decision which was caused by his depression.
There may be some days when you are up on cloud 9 then all of a sudden something happens and the old depression kicks back in again.
I know all too well what this is like because I used to suffer from it. I went through years of struggle not knowing how to, or even if I ever would, get out of it.
Here’s something about me that I don’t often tell everyone. It is a very bad time in my life where I had tried to end my own life that I decided enough was enough and I wasn’t going to live like that anymore.
Dealing with Depression – What doesn’t work?
Here are some really simple things that I can tell you definitely don’t work when it comes to dealing with depression.
- Drinking – Never in a million years are you ever going to be able to drink your problems away. Don’t believe me? Here’s a simple test. Think about a problem and then see how much alcohol you need to drink until that problem no longer exists. On a serious note, don’t do that. Can you see how before you would even start to do it that it would be a stupid idea?? All that drinking when you have a problem does is delay it for another time.
- Taking drugs – Once again this is never going to help you. All you are going to do is wreck your body and mind and that problem WILL STILL BE THERE!!!
- Shutting yourself away from everyone – Now don’t get me wrong here. I am a big fan of alone time. Time you spend completely on your own to reflect and look at what changes you are going to make next in your life. Shutting yourself away all of the time isn’t very good for you. We are social creatures and we need that bit of interaction with others that have similar interests to ourselves. If you don’t have that then go onto a site such as meetup.com and search for a group of people with similar interests to yourself locally. Can’t find any?? Start up your own group. There are probably lots of people waiting for someone else to start up a group so why not be that person?
Dealing with Depression – What does work?
- Talking to someone – Now this can be friends or it can be a professional. When you talk to someone you are giving yourself the opportunity to find a different perspective on it and give yourself more options. Doing this though means that you have to think about who you are going to talk to. If your friend is someone who is going to tell you about how bad it all is and how it’s pointless even trying then may I suggest that you need to get yourself at least one new friend.
- Practising self help techniques and/or meditation – These will help you to balance out your mind and get you back in the driving seat. We are encouraged these days to live foot to the floor lifestyles but it isn’t any god for us mentally. We need our quiet time and we also need to work on ourselves. It is only when we work on ourselves that we become bigger than our problems.
- Sex – Yes I did just say it. Having sex not only feels good but produces lots of happy hormones in our bodies. If you don’t have a partner well maybe you’d like to meet up with someone else who is feeling down and cheer each other up. I only half jest!
- Smiling for no reason – Why on earth do you need to have a reason to smile. All you need to do is turn up the corners of your mouth and then raise them a little….a little more………..a little more. That’s it! Now you’re smiling 🙂 Not only do you have a smile on your face but your brain is now naturally producing lots of lovely serotonin. Want to make it even better by adding some endomorphines to the mix? Start laughing. Just like the smile you might have to fake it at first but you’ll soon get into your rhythm.
- Start practising positive thoughts – Find some things that you would like to say about yourself and write them down and carry them around with you. Each day as many times as you need or want to, take out your piece of paper and read them out loud and SMILE while you do it!
- Create a gratitude list – Just like the last one it involves you writing out things that you are grateful for each and every day. Read them out loud and gives thanks for having these things in your life. Can’t find one thing to be grateful for?? You are breathing! Steve Jobs would give his entire fortune for the gift that you have. Boost this up by writing out things that you like about yourself as well. Write 5 of each and see how your life changes!
- Get some help – Not everything can be done on your own. Sometimes we need people to help us get through some of the stuff that we go through. It doesn’t mean that you are weak it means that you are strong enough to realise that you need to make a change and you are going to make damn sure that change happens! I have helped lots of people with depression over the years and I admire everyone of them for coming forward and asking for help.
If you want to get out of depression you are going to have to take some action and you are going to have to do things differently to how you have been doing them. That is the only way that you are going to get out of it. You can do it. Trust me. However bad it feels right now is only temporary. There is always a way to deal with your problems instead of running away from them.