“Just one of them days, when I wanna be all alone. Just one of them days, when I gotta be all alone.”
Depression, uncontrolled, is the gateway to a plethora of mental health disorders and physical illnesses. It is infamous for producing a lack of interest or emotion towards something or someone that used to incite feelings of excitement and enjoyment.
Let’s be honest. Living through 2020 has been a highly traumatic experience. From start to finish, 2020 feels like it was written by Stephen King and Jordan Peele, then directed by Quentin Tarantino.
Jobs were lost. Lives were lost. A city almost burned down. The Big "C" was and is wreaking havoc. Social injustice is rampant. To top it off, what should've only taken 1 day, turned into a 5-day election. In sum, 2020 has given all of the "whew chile, the ghet-to" vibes.
Since March, the band-aid to our gaping wound has been uplifting quotes and inspirational messages working diligently to snap us out of our lull. Through it all, I've discovered the best coping tactic is being fully present in those emotions, briefly, then reflecting on ways to heal naturally. In doing so, I discovered enlightenment and learned how to conquer the noise.
Similar to other mental health disorders, depression is best tackled once you have determined the catalyst.
Today's biggest contributors to depression are major life changes, chronic illness, medication, genetics, physical pain, abuse, and deteriorating mental health. These issues are known to result in rage, sadness, isolation, loss of hope, self-hate, self-pity, other mental illnesses, or worse - death.
In addition to the emotional aspect of depression, researchers uncovered changes in the brains of those who are and have battled depression. For instance, signs of memory loss, loss of focus, and an influx in cortisol production - the stress hormone.
Depression and stress have similar triggers and may lead to overeating, loss of appetite, insomnia, or fatigue. If, untreated long-term, depression will even stitch itself into your DNA.
Repressing your emotions out of fear impairs the process of recovery. A common approach when struggling with mental health is to busy oneself with work or projects, avoid feelings, abuse of unhealthy substances, isolation from others, or total disregard of other's emotions.
To overcome depression you must come to terms with those feelings. Afterward, the next step is seeking revelation. This is achieved by allowing yourself time to process your emotions and what caused them, then journaling daily to understand your body and what soothes those feelings of distress.
Exercising, spending time in nature, setting daily goals or priorities, building new traditions with family or friends, learning a new skill, taking on a new hobby, prioritizing your self-care needs, or seeking the assistance of a professional are all ways to improve your state of mind.
Maybe you know someone who is dealing with depression, and you are uncertain how you should offer support. Hosting a virtual game night with them, offering an ear when they need it, letting them know that you care, holding them accountable to their treatment plans, and being patient is the best support.
Though I am not a mental health professional, every bit of what I wrote resonated with me. Despite choosing to be optimistic and happy, there are days when we all have to take a step back and regroup.
If you could relate to this week’s blog or you learned something new, leave me a comment below! And don’t forget to share this with others who may be struggling with feelings of depression! If you have any questions that weren’t covered, leave a comment, or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org!