I have been depressed for most of my life. I have never admitted it to myself until today. I have never talked to anyone about it and feel its time to come clean.
As I started life coaching, I read a lot of emails and read between the lines. Many of the guys writing me were fighting depression and felt overwhelmed. I thought that this paper could help them.
I have always been a mildly sad person. As a kid, I grew up in a really dysfunctional family and 9th grade in high school was the worst. I was overweight, poor, being bullied in school pretty badly by a group of dicks and worst of all, lived with my grandmother who was a hoarder. Picture entire bedrooms filled floor to ceiling with clothes and garbage. Every one of my family members were openly abusing drugs. One uncle stole things from my room to buy meth when I was at school, and everyone in my family was overweight and good at excuses. That was 1990 and it nearly broke me.
Depression is usually caused by four systematic things:
Event- Something traumatic or sad occurs and directly contributes to the sufferer's mood and pain
Situation- An ongoing life situation causes depression to creep in and linger
Chemical- The brain creates depression at regular intervals
Seasonal- A time of the year causes depression due to increased darkness or traumatic association
Isolation- The feeling that we are alone from family, loved ones and friends
□ loss of interest in life or events
□ excess sleeping
□ sad mood for no reason
□ withdrawn from events
□ no energy
□ short or angry with relatives/spouse
If you recognize any of these things in your life, don't wait and don't put off treating this. Depression will usually not go away on its own. I think of it as a "treatable parasite of the brain." It is curable but you must make that decision.
I came up with some ideas to mitigate the presence of depression and get you "back in the saddle" for your life.
7 Powerful Treatments for Depression
Outdoor activities- People that stay indoors or in bed are robbing themselves of Vitamin D which we absorb from the sun through our skin. This can cause depression. Make it a point to create things that involve being outside. Go to the beach, go to a park, just go for a walk a few times a week. The point is, GO OUTSIDE!!
Conceptualize Future Dynamic Events- One thing I do when I get stressed or feel like nothing is going on, is to imagine the future events that are going to be amazing. For me, its a new condo I am saving up to move into. By taking 10 minutes and focusing on a great future event and how it will look/feel, you will be invigorated and excited.
Embrace Comedy- Get a friend and go to a comedy show or open mic. This serves a few purposes. It will get you around people, gets you out of the house, and listening to comedy gives you new perspectives on life. Talk to people at the club and soak in the experience and joy of laughter.
Get Active- One thing we can do as human beings is to jumpstart our endorphin system with active actions. Start running in the morning, go join a hot yoga class, ride a mountain bike, or go swimming. By increasing your heart rate and getting sweaty, you will transition into a better mental state. Plus, the additional fitness will draw people to you, both noticeably and subconsciously.
Isolate a Skill Set and Use it to Help Others- This was my key to shattering my depression. I figured out where my skill set was and offered it to others for free. This created a ripple effect of bringing others into my life, got me a lot of praise (and on the news for a book I wrote), and gave me so much purpose that I didn't have time to be sad. Think about something you are good at. Now take that skill and do something with it that benefits others. You could start a Meetup group, write a book, or even create a seminar or a video that teaches others how to do this. We all have skills and talents. Sharing them is a great way to create happiness.
Animals- The great thing about animals are that they love unconditionally. When was the last time you held a puppy, fed a baby goat, or pet a horse? Search out a petting zoo, visit a shelter, or go see a friend with pets. Animals are great companions and will cheer you up quickly.
Make an Aggressive Life Change- My worst bouts of depression were caused by boredom and loneliness. Once I joined a professionals group, I got involved in people's lives, sharing my experiences and large amounts of info from books I have read. I felt a sense of purpose and belonging. Make a promise to yourself and join a new class, start writing a book, create a blog, or join a new fitness program.
Remember the following five statements:
You do not "deserve" to be depressed
Every day you let depression control your life is a day of reduced productivity, income, and your meaningful impact on others
Just by reading this article, you have taken a huge step in creating a victory against your depression
Nearly everything in your life is a result of your choices. Choose a treatment and create a program of happiness and abundance.
The greatest version of you is waiting every day for you to take charge and beat this. Be that person.
To be honest, the best treatment I have found is to surround myself with fun, exciting people that are genuinely into your life and hobbies. Embrace these people and make sure you appreciate them.
If you are having a tough go of it and ever just need a friend to talk to, I am always available. firstname.lastname@example.org