Finding the Light Within the Dark

Depression affects many people. Over 15 million Americans are affected by depression each year. One day you can be happy and the next day you are not. There are some days that are harder to take than others.  Days when you don't want to get out of bed.  You want to stay hidden in the sanctuary of your home, not having to face whatever awaits you outside your door.  

Is there a reason for this feeling?  Probably.  Do you know what it is?  Not always. 

What do you do when you feel so deep in the murkiness of the darkness, finding the light seems unfathomable?

Take it one step at a time. Whether it's getting out of bed or walking out your front door, take it one step at a time.  Don't put pressure on yourself to handle more than you are capable of.  Making the effort to get out of bed can feel as exhaustive as running a marathon.  But making the effort is progress.  Not taking that step isn't. 

Be kind to yourself.  Berating yourself for not being able to handle more can keep you in the darkness.  You may not be happy with where you are at in this moment of your life, but instead of being critical of yourself, be gentle and kind with your inner dialogue.  Give credit for what you can do, for the steps you are taking, and then set a goal to go a little farther tomorrow. 

Talk to someone.  Not everyone has friends or family members they can talk to and even if you do, they may not listen the way you need them to listen or they may try to say things to make you feel better, but it only makes you feel worse.  It may be difficult to find the words to explain what you are feeling, but talking to a stranger, like a therapist, may help you gain a better perspective.

Be patient.  There is no overnight cure for depression and medication doesn't always help and it may not be the path you want to take to heal yourself. Just like when you are learning something new, you don't become an expert overnight.  You  have to educate yourself and work at it every day.  With time things will get better, but give yourself the time you need.

Depression is a serious issue.  There are many resources available to heal depression, but before embarking on any path of healing, make sure you consult a professional whether through your local doctor or support group.  

In the comments below, feel free to share your tips if you know someone or have personally dealt with depression and what you/they did to help yourselves.