Goodness knows I have had my fair share of depression. It is a dark and often very lonely place to be and when I was depressed myself I certainly recognized no redemptive features of it. My personal breakthrough came when I realized that it was within my control to change my life if it wasn’t serving me well and I didn’t like it. It was one of the biggest breakthroughs I ever had. I’m not for one second suggesting it was easy – I had to build my self-esteem back up, work on my recovery and then (and only then) change my life circumstances like filing for divorce and changing careers.
The reason depression can actually be a blessing in disguise is that once we realize it is telling us something important we can learn to listen to what it is trying to teach us. Essentially whenever anyone is depressed it is a sign that the conditions for our lives are no longer working for us and need to change. Of course there are exceptions, losing a parent or loved one can certainly send one into depression but it still serves as a gentle reminder that how we are grieving may not be entirely constructive.
It is important to emphasize that the very first thing anyone should do if they are depressed is seek help from a doctor and possibly go on medication and / or to therapy. The first step in the process of building your life back up following depression is to build your self-esteem, your social support network of close friends, and find your equilibrium again. Once you are feeling stronger you can delve into the cause of your depression and start to assess what you could possibly do differently which would make for a happier life.
Below I have listed some examples to get you thinking about what life conditions you may find helpful to change.
- Are you friends toxic? It may be time to end the friendship
- Do you have enough friendships? If not, join a meet up group!
- Do you like where you live? If not, look for somewhere better that you can afford
- Do you have any fulfilling hobbies? Try things out and find out what you are passionate about
- Family issues? Consider seeing a therapist with your family to talk things through
- Do you like your job? It may be time to investigate what other career paths you would find more fulfilling or ask for that pay rise or promotion
Do you suffer from depression? Do you currently have life conditions you would like to change? Have you thought about how you could change them? I’d love to hear from you so please comment below to gain encouragement, insight and support from our community.