Thursday, March 8, 2012

I got 800 awesome points today

Today I went to class and it wasn't terribly boring and I enjoyed doing the homework assignment. That's worth 800 awesome points, I think.

I was thinking about the things that have helped me with depression, and the things I wish other people knew about it. I wrote down a few ways for people with depression to help themselves, and ways for loved ones of depression sufferers to help. They're merely suggestions and observations from my experience, but I'm all for sharing knowledge. If YOU have any further suggestions, please comment!

If you're depressed:
-First, remember that you matter. You have value and inherent worth. Even though life is stormy right now, it's still beautiful and worth living.
-Love yourself, and be patient with yourself. Depression is a real illness; not just a mood you're in. Take it as seriously as you would any other illness.
-Find the help you need. If it's medication, do it. If it's therapy, do it. If it's both, do it. Find what works for your body and your needs.
-Start small on the road to recovery. Do very small, manageable tasks, and don't pressure yourself to get things done. Try to do one or two small goals a day, but forgive yourself if you can't.
-Find things that help you feel better--for me, it's writing and visiting family.
-Don't just focus on the mental health part of depression; remember to take care of your body and spirit too. I've noticed how closely my mind, body, and spirit are connected to each other. When I'm struggling in one area, it usually affects the others. Paying attention to all three is important.
-Try to stay in touch with people you care about, even though you might want to isolate yourself. Their support will make a big difference.
-If you happen to be a BYU student, take advantage of the Counseling and Career Center's services, as well as the Accessibility Center. They've been tremendously helpful for me the past few semesters.

If someone you love is depressed:
-Check in on her often, and never stop checking. It's hard when someone has "given up" on you.
-Be aware of what's going on in her life.
-Offer a listening ear. Sometimes talking about emotions and thoughts helps.
-Show her love and patience and support.
-Do not make her feel like you're judging her; don't tell her she's lazy or weak. She's not. She's sick.
-Offer to go on a walk with her or some other non-demanding activity to get her out of the house.
-Befriend her.
-Be there when she needs you.
-Help her keep a good perspective. While I don't appreciate someone being obnoxiously cheerful when I'm depressed, it does help when others are positive, and remind me of the blessings in my life.


Celeste said...

random memory: I was driving to the temple the other day, and remembered when you and I went to Mt. Timp temple when Provo was closed a couple summers ago - and it made me smile. You were still dating Jordan than, and it was a whole car ride of girl talk and indecision. The cool thing? It worked out. The cooler thing? I 'spect that each thing will keep working out. You are awesome. Thanks for posting.

Amy said...

Someone from LDS Services recommended the book "Reaching for Hope." It was super helpful as an LDS woman suffering from depression to feel less alone and to get some perspective on the religious aspects of my depression.

Andria said...

Thank you very much for your advice, Amy. "Reaching for Hope" sounds like it would really help me. I'll have to check it out soon.