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If you've ever been depressed, you know how hard it can be to continue on with your life. Depression affects your motivation, energy levels, and your whole persona in general. One of the worst parts of depression is how unsure you feel. For me, depression was knowing I was sad, but not knowing why. All of a sudden, I had all of these worries about the world around me that appeared to come out of nowhere. What am I doing with my life? Does anyone even like me? What am I contributing to the world?
Here are some questions that depression may put into your head, and the answers to them.
Why am I here?
Depression causes you to doubt yourself. When you feel sad, you will wonder what's wrong with you. Why can't you just be happy like everybody else? These thoughts hurt deep down, because the only person that you're always with is yourself. So if you hate yourself, you're not going to have a fun time in life. Learning to love yourself and stop these doubts is extremely hard, but it is possible. Do whatever you can do to remind yourself of the reasons why you're here and the reasons why you're loved. I put sticky notes up on my wall. You're here because you're needed by so many people, you're important to the world, and you deserve to reach a point where you're truly happy.
Do my friends and family still love me, even though I'm sad?
Not only does depression cause us to doubt ourselves, but it also causes us to doubt everyone around us. You may feel like your friends and family are getting annoyed with you because of your depression, or that they don't want to be around you anymore. Here's the best advice I've ever received: if someone isn't willing to help you work through the hard stuff, maybe they shouldn't be in your life at all. These people still love you and care for you—they want you to feel better. And if they are annoyed or don't want to be around you anymore, it's time to reconsider who you're befriending. True friends support you no matter what.
The Lies That Depression May Tell You...
Depression is a trickster. It is constantly telling our brain's false information, making us believe that we aren't needed in this world. If you find yourself over-analyzing, overthinking, and blowing things out of proportion, realize that it's probably your depression speaking. When you're sad, the smallest little things can turn into huge issues. This isn't your fault, this is just the nature of the beast. But you can ground yourself. Try using your senses to bring yourself back—look at something beautiful, listen to some music, light a nice candle, touch something soft, eat some of your favourite food. All of these things can remind you of the small things in life that you should stick around for. Using this technique also helps in taking the focus away from the stresses that are in your head.
If you find yourself more irritable, or that people are always offending you, think about how you can absorb the information differently. When you're depressed, the brain feels like it's under attack at all times. It will want to defend itself, and you may accidentally say the wrong things in the process. Give yourself some understanding, remember that you are doing the best you can, and the rest will fall into place.
When it comes to mental health awareness, we can all recognize that it isn't as far along as we'd like it to be. There is always more to learn, more people to teach, and more understanding that can be found along the way. Just as depression is a process, so is understanding mental health. Sometimes, the world may knock you down and cause you to believe that depression isn't even real. You may think that it's just something that's wrong with you. But let me tell you this—almost every single person you know has been affected by depression in some way. They may currently struggle with depression, they may have struggled with depression in the past, or they may know someone who is depressed. The lesson here is that everyone has their own struggles going on, so let's give ourselves and everyone around us more understanding.