Many times I have been asked how I dealt with my depression and they want tips on how to do it themselves. Well sure, I have managed to bring my depression into check and have done well to keep it at bay for the most part. What stressor really is ultimately the question you need to find the answer too. We also need to specify if this is medical or an outside stressor because if we are dealing with clinical depression, the challenges are much more pronounced. The only thing to remember is that everyone deals differently and you need to find what’s best for you.
Now many know that my depression was really triggered by my own internal struggle. I struggled with Gender Dysphoria and carrying that weight was difficult. I did everything I could to be the man others wanted me to be and turned everything inward on myself. I took all the stress and added it onto an already exhausted brain. Those actions are what pushed me deeper and the fear to change what I knew was wrong pushed me to the breaking point.
I don’t talk much about my dark times and for good reason but after giving my answers to a questionnaire and having it posted among a hundred others gave me pause to bring forth the darker side of my light. This website is called pghlesbian.com and Sue Kerr has done well to pull a new concept. Telling the stories of others. To bring people’s lives to the forefront and allowing those voices to be heard under the hashtag #amplify and I feel this is an amazing project.
These are the small things that can help a recovery. No matter what the issue, there is someone willing to amplify that issue to help you find others to support within a group. No one can do it alone.
Now in my darker times, I was suicidal. My only wish was to die. And I even tried to commit suicide 4 times. Nothing mattered, not even my amazing wife and kids. I was a train wreck. Faking a smile for the sake of others. The only good that came from it is the realization of what really matters and with that I realized that had I succeeded, it wouldn’t have done anything to help others. It would have destroyed my family, and made me one more statistic without a voice.
The gun didn’t stopped me, the knife didn’t cut deep enough, that car missed the pole, and I survived. I survived myself only to find the voice I never had. With that voice, came confidence to be true to myself. As I became true to myself, happiness came with it. With that happiness, I was able to live others as they deserved. So beating depression wasn’t overnight. It was a process.
Now, how do we help others who are suffering? Sure I can type this and tell you what I have, but what if your situation is different? Well I’m here to help with a small list to get you started.
1:) Find a therapist! They are there to help you identify the issue and give you tools to deal with it.
2:) Be open to change! Sometimes to break out of the depression you have to make changes to better your overall situation.
3:) Don’t give up! There is answer for you somewhere.
4:) Don’t be afraid of medication in moderation. If you need it, that’s why it is there.
5:) Exercise! The endorphins released give an almost euphoric feeling.
6:) Speak up! Do not be afraid to tell others you’re depressed! Silence is deafening.
Now the most important thing I will say… If you have a friend who has depression, be supportive, be caring, be their support group. Ask them what you can do to help. Don’t think it’s “all in their head” and don’t tell them to “get over it”. Depression is a real condition that so many suffer with in silence so let’s take a page from Sue and amplify it!!!
Let’s start talking about depression. Start asking if others are ok. Let’s start supporting others as human beings. Tell your story, and find your voice before its to late. Let’s actually take heart about our fellow humans and give them light in the darkest times.
“You don’t know why you’re exhausted?
You’re fighting a war inside your head everyday. If that’s not exhausting, I don’t know what is.”
Image credit to Lifehack.com