People die because of it, people isolate themselves as they experience it and people live everyday with a burden of fear to talk about it.
Mental health and in particular depression are things I’ve become openly confident talking about. I’ve waded through some dark times and learned gradually how to climb out before I start to sink.
I was talking to a friend last week about depression and the triggers that can pull us to our knees. She asked me whether I’m aware of when a downward spiral is about to commence.
As far as my awareness serves me at the moment, I have two main triggers that have caused me unwanted pain and suffering.
Disconnection from my purpose
There are times I get pulled away from doing what I want to be doing, from pursuing my dream. Other things get in the way and I get caught up doing other work.
There are also times when I deliberately distance myself or walk away from doing what I need to do, out of fear, confusion or sometimes self sabotage. Deliberately rejecting what I know I need to do.
Whatever the reason, I feel disconnected from my purpose.
I believe the depressive feeling, the heartache and the sense of loss, is there to make us suffer. To wake us up to doing what we need to do. To go out and find the people we need to be around. To take the risk we need to take. To get back to living our purpose.
The indecision spiral
Big decisions are something I have struggled with in the past. The ever intoxicating pattern of thoughts have left me in a dark place. Fast forwarding to paint pictures or feeling completely helpless about making a decision to move my life forward. The over thinking is enough for my brain to be overloaded and my body diluted with anxious chemicals of fear.
This is my second trigger. I have become much more aware of this and the awareness alone has prevented the depth of depressive phases. I have by no means eliminated depression all together, but I can confidently say I’m winning at the moment.
Here are three thoughts I always like to keep close to mind.
1. I am not alone
Feeling a sense of loss, disconnection is usually the beginning of making a change in your life. So many people suffer without ever speaking about it, so having the courage to connect to how you really feel is an important first step. The next step is to figure out the root of the cloudiness.
2. My perception isn’t real
The ideas you have when you are experiencing a time of depression are clouded by negative thoughts. Like a grey filter across a photo of a beautiful setting. Once you have this awareness you no longer have to believe your feeling about your situation. You can make the change you need to make.
3. I can change my thinking
Always remember that your thinking has caused the problem. Perhaps conscious, perhaps unconsciously, but it’s the process of thinking that leaves us in a nasty place. So the good news is, we can learn to think in a different way to prevent or minimize the effect of depression. And eventually, live a super life and not be bound by the real and horrible pain that depression cats over us.
I’d love anybody that has experienced depression to share their triggers or coping mechanisms with me. Or get in touch personally to continue the conversation.