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Has feeling normal gone from our world today? Depression and anxiety are crippling our communities and being ‘normal’ seems so ‘un-normal’ – or is it?
Most of us, at some point in time, feel like we are in a dark place in our lives. Some of us want to self harm ourselves because we hate our lives, we hate our appearance and feel unloved. We think (or over think) that everybody is against us and we just want to hide under the doona cover all day. And that is perfectly OK ….. sometimes.
But we can change our version of ‘normal’ and create a happy version of normal within our lives with just a few changes. Through some education, a few checks and balances, prevention strategies, we can learn to love ourselves and our lives again to a new kind of normal.
It’s great to love yourself and see the joy in those around us when we share that joy. That is not being egotistic but being kind to yourself. The first step to feeling loved by someone else, is to first love yourself. We’re not talking about outrageous hugs and kisses in every mirror, but rather holding your head high and smiling because you are a beautiful person and that love within will then shine outwardly.
It’s also normal to be surrounding yourself with friends (and just a couple is fine). Start sharing your life with friends, listen to them, help them and enjoy their company. Through the strength of friendship, you will grow too.
Dark places are often created by sadness and a lack of goals, ploughing through stressful situations and other depressed people. The best tool for handling the stressful situation is to remove yourself from the people or places that create that environment. Create the goal to be happier by setting a date with yourself i.e. by the end of the month, I will be living elsewhere.
Sometimes we resort to eating ourselves in and out of depression. Maybe we create an eating disorder in which we purge ourselves or self harm and find comfort in hurting ourselves further. What is the trigger that creates this action? Sometimes the true trigger is not so clear and may need some professional assistance.
Our inability to cope with these issues can lead to over the counter addictions from prescription medication where often the doctors from several practices are supplying drugs which not only affect the vital organs but addict the person. Some have side effects that are far worse than the medication i.e. xanax which can lead to suicidal thoughts and yet is still widely prescribed for depression. Sometimes, the person may be lead towards other illegal drugs, whether it is crystal meth which is now rampant, smoking grass to escape the hell of the dark places, heroin or a mixture of many.
With depression and anxiety being a national emergency and finally it is getting some acknowledgement that it exists but also it can be treated without stigma.
Depression is devastating, not just to the sufferer but usually to those around them, family, friends or work colleagues. When someone is suffering from depression, their entire life is blown apart. It can be a massive struggle just to make it through each day. But they aren’t the only ones who struggle. The people who are often forgotten are the loved ones of a person with depression. No-one tells them how to cope. Knowing somebody you love is struggling with depression leaves you feeling incredibly helpless. You probably feel if you could say the right thing, or do something special, that maybe you will be able to help them to get better. But you don’t know what to say or what to do. You try a gentle approach, you try a firm approach. You give them space, you try to get them to talk. You suggest things that can help. You say encouraging things, you get frustrated and argue. Yet nothing you do seems to make any difference and nothing seems to be helping despite the best intentions.
What you must remember is that depression isn’t a mood or a phase they are going through but it’s a very debilitating illness that needs specialist treatment combined with some love and understanding. If you have never been in that dark place, not only are you very lucky but just show a little empathy and be patient for your special friend whilst they need you now.