A few years ago I came across a very well written article on how to get out of a depression. I lost the link, so I no longer have access to that article. I remember that he gave some advice that was quite simple and easy to follow. I also remember putting those recommended steps into practice, without much discipline, but still managed to get out of one of my depressions. I’m going to write down what I remember from that article, to see if that way I can get out of my current depression.
What I would like to warn anyone who is close to someone depressed is to refrain from saying things like: “you just have to cheer yourself up”, “you can improve only by wanting to”, “you create your circumstances yourself”. All these phrases are like daggers in the eyes of a depressed person, and they hurt. The first thing we all need to understand is that a depressed brain does not think or function in the same way as a healthy person: depression is a mental illness. A depressed person does not think and feel in the same way as when they are well: simple things - like making the bed - become unattainable torments, preparing an elaborate dish is unthinkable, going out for a walk just to walk is like starting an odyssey Everything turns uphill. What we have always done easily is now almost impossible. It also affects our confidence, especially with the relationships of others and work. It’s easy for your relationships of all kinds to suffer.
Can you get out of all this? Yes. First we must be aware that all these negative thoughts that we suffer are caused by the physiological state of our brain. Depressions have been scientifically investigated, and in those studies it was found that the depressed brain has a different chemistry, which is makes it difficult to think. This chemical imbalance is what makes us think badly about everything. It is difficult to explain, but very easy to understand if you are or have been in this state.
How to get out of depression
Well, actually you have to go out in the opposite way to how you enter it. We enter little by little, without realizing it: one day you don’t meet some friends, the next day you don’t make the bed, after a few days you find yourself lying in bed in the middle of the morning not knowing what to do, and not wanting to do anything. Little by little we enter the depression, so little by little we will have to get out.
To get out of depression you have to do small activities. The main thing is to move body and mind, but without effort: being depressed, any overexertion that we impose on ourselves, we will see as something unrealizable, because we are depressed, and we will abandon without starting. So we have to look for tasks that don’t have a lot of friction.
Probably the best activity to do is go for a walk with a friend to chat about any topic. This activity makes us work the muscles of the legs, it also makes us think about different things. But probably the best part of this activity is the social contact, which is essential to have a healthy psyche, for everyone. It is not essential to do it every day, nor spend hours and hours on this. A minimum of half an hour each week is enough, the more the better, but any amount is worth it. Remember to start small, but as we feel better, we will see for ourselves how we need more of this activity.
Other interesting activities to help us are reading, sports, cooking, traveling, or simply cleaning the house. Tasks that make us move. The best tasks are those that we really like to do on a regular basis, for example, in my case, going to the movies. And do not force yourself, or despair if you do not get what you set out to do, remember that you are still depressed, everything is more uphill. But that uphill is the direction we must take to get out, we just have to go little by little.