Depression, inside out
One of the challenges in coping with depression is that so much of what is going on is on the inside.
Someone battered and bruised from a fall will immediately get sympathy, with people wanting to know what happened; how are they feeling now, are they coping ok, do they need any help?
A person with depression can be feeling just as battered and bruised, but of course none of it shows. It's all on the inside. This can make depression a very lonely and scary place to be. Very often when someone is containing all the turmoil that is going on within, they will instinctively put on a brave face for other people; a cheery smile, exchanging pleasantries; so that even those closest to them, living in the same house perhaps, have absolutely no idea how bleak the outlook may feel for those that are suffering.
People who have never suffered from depression sometimes, understandably, struggle to comprehend what it feels like to be in that position, where getting through each day can be a struggle. Living with depression can be different for each individual.
For some it is a presence that is always there, a dark shadow or black cloak in the background, waiting for a vulnerable moment to occur, to reach out and make itself felt.
When it has a hold it can be completely debilitating, making the simplest task a great effort. Some who have lived with this for many years, have learned strategies, things that they know will help, even though it can take a monumental effort to put them in place. These strategies are very individual. They may include things like getting out of the house for a walk, whether it's close to nature or through town; putting on certain music that is guaranteed to raise a smile or induce singing along, lighting candles, calling someone for a chat - anything that breaks that feeling of being in the heavy grip that is depression.
Counselling of course can help. This can be a chance to talk through the reality of all the feelings and thoughts being experienced - to explore current and past situations, to be truly heard.
Some see seeking help as a weakness, when actually it takes great strength to make those first steps in the direction of self-care. A direction that can be towards needs being met, a voice being heard and ultimately better health and well-being.
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