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5 Mistakes We Make When Depressed

5 Mistakes We Make When Depressed

The condition of being depressed often strongly controls your emotions, instincts and reactions and although you don’t always realize it, the guilt of feeling weak and useless often aggravates the situation. Depression is a serious mental condition that requires an intense process of healing –acceptance of our fears and the admittance of being depressed are important steps to take in starting the journey to recovery.

The following are 5 mistakes that are often made when people are depressed. By overcoming these mistakes, you will be able to better focus on the recovery process and develop into a stronger, confident version of yourself.

Developing resistance

An almost natural occurrence is the tendency to block out negative emotions and experiences as they arise. This could include feelings of sadness, panic attacks and anxiety, and even prolonged depression. By resisting the recognition of vital symptoms that indicate the onslaught of depression, it is unlikely that you will be able to overcome the condition.

The ability to recognize negative emotions and put a positive spin on them will make the state of depression more manageable. Although this change of mind-set to positivity and optimism is difficult to achieve, it will make the journey to recovery easier than if you were to deny or suppress bad experiences and feelings. By letting down your resistance and embracing the understanding that bad emotions will pass in due time, the process of healing will take place much faster.

Comparing current situations with the past

Remembering the times when everything seemed better in relation to what you are going through at the moment does not always make your current situation better. Recalling former events and circumstances may even prove harmful to your present state of depression as past situations could have been the unknowing root of the condition.

Accept that you might have had some good moments in the past but do not dwell on those memories – rather, make your current situation and the road to recovery your main focus. You will be shocked at the measure to which your depression will become more bearable as you shift your focus to the here and now and what you can do to improve your situation.

Asking yourself questions that are detrimental

What have I done to deserve this? Why is this happening to me? When will this end? Although these questions will undoubtedly bubble up, they are more likely to worsen your conditions as you dwell on what could be wrong with you for this to happen. Quizzing yourself on questions that most likely can’t be answered certainly doesn’t make for a constructive road to recovery.

Focus your energy on finding coping mechanisms for the moments when you feel overwhelmed and start asking yourself more supportive questions that could help you understand your feelings. When you get up in the morning, ask what you can do today to make the time more bearable for yourself. Set constructive goals and ask yourself how you will go about achieving them – these questions will help you focus on your feelings and pull you through those tough spots. 

Convincing yourself to snap out of it

Thinking that depression can be snapped out of is a common misconception and unfortunately a harmful one. People suffering from depression often feel negative and as a result even shameful of their depressed disposition. When you are not convinced that depression is a sickness requiring professional help, it’s easy to convince yourself that you will heal with time and get back to normal.

Taking baby steps in the direction of recovery by being active, eating healthy foods and getting enough sleep can make the journey less stressful. Stop convincing yourself to snap out of it and rather convince yourself that depression is not a sign of weakness and that seeking help is necessary to recover fully from the sickness.   

Keeping your depression a secret

It is quite understandable that depression carries with it feelings of failure, shame and embarrassment. It becomes confusing and sometimes frustrating to yourself and those around you when your feelings and reactions change drastically.

By admitting your struggle with anxious feelings and depressive thoughts and sharing them with your friends and family, they will understand better and be able to support you – this will also make for less dramatic situations in the times when you are not acting like your old self.

When revealing your condition, you do not have to use the word depression or anxiety but rather just let others understand that you are going through a tough time and actively working towards getting better. Don’t be afraid to let your loved ones know when you need their help and support. Suffering from depression can easily isolate you but with the right support from an understanding friend or family member, the condition and recovery process are easier to conquer. 

Frances Masters

Frances Masters is a BACP accredited psychotherapist with over 30,000 client hours of experience. Follow her @fusioncoachuk, or visit The Integrated Coaching Academy for details about up coming training.