#howifightdepression is trending today – here’s my experience and a few thoughts…
I’m not keen on saying I fight depression because it’s not a battle. What I am able to do is enjoy life when I feel great and be aware of my depression triggers so I can manage my lifestyle a bit more…
getting out of the house
drinking less alcohol
spending time with the people I love
not being stressed with work
These all contribute to me being well but there is only so much I can control, depression can just arrive without warning when I can feel so low I don’t want to leave my bed.
Depression has been a companion since I was a teenager and I know it pretty well – it makes me feel low and worthless, I can feel paranoid, I don’t have any energy or enthusiasm and it hurts. My coping strategies – getting out for a walk, focusing on my breathing, reading, cuddling my kids, focusing on work – don’t always work and sometimes all that is left is accepting it and waiting for it to pass. My periods of depression can be very brief or they can last for weeks and months when life mostly continues as normal, it’s just harder and more exhausting. But there are also days when I can’t do it, I don’t want to make an effort to see anyone, I may want to be on my own and I probably want my bed, which is my safest place.
It looks different and is experienced differently by everyone – when my depression hits, I can still be happy and I can still laugh, I am rarely sad, just flat and hopeless. And there is an intense pain that hurts like nothing else.
As an old-hand at depression, I know my own depression well and I have tools and coping strategies that can work for me but mostly I try to accept it and live with it – it hasn’t gone, it will be back. So, I’m not fighting it but I am living with it.
Janine | Birth, Baby & Family
A specialist in pregnancy, birth and early parenting