How To Overcome Depression And Get Your Life Back

October 22, 2013  |  



From Essence 

One day I was normal and then suddenly I wasn’t. I remember being a happy teenager with hopes and dreams, silly crushes, loving school, my family and friends. Then, I noticed that my dreams were being replaced by a sense of utter hopelessness and despair. Friends stopped being fun and school became drudgery. I was sixteen and all I knew was that getting out of bed every morning was becoming a struggle. This was the beginning of my seven-year battle with depression.

October is Depression Awareness Month. It is estimated that yearly over 19 million adults and approximately 33% of all teenagers suffer from depression in some form.

Referred to as the “dark night of the soul,” this disease is not always easily diagnosed. In fact, for most of my depression, I simply thought I had just become short-tempered and mean. I hated my bad attitude, but I didn’t have the energy—or mental wherewithal—for anything else. Negative thoughts consumed me and I sought solace in isolation. It wasn’t until others confronted my harsh exterior and stopped letting me hide that I mustered the courage to ask for help.

Maybe you or someone you love is dealing with depression and perhaps you don’t even know it! Here are a few signs and suggestions for turning on the lights and outing depression:

1. PMS Every Day: Depression sends our emotions into overwhelm and constant irritability may be a sign that something is wrong. During the “dark night of the soul” nothing feels normal.

For me, regular daily tasks became energy-draining chores. Brushing my teeth, combing my hair—such simple things—required focus. I was channeling all my energy into keeping it together—so dealing with others quickly sent me into emotional withdrawal, which played out in spurts of anger, irritation and even acting overly passive. I just couldn’t deal!

2. Fashion Failure: Before my depression, fashion was one of my passions. I loved dressing up—even for high school. To be honest, I was a bit over the top! But gradually, I lost interest and stopped caring about my appearance. If you notice a change in a loved one’s appearance—or your own desire for self-care—it could be a sign of something more.

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