This is a tough one! There has been an epidemic increase in the number of people with depression. But I think we can do a lot about it ourselves if, of course, it is not a clinical depression that needs medical treatment. So how do we stop feeling depressed? Quite often we are so scared of feeling depressed that we go to the doctor just for feeling sad, but feelings are there to be felt. I think that if we go get pills every time something happens we actually make ourselves more susceptible to depression! If we instead go thorugh the natural feelings and come out on the other side we actually get stronger and learn how to handle the feelings in a good way.
Why not just take the easy way?
Well, as we all know, taking the easy way can actually make things harder in the long run. If we always patch over our feelings they will come back to haunt us sooner or later, and if we then do not have the tools to handle them it is going to be harder. Having gone through tough times gives us the knowledge that things will pass and get better. If something happens and you fall into a depression and you start to see everything as very dark and scary and you have sheltered yourself with pills before, you are more likely to go deeper than you might have if you had allowed yourself feel sad before.
Sheltering children from problems
I often see or hear about parents who protect their kids from every conceivable problem. Although it is a natural thing for parents to want to protect their child and we all want our kids to be as happy as possible, I think that if we protect them too much, we are doing them a disservice. We all need to go through things to get stronger! Just like our immune system needs to be tested, so does our feelings and our psyche.
Imagine how confusing it would be to get out into the real world never having had problems, no injustices, no losses, never having been hurt, always having been given what you asked for. How would you react the first time your new boss is telling you off? The first time someone said you are not that good?
Now I am not saying that we should not protect children from bullies or things like that, but maybe we should let them go through some problems on their own? Maybe the protection we give them is actually making them less protected when they grow up?
Some suggestions when things are rough
Saying “buck up” or “just think of happy things” to someone who is depressed can feel like a slap in the face and actually make the situation worse, but there are things one can do. Excercise has for example been proven to help, so that is one thing. If that excercise takes place in the forest it also has the added benefit of nature, which is also good when you are depressed.
The happy thoughts thing actually isn’t all that bad either, but it should not be followed by a slap on the shoulder, happy thoughts can be just trying to find something positive, like that you are reasonably healthy, maybe you have something beautiful to concentrate on like good music or maybe you have a pet you really love.
Speaking of pets, they have a wonderful way of knowing when their owner is sad and they often try to console them. Stroking a pet is also something that has been proven to help with depression. It gives an instant dose of endorfines that makes you feel a lot better.
Depressions can also be caused by vitamin deficiency, so make sure to get enough vitamins through good food and maybe some supplements. Vitamin B12 is especially important and if one doesn’t get enough it can lead to serious depressions.
It is also very important when we are depressed that we take care of ourselves. We have to make sure to eat and drink and not pressure ourselves to do to much. And if someone you care about is depressed; be there, make them go out in the sun, make sure they eat and maybe bring them a flower or some chocolate. Most important of all; no stress!
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May you always be happy! Kristina