facebook pixel What’s My Impossible? Managing Depression
Site Search
< Blog Home < Healthy Living

What’s My Impossible? Managing Depression

Depression is a formidable foe, but it can be managed. It takes trial and error to find out how this mental illness can best be handled in your life. Consider these strategies for coping when you feel depressed.

woman, managing depression, how to

My mom says I was born tired. When other kids were running around the playground, I was content to read or nap. I was introverted and more interested in using my imagination by myself than playing sports. I was diagnosed with depression in the 7th grade, and after trying dozens of different medications—each with its own onslaught of side effects—for decades, I finally managed to get my depression under control.

After a lifetime of battling depression, here’s what I’ve learned:

Though depression is a form of mental illness, it’s not a curse

Depression is a trial, but it has given me a level of empathy and even a certain cognitive advantage. I would have an entirely different personality if I didn’t have this mental illness, and that person…well, she wouldn’t be me.  

Self-care isn’t optional

Depression has forced me to listen to my body and to adhere to a set of self-care procedures to manage my mental health. For me, exercise isn’t optional, nor is it an issue of vanity: It’s medicinal. If I don’t exercise, my depression takes over. I also need to keep my house tidy, talk to my friends regularly, and make sure to eat fresh fruits and vegetables so my brain has the nutrients it needs to function.  

Related: What's My Impossible? Overcoming the Death of a Family Member  

Everything takes more effort

From emptying the dishwasher to folding laundry, depression requires more discipline and more strength. A man I once knew described depression as standing in a stream, walking against the current. Your friends and family without depression are on the shore and can’t understand why moving is so much more difficult for you. Sometimes I don’t have the fortitude to get everything on my to-do list completed. And that’s okay. Forgiving myself is a big part of my everyday reality.

This is a lifetime condition

I don’t believe there’s a “cure” for depression. Instead, I consider it a part of my unique chemical makeup, just like diabetes or hypothyroidism. It’s about managing depression, not defeating it.  

Related: How to Feel Better When Stress or Anxiety Hits  

There’s no one way to treat depression

It took decades of trial and error to figure out what works for me. If medication is right for you, go for it. If being vegetarian is right for you, do it. You know yourself better than anyone else knows you, so figure out what makes you feel better and stick to it. 

The most important thing to remember is that there’s nothing wrong with you. Depression is a difficult enough mental illness to handle but add to it the stigma that comes with the condition, and it’s a recipe for internalized shame and a lifetime of embarrassment. It’s okay that you’re depressed. Be gentle with yourself, take care of yourself, and carry on.

And while you’re here, check out our other articles on healthy living.

 

You May Also Like...

Healthcare and Insurance Basics

Infographic: Health Insurance Terms You Should Know

These health insurance terms will help you feel more comfortable and confident the next time you visit a doctor or get a bill.

Nutrition and Diet

Slow Cooker Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal

It doesn’t get much easier (or delicious) as this—make this pumpkin pie oatmeal in the slow cooker and wake up to an easy and filling breakfast.

In the Community

How to Cope with Wildfire Smoke

Because fires are still burning in the western part of the country, it’s important to know what to do to protect you and your family.

Business

Why Transparency is Essential to Help Lower Cost of Prescription Drugs

Explaining why prescription drugs cost so much is complicated. But here’s what we’re doing to advocate for more transparency in the pharmacy industry.

Related Articles

Related Articles

Healthy Living

4 Compelling Reasons to Eat Breakfast

Rushing out the door without eating breakfast may be causing you harm. Learn why you should eat something every morning.

Healthy Living

10 Reasons Why Being in Nature is Good for You

It’s not just a myth, being outside really is good for you. Here’s why it’s helpful to spend time outdoors.

Healthy Living

5 Ways to Reduce Screen Time and Be More Engaged

Do you wish you could rewind precious moments you missed with your family because you were glued to the TV, phone, or computer?

Healthy Living

Giving Thanks for Family

Thanksgiving is National Family History Day. Use your time together to gather information about your family's health.

Post Author

Jennifer Diffley
Jennifer Diffley is a SLC resident. She is a senior copywriter and has her MFA in creative writing from NYU. Jennifer is committed to health, but has an unhealthy fascination with outrageous shoes.