Getting Over Depression: How I Fought Back

Rejoice Denhere

I resigned from a stable job with a good salary. It wasn’t something I had planned on doing but life threw me a curveball which I had to face head on. There was no ducking or diving. The situation would demand all my attention, and taking long periods of absence from my role was no longer an option.

The whole situation took a toll on my wellbeing and mental health. My finances took a major hit, as did my physical health. I wouldn’t relive those days if you paid me. Depression was inevitable.

I’d been down a similar road before so I recognised the signs. This time round, rather than giving in to the inevitable, I decided to fight back. Yes, it felt like a fight because every fibre in my being was rebelling against my actions. I felt as if I had been split into two different personalities. Those personalities were fighting over who was going to be in charge of my life.

Causes of Depression

Depression is a subject most people would prefer not to talk about because of the stigma attached to it. The exact causes of depression are not fully known which means that anyone can suffer from it. It can be triggered by life events such as bereavement, illness, unemployment, relationship problems, abuse, violence, financial worries.

Depression symptoms may last a long time and may require one to receive support in the form of medication or professional counselling. Other times it is just a phase which one get recover from by an improvement in one’s circumstances or receiving support from friends and family.

In 2019 in the United Kingdom (UK), 59 percent of organisations reportedthat one of the most common reasons for long term absences was mental ill health. Data on the estimated number of workers reporting work-related stress, depression or anxiety in Great Britain from 2008/09 to 2019/20 shows that the number of workers reporting that they had experienced work-related stress, depression or anxiety peaked in 2019/20 at 828 thousand individuals.

How I Fought Back

Recognising the Problem

The first step in resolving any issues is recognising that something is wrong.Being in denial prevents you from seeking help and delays the recovery process.

Seeking Help

Once I accepted that my life was on a slippery slope I was able to talk about what I was feeling. I gained clarity of thought through sharing, I connected with people who had been down a similar road. Most importantly I was able to receive meaningful and helpful advice.

Visualising a New Future

With the support of friends and family I thought about how to get my life back on track by visualising a desired end. I wrote a list of everything I needed to do to get there. Working backwards helped me identify what was important and what wasn’t.

Taking Action

The next step was I set myself a simple routine whose main focus was to complete at least three tasks daily. Completing tasks which moved me closer to my goals did wonders for my mental wellbeing. It helped me feel like I was back in the driver’s seat. My routine slowly became part of who I was.

I was able to do most things without having to think too hard about them including my least favourite tasks on the list. A trick that worked extremely well was rewarding myself with something small like watching a favourite movie with popcorn.

In his article Habits are Overrated

Nir Eyal says this:

These days, when someone says they want to form a “habit,” what they often mean is that they want to make drudgery effortless. That is, they don’t want to actually do the work, rather they want to have done it — past tense.

Small changes are seriously underrated. I used to believe that I had to make major changes for anything big to happen in my life. I never once thought small changes, or even just one small change, could have a massive impact.

How You Too Can Fight Back

  • Recognise that there is a problem.
  • Seek help from friends, family or professionals. Motivational books, podcasts and videos are also a great help.
  • Visualise the future you that you desire.
  • Make adjustments and changes that move you towards your envisioned desired future.
  • Take action daily.

Remember that small changes can make a big difference so don’t give up on yourself.

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