Studies have shown that all adults have experienced some form of depression. Whether it be mild, moderate or severe, its said that everyone has been under blues. No matter how mild or severe, depression doesn’t feel good and the condition leaves you feeling hopeless, alone and sad. Having experienced Post Postpartum Depression years ago, I can relate to individuals who are struggling with the blues today. My message is that there is hope for overcoming.
Webster dictionary defines depression as a state of feeling sad/ a serious medical condition in which a person feels very sad, hopeless, and unimportant and often is unable to live in a normal way.
Its said that the on set of depression can be caused by many things; such as medical issues, medications, death or loss and stress. My form of depression was severe also with high levels of anxiety. I couldn’t eat couldn’t sleep and lost nearly 30lbs in a few months. My thoughts and mood were completely unstable. After moving, getting married and having a child all within a year, I believe that extreme high levels of stress (not handled well) brought about the depression. The tricky thing is that even good events such as marriage, children and even getting a new job can bring about depression. After several months of fear, feelings of hopelessness and despair…I recovered and so can you! ;o)
Through much prayer, reading, research and wisdom applied that I learned from others…it was the combination of the actions below that lead me to recovery.
Reach out for help
Although ashamed, I didn’t want “anyone” to know, but I knew I needed help. So I had to reach out for help. I found a great therapist that respected my wishes for the way I desired treatment. I reached out to family and they helped with my children and home.
- Let someone know that you are struggling with this condition. At the first onset of sadness/despair and/or unusual anxiety, speak to someone you trust. If you fail to reach out in the beginning, the condition can and possibly will get worse. You need a support system. Its said, that it takes a village to raise a child. In my opinion, it also takes a village to help in the process of recovery.
This will help you see how much you are loved.
Get involved in something bigger than yourself.
At the time of my PPD, I was an at home mom, helping with our business part-time. However, I had to find passion and a greater cause much bigger than me and my needs and get involved. I got involved in choir. I sang sang sang. I got involved in plays, volunteered as often and as much as I was needed.
- Find something that is important to you and get involved. Volunteer, at the hospital, at church, just about all non-for-profit organizations need help.
This will help you see how much you are needed.
Get active and take better care of yourself.
I reduced my sugar intake and made sure I got my 6/8 hours of sleep. Whoever were willing to help watch the kids, I took them up on their offer. I learned to stop doing so much and sit down and relax when tired or overwhelmed. I relied on my husband more.
I tried out several ways of working out to see which one I liked best including lifting weights, running, bicycling, however, I found my passion in swimming. I taught myself through youtube, how to swim efficiently and swam at least 4/5 times a week. I went from swimming 3 laps to 33/66 laps (1/2 to 1 mile). Which helped to improve my mood.
- Eat healthier and find a workout regime that fits you. Start small and go for brisk walks. From my research, working out increases the chemical serotonin in your brain. An imbalance in serotonin can lead to the symptoms of depression and anxiety, working out is shown to improve the imbalance. Get a good play list going with your music and get started.
This will help you feel better and more confident.
Be patient with yourself and don’t lose hope.
Although a temporary condition, depression can feel like forever. At times I would feel that one day I was taking 10 steps forward and then the next day 20 steps back. I had to learn to be patient with myself and understand that this was a journey and that I would get through this. I found hope in success stories, others who experienced a similar condition and overcame. I read many books, blogs and the Bible.
- Cling onto hope. Believe in yourself, that you can and will get through this and press in that direction.
This will help you love yourself.
Meditate, Pray and repeat Affirmations
“Your thoughts Aquilla, you must change them,” -my therapist
This is the most important action. You must change your thoughts. Its hard I know but possible. You must change the way you view and speak to yourself. View yourself with love and compassion and speak to yourself with patience and joy. Its said…
“You change your thoughts, You change your world”- Norman Vincent Peale
I prayed often and wrote encouraging scriptures on index cards and carried them around with me. I also posted on my walls and mirror written affirmations such as, I love myself and I am getting better each day. I spoke them and believed them.
This will help you see the power within you.
L.A.W (Ladies After Wisdom), is it you that are suffering from depression/anxiety? Please reach out for help and get started with your recovery. The combination above are the actions I took to get better. I can’t lie and say recovery happened over night. It was a process and most importantly because of the process, I grew into a better mom, wife and woman. Find comfort in knowing you are not alone and can and will overcome ;o).
Perhaps it isn’t you, if you know of someone suffering please lend a hand. Please reach out to them and support, uplift and encourage. You will be blessed. I love you. All is well.
Read: James 2:17, Philippians 4:8
Affirmation: I am worthy and capable of experiencing immense joy. I am an overcomer.
Prayer for overcoming depression: Father, I love You. You are wonderful and to You I give all the praise. Father, You already know the heavy burdens that I have on my heart and mind and I know that You are near (Psalm 34:18). I give all my worries and troubles to You because I know You care for me (1Peter 5:7). I ask that You heal and restore joy in my heart and mind. Help me to believe in full recovery. Bless me to use the strength and power within to take the actions that are needed. Protect me from myself during this difficult time and surround me with the love and support that is truly needed. I know that You are the Comforter and I ask that You comfort me (2 Cor 1:3-4). Overflow my life with joy and gratitude. Surround me with encouragement, support and love. Father, as I do overcome, bless me to share my testimony to others so that Your light may shine through me.
In Jesus Name, Amen.