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8 Things People With Depression Want You To Know

8 Things People With Depression Want You To Know

People who suffer from clinical depression carry with them a social stigma that unfortunately exacerbates the serious problems they deal with on a daily basis. Since the disease is completely misunderstood by the general public, those who suffer from depression are generally shunned or, at the very least, treated differently in some way by friends, family, and colleagues. By becoming informed about the true essence of clinical depression, people can better equip themselves to help those they care about that suffer from the disease.

1. They may or may not take meds

People diagnosed with clinical depression don’t necessarily take medication for their symptoms. And if they do, that doesn’t mean they’ll magically “get happy” after popping a couple pills. And it certainly doesn’t mean they’re just faking to get access to drugs. In fact, because of the stigma attached to taking drugs to offset depression, many people who suffer from the disease choose not to take medication. Unfortunately, this can be detrimental to their health, as some people truly do need medication to help them, but will refuse them based on how society views “pill popping.”

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2. They don’t mean to ditch you

People who suffer from depression often isolate themselves from their friends and family. Unfortunately, those on the outside looking in may get the wrong idea, thinking the person suffering is actively trying to shut everyone else out of their lives. In fact, the reason people suffering from depression distance themselves from friends and family is because they don’t want to burden others with their problems. They know it’s draining to be around them (because it’s draining to be themselves), so they don’t want to throw a pity party while everyone else is trying to have fun. This is a major reason friends and family need to make an even greater effort to be there for friends who suffer from this debilitating disease.

3. They’re not “faking” it

Because depression is misunderstood by the general public, people find it hard to believe those who suffer from it actually can show signs of happiness and emotions other than sadness. When a depressed person musters up the courage to go out with friends, they’ll sometimes be able to “snap out of it,” telling jokes and laughing with the group for a few hours, and it may seem like nothing is wrong. However, depression transcends fleeting moments, and acts as a forcefield around the person that prohibits good moods from lasting very long. While those who suffer from depression can in fact enjoy themselves at times, anxiety and despair rear their ugly heads later on when they settle in from a relatively fun night.

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4. They know they’re too much to deal with

Like I said, people who suffer from depression don’t want to burden others with their issues. They understand that at times they can be “Debbie Downers,” and don’t want to bring everyone else down with them. And they know their moods can fluctuate at times, so they would rather stay home alone than risk having a meltdown in front of their friends. However, this is when friends need to step it up and be more understanding and compassionate than they’ve ever been before.

5. Being “depressed” isn’t the same as suffering from clinical depression

People throw around the term “depressed” as a synonym for sad so much that it tends to lose meaning. If your pet dies, you’ll definitely be saddened by it, and you’ll probably be sad for a while. But it won’t be a debilitating feeling that keeps you from living your daily life. And it’s a reaction to a terrible event that happened to you. Clinical depression doesn’t come from any external stimuli. The reason clinical depression is so hard to defeat is there is seemingly no reason for a person to be so down in the first place. Since they can’t point out the reason they’re feeling low, it’s incredibly hard to tackle the issue.

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6. Don’t be soft with us

I know I just spoke about how important it is to be there for your friend who’s currently suffering from depression, but it’s also important to not be so soft with them that you come off as being patronizing. Although you should definitely be careful not to offend them, you shouldn’t feel as if you need to walk on eggshells around them, either. Remember: clinical depression isn’t so much a response to external factors as it is a manifestation of the mind and chemical imbalance. The best thing you can do for a friend suffering from depression is to simply be the friend you’ve always been to them.

7. People with depression aren’t weak

Since the term “being depressed” is so overused in society, many people operate under the misconception that actually being depressed is a sign of weakness. People think “I was sad last week, too. But I got over it pretty quickly,” so they assume that other people who suffer from depression are “milking it” in some way. There’s a saying about those who suffer from depression that says they have simply “been strong for far too long.” In other words, they’ve lived with this crippling disease for an incredibly long time, and only recently hit the breaking point at which they needed to find help. People who suffer from depression aren’t weak. In fact, they’re some of the strongest members of our society.

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8. It’s not about “getting over it,” but getting through it

I alluded to this in the last section, but some people are under the misconception that depressed people simply need to “get over it.” Also mentioned before was the notion that there is no catalyst that pushes a person into a downward spiral of depression, so it’s incredibly hard to pinpoint the source of the problem. When you say you “got over” something, you simply mean you let it go and moved on with your life. To beat clinical depression, you can’t “let it go” or ignore it. You have to face it head on and work through it. Again, for someone to face clinical depression with every bit of willpower they have shows just how strong that person is.

Featured photo credit: Flickr via farm3.staticflickr.com

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Last Updated on September 16, 2019

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

How to Stop Procrastinating: 11 Practical Ways for Procrastinators

You have a deadline looming. However, instead of doing your work, you are fiddling with miscellaneous things like checking email, social media, watching videos, surfing blogs and forums. You know you should be working, but you just don’t feel like doing anything.

We are all familiar with the procrastination phenomenon. When we procrastinate, we squander away our free time and put off important tasks we should be doing them till it’s too late. And when it is indeed too late, we panic and wish we got started earlier.

The chronic procrastinators I know have spent years of their life looped in this cycle. Delaying, putting off things, slacking, hiding from work, facing work only when it’s unavoidable, then repeating this loop all over again. It’s a bad habit that eats us away and prevents us from achieving greater results in life.

Don’t let procrastination take over your life. Here, I will share my personal steps on how to stop procrastinating. These 11 steps will definitely apply to you too:

1. Break Your Work into Little Steps

Part of the reason why we procrastinate is because subconsciously, we find the work too overwhelming for us. Break it down into little parts, then focus on one part at the time. If you still procrastinate on the task after breaking it down, then break it down even further. Soon, your task will be so simple that you will be thinking “gee, this is so simple that I might as well just do it now!”.

For example, I’m currently writing a new book (on How to achieve anything in life). Book writing at its full scale is an enormous project and can be overwhelming. However, when I break it down into phases such as –

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  • (1) Research
  • (2) Deciding the topic
  • (3) Creating the outline
  • (4) Drafting the content
  • (5) Writing Chapters #1 to #10,
  • (6) Revision
  • (7) etc.

Suddenly it seems very manageable. What I do then is to focus on the immediate phase and get it done to my best ability, without thinking about the other phases. When it’s done, I move on to the next.

2. Change Your Environment

Different environments have different impact on our productivity. Look at your work desk and your room. Do they make you want to work or do they make you want to snuggle and sleep? If it’s the latter, you should look into changing your workspace.

One thing to note is that an environment that makes us feel inspired before may lose its effect after a period of time. If that’s the case, then it’s time to change things around. Refer to Steps #2 and #3 of 13 Strategies To Jumpstart Your Productivity, which talks about revamping your environment and workspace.

3. Create a Detailed Timeline with Specific Deadlines

Having just 1 deadline for your work is like an invitation to procrastinate. That’s because we get the impression that we have time and keep pushing everything back, until it’s too late.

Break down your project (see tip #1), then create an overall timeline with specific deadlines for each small task. This way, you know you have to finish each task by a certain date. Your timelines must be robust, too – i.e. if you don’t finish this by today, it’s going to jeopardize everything else you have planned after that. This way it creates the urgency to act.

My goals are broken down into monthly, weekly, right down to the daily task lists, and the list is a call to action that I must accomplish this by the specified date, else my goals will be put off.

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Here’re more tips on setting deadlines: 22 Tips for Effective Deadlines

4. Eliminate Your Procrastination Pit-Stops

If you are procrastinating a little too much, maybe that’s because you make it easy to procrastinate.

Identify your browser bookmarks that take up a lot of your time and shift them into a separate folder that is less accessible. Disable the automatic notification option in your email client. Get rid of the distractions around you.

I know some people will out of the way and delete or deactivate their facebook accounts. I think it’s a little drastic and extreme as addressing procrastination is more about being conscious of our actions than counteracting via self-binding methods, but if you feel that’s what’s needed, go for it.

5. Hang out with People Who Inspire You to Take Action

I’m pretty sure if you spend just 10 minutes talking to Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, you’ll be more inspired to act than if you spent the 10 minutes doing nothing. The people we are with influence our behaviors. Of course spending time with Steve Jobs or Bill Gates every day is probably not a feasible method, but the principle applies — The Hidden Power of Every Single Person Around You

Identify the people, friends or colleagues who trigger you – most likely the go-getters and hard workers – and hang out with them more often. Soon you will inculcate their drive and spirit too.

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As a personal development blogger, I “hang out” with inspiring personal development experts by reading their blogs and corresponding with them regularly via email and social media. It’s communication via new media and it works all the same.

6. Get a Buddy

Having a companion makes the whole process much more fun. Ideally, your buddy should be someone who has his/her own set of goals. Both of you will hold each other accountable to your goals and plans. While it’s not necessary for both of you to have the same goals, it’ll be even better if that’s the case, so you can learn from each other.

I have a good friend whom I talk to regularly, and we always ask each other about our goals and progress in achieving those goals. Needless to say, it spurs us to keep taking action.

7. Tell Others About Your Goals

This serves the same function as #6, on a larger scale. Tell all your friends, colleagues, acquaintances and family about your projects. Now whenever you see them, they are bound to ask you about your status on those projects.

For example, sometimes I announce my projects on The Personal Excellence Blog, Twitter and Facebook, and my readers will ask me about them on an ongoing basis. It’s a great way to keep myself accountable to my plans.

8. Seek out Someone Who Has Already Achieved the Outcome

What is it you want to accomplish here, and who are the people who have accomplished this already? Go seek them out and connect with them. Seeing living proof that your goals are very well achievable if you take action is one of the best triggers for action.

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9. Re-Clarify Your Goals

If you have been procrastinating for an extended period of time, it might reflect a misalignment between what you want and what you are currently doing. Often times, we outgrow our goals as we discover more about ourselves, but we don’t change our goals to reflect that.

Get away from your work (a short vacation will be good, else just a weekend break or staycation will do too) and take some time to regroup yourself. What exactly do you want to achieve? What should you do to get there? What are the steps to take? Does your current work align with that? If not, what can you do about it?

10. Stop Over-Complicating Things

Are you waiting for a perfect time to do this? That maybe now is not the best time because of X, Y, Z reasons? Ditch that thought because there’s never a perfect time. If you keep waiting for one, you are never going to accomplish anything.

Perfectionism is one of the biggest reasons for procrastination. Read more about why perfectionist tendencies can be a bane than a boon: Why Being A Perfectionist May Not Be So Perfect.

11. Get a Grip and Just Do It

At the end, it boils down to taking action. You can do all the strategizing, planning and hypothesizing, but if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen. Occasionally, I get readers and clients who keep complaining about their situations but they still refuse to take action at the end of the day.

Reality check:

I have never heard anyone procrastinate their way to success before and I doubt it’s going to change in the near future.  Whatever it is you are procrastinating on, if you want to get it done, you need to get a grip on yourself and do it.

More About Procrastination

Featured photo credit: Malvestida Magazine via unsplash.com

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