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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 January 21, 2020

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

The Best Way to Create a Vision for the Life You Want

Creating a vision for your life might seem like a frivolous, fantastical waste of time, but it’s not: creating a compelling vision of the life you want is actually one of the most effective strategies for achieving the life of your dreams. Perhaps the best way to look at the concept of a life vision is as a compass to help guide you to take the best actions and make the right choices that help propel you toward your best life.

your vision of where or who you want to be is the greatest asset you have

    Why You Need a Vision

    Experts and life success stories support the idea that with a vision in mind, you are more likely to succeed far beyond what you could otherwise achieve without a clear vision. Think of crafting your life vision as mapping a path to your personal and professional dreams. Life satisfaction and personal happiness are within reach. The harsh reality is that if you don’t develop your own vision, you’ll allow other people and circumstances to direct the course of your life.

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    How to Create Your Life Vision

    Don’t expect a clear and well-defined vision overnight—envisioning your life and determining the course you will follow requires time, and reflection. You need to cultivate vision and perspective, and you also need to apply logic and planning for the practical application of your vision. Your best vision blossoms from your dreams, hopes, and aspirations. It will resonate with your values and ideals, and will generate energy and enthusiasm to help strengthen your commitment to explore the possibilities of your life.

    What Do You Want?

    The question sounds deceptively simple, but it’s often the most difficult to answer. Allowing yourself to explore your deepest desires can be very frightening. You may also not think you have the time to consider something as fanciful as what you want out of life, but it’s important to remind yourself that a life of fulfillment does not usually happen by chance, but by design.

    It’s helpful to ask some thought-provoking questions to help you discover the possibilities of what you want out of life. Consider every aspect of your life, personal and professional, tangible and intangible. Contemplate all the important areas, family and friends, career and success, health and quality of life, spiritual connection and personal growth, and don’t forget about fun and enjoyment.

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    Some tips to guide you:

    • Remember to ask why you want certain things
    • Think about what you want, not on what you don’t want.
    • Give yourself permission to dream.
    • Be creative. Consider ideas that you never thought possible.
    • Focus on your wishes, not what others expect of you.

    Some questions to start your exploration:

    • What really matters to you in life? Not what should matter, what does matter.
    • What would you like to have more of in your life?
    • Set aside money for a moment; what do you want in your career?
    • What are your secret passions and dreams?
    • What would bring more joy and happiness into your life?
    • What do you want your relationships to be like?
    • What qualities would you like to develop?
    • What are your values? What issues do you care about?
    • What are your talents? What’s special about you?
    • What would you most like to accomplish?
    • What would legacy would you like to leave behind?

    It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or creative vision board if you’re the creative type. Add your own questions, and ask others what they want out of life. Relax and make this exercise fun. You may want to set your answers aside for a while and come back to them later to see if any have changed or if you have anything to add.

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    What Would Your Best Life Look Like?

    Describe your ideal life in detail. Allow yourself to dream and imagine, and create a vivid picture. If you can’t visualize a picture, focus on how your best life would feel. If you find it difficult to envision your life 20 or 30 years from now, start with five years—even a few years into the future will give you a place to start. What you see may surprise you. Set aside preconceived notions. This is your chance to dream and fantasize.

    A few prompts to get you started:

    • What will you have accomplished already?
    • How will you feel about yourself?
    • What kind of people are in your life? How do you feel about them?
    • What does your ideal day look like?
    • Where are you? Where do you live? Think specifics, what city, state, or country, type of community, house or an apartment, style and atmosphere.
    • What would you be doing?
    • Are you with another person, a group of people, or are you by yourself?
    • How are you dressed?
    • What’s your state of mind? Happy or sad? Contented or frustrated?
    • What does your physical body look like? How do you feel about that?
    • Does your best life make you smile and make your heart sing? If it doesn’t, dig deeper, dream bigger.

    It’s important to focus on the result, or at least a way-point in your life. Don’t think about the process for getting there yet—that’s the next stepGive yourself permission to revisit this vision every day, even if only for a few minutes. Keep your vision alive and in the front of your mind.

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    Plan Backwards

    It may sound counter-intuitive to plan backwards rather than forwards, but when you’re planning your life from the end result, it’s often more useful to consider the last step and work your way back to the first. This is actually a valuable and practical strategy for making your vision a reality.

    • What’s the last thing that would’ve had to happen to achieve your best life?
    • What’s the most important choice you would’ve had to make?
    • What would you have needed to learn along the way?
    • What important actions would you have had to take?
    • What beliefs would you have needed to change?
    • What habits or behaviors would you have had to cultivate?
    • What type of support would you have had to enlist?
    • How long will it have taken you to realize your best life?
    • What steps or milestones would you have needed to reach along the way?

    Now it’s time to think about your first step, and the next step after that. Ponder the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in the future. It may seem impossible, but it’s quite achievable if you take it step-by-step.

    It’s important to revisit this vision from time to time. Don’t be surprised if your answers to the questions, your technicolor vision, and the resulting plans change. That can actually be a very good thing; as you change in unforeseeable ways, the best life you envision will change as well. For now, it’s important to use the process, create your vision, and take the first step towards making that vision a reality.

    Featured photo credit: Matt Noble via unsplash.com

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