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8 Pieces Of Advice That Are Useless To People With Depression

8 Pieces Of Advice That Are Useless To People With Depression

Depression is often seen in completely different lights by those who have suffered from it and those that have no. If you’re fortunate enough not to have encountered depression in your life, it can be difficult to help despite your best efforts. The advice lovingly provide are often ineffective due to the misunderstandings they contain.

If you really wish to help people with depression, you must develop a deeper understanding of the condition. This is the only way you can help guide your loved ones out of the darknesses. Avoid using these common pieces of advice which unknowingly cause more harm than good.

8 Sayings That Don’t Actually Help People With Depression

1. “Maybe you need to let yourself cry it out, you’ll feel much better after”

Depression is not simply a one-off moment of sadness, it’s a persistent feeling of blue as if life was viewing through a filter. For this reason, letting it out by crying is not going to provide any form of release.

In many cases, suffers have neither the impulse nor the ability to cry.

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2. “You need to get up and get out more. Once you’ve had a good day you’ll be back to normal”

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    If you really want to help people with depression, you must realize it takes a long time to treat. Going out and having a good day may provide temporary relief, but it is far from being a cure-all. Many people wrongly assume having a good day means they are cured, but that’s not how it works.

    As you can’t bring yourself to face these situations, you find yourself cancelling plans and leaving them hanging. They don’t always know how they can help you and rifts can grow between you. Depression can put a tremendous strain on friendships, it’s certainly not something suffers want to willing to introduce it into the relationship.

    3. “Stop getting caught up with negative thoughts, focus on the positive things around you”

    Sadly, it’s never quite as simple as this. Your biology is difficult, if not impossible to simply re-wire. Your core desires and ambitions may be pushing you one way but your brain chemistry seems to battle against you.

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    Having depression can distort your perception of reality dramatically. Those negative thoughts woven by you will in actual fact be your reality.  It can be so dominating that even when observing your life it can be hard to find pride in past achievements. An outsider’s perspective on the situation will be starkly different to what’s experienced by the one who is depressed.

    4. “Don’t worry, you always have us. Sharing more about how you feel will help”

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      While sometimes it can help to share our problems, depressed people are often reluctant to dump this weight upon others. They are very sensitive about the issue, especially since others are unlikely to truly understand how they feel. The last thing they want is someone to think they are being whiny or dramatizing how bad they feel inside.

      They are very conscious of the fact most people don’t know how to react to how they are feeling. Not everyone understands well enough not to take these feelings personally.

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      5. “Get on with your daily routine and you’ll start to feeling better before you know it”

      When you are depressed, even getting through the daily routine can be a slow, uneasy grind. Simply getting out of bed, preparing yourself for the day, eating and even sleeping becomes a grinding chore. Moreover, it’s not something that is going to dissolve depression by any means.

      It becomes a terrible conundrum, you feel completely isolated, yet too depressed to socialize. Coming out and telling your friends why can almost be as hard as dealing with depression itself. Even with treatment, medication, exercise, sleep and a healthy diet, depression is not always simply gone for good.

      6. “If only you could try a little harder to be positive, I know you would feel much better”

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        Unfortunately, the road to recovery from depression can be arduous and is not without pitfalls. Suffers of depression often ensure a bumpy ride, when they begin to feel ok they can be thrown back to square one the next day.

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        It’s an entirely frustrating experience, simply telling them to try harder to be positive does not demonstrate a good understanding of their struggles.

        7. “Setting yourself goals and focusing on achieving them will help you out of this rut”

        Depressed people don’t taste the same sweet taste of satisfaction from their achievements as we do. The dull tone of depression does not allow them to restore their happiness and energy level after success.

        In actual fact, depression suffers may even be the highest performers in their fields. Success does not always alleviate their depression.

        8. “Once you’ve regained control of your emotions you’ll be free from depression”

        The tricky thing about depression is it becomes both an emotional and a physical battle. When you think you’ve regained control of your emotions, physical problems such as aches, fatigue, loss of appetite can flare them up again.

        If you want to help people with depression, you need to understand they are constantly fighting battles on two fronts!

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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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