Although having depression can feel a lot like having the energy, drive, and life, drained out of you, recovery and dealing with the motions is far from impossible. While you can’t just “get over it” as many people believe, you can learn to control your situation—even if your depression is extreme and persistent.
The key is to make baby steps and grow from there. One of starting small is to build relationships with the people around you, gaining their support to help lift your depression. Dealing with your problem can be difficult, but with people to help you maintain perspective and keep going? It can get a lot easier.
Don’t Be Afraid
Fear is one of the most common reasons to hesitate reaching out to close friends and family when you have depression. You can also feel shame of your “weakness,” or feel like reaching out is too tiring and a waste of time. Remind yourself that this is just the depression in you talking, and reaching out doesn’t mean being weak or being a burden to others.
Your loved ones are loved ones for a reason—they want to help. And if your family’s far away, don’t be afraid to make new friendships and create a new support network on your own.
Look to your Family and Friends
Don’t hesitate to talk about your feelings and thoughts with family and the people you trust enough to confide in. They won’t even have to talk to you in an effort to ‘fix’ you—listening is all that matters. Having depression can often cause you to retreat into yourself and shut out the rest of the world—don’t do this!
Force Yourself to Participate in Social Activities
With depression, retreating into your shell is the easiest thing to do. It requires no effort, it feels convenient, and it’s not tiring. Force yourself to be around people, even if you don’t feel like it. Participating in a social activity helps to keep your depressed thoughts and emotions at bay.
The bottom line is this: Don’t force yourself to do everything at once. Even the smallest steps are successes worthy to feel good about.