Battling Depression is hard, especially when you're facing the battle alone. Depression affects almost everyone at some point in their life. While some can overcome it on their own, others may seek professional help and antidepressant medication to cope with it.
What is Depression?
If you search for the meaning of depression online, you will find answers like the following:
Depression is a type of mental health condition that can make a person feel very sad, hopeless, and unhappy for a long time. It’s like a dark cloud that can hang over a person’s life and make everything feel harder than it should be.
People with depression might find it difficult to enjoy things they used to like, have trouble sleeping or sleeping too much, and lose interest in everyday activities. It can also affect how they think and feel about themselves and others, making them feel guilty, worthless, or like a burden to others.
Is it an Illness? Some experts categorize depression as a real illness, and it can be caused by a combination of factors, including genetics, life experiences, and brain chemistry.
For me, depression is a state of emotion that arises when there’s something about your life that you don’t like, and you lack the power or willingness to change it. It doesn’t mean that there is something wrong with your life, it can just simply mean that there is something that you don’t like about your life and you don’t want to accept it.
Why do I think that depression is not a mental illness?
For me, a mental illness means there is really something wrong with your brain that’s why it cannot function well. What I would agree with is if someone doesn’t find a solution to their depression, it will soon lead to brain malfunction and that would be a mental illness.
Losing a loved one is very traumatic for some people; they find it hard to accept the reality that their loved one is already gone. If they cannot accept reality, they will always think about it and it will always make them feel sad. If this goes on, soon they will have a hard time thinking clearly because they are already depressed. Then they’ll start to act and think differently. Then soon they will have a flower tucked in their hair
Let's say someone is depressed because of what is happening with their finances. They went bankrupt, which made them feel really down.
What do you think will happen if one day the tides have changed and all of their investments went up? Will their depression still be there? I don't think so.
I’ve seen many people take medication because they are depressed. Yes, it helps them feel better, but in the end, the depression will still come back. Why? Because the cause hasn’t been addressed yet. The cause is still there and no medicine can solve the cause that is causing the depression; soon their doctors will advise them to fix what is wrong in their lives and what is causing the depression.
I have many friends who have been depressed and sought professional help, but what cured them wasn’t medication. It was the people around them who gave them support and helped them change their lives.
What are Antidepressants?
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Antidepressants work by helping to balance certain chemicals in the brain called neurotransmitters, which are involved in regulating mood, emotions, and thoughts. These medications can increase the levels of neurotransmitters like serotonin and norepinephrine, which can improve mood and reduce feelings of anxiety or sadness.
It’s important to note that antidepressants don’t work for everyone and they can take several weeks to start working.
They also have potential side effects, like nausea, headaches, or changes in appetite or sex drive.
Do Antidepressant drugs work? Yes, they work in suppressing your depression and making you feel better, but they can’t cure the cause of your depression. Only you can fix the cause of your depression. If you don’t fix it, you will be dependent on medication for the rest of your life until the cause of your depression is addressed.
In short, antidepressants are temporary remedies for battling depression. It’s like watching a love story where you feel butterflies but after the movie, you will feel sad again remembering that you don’t have a love life like the character in the movie.
Note: It is important to seek professional help, especially if you have no family or friends to support you because depression can cause a lot of harm if you don’t acknowledge that you have it.
Why do we need professional help if it’s not an illness? If you have depression and you can’t handle it and there is no immediate support and love from family or friends, you need someone to talk to. A professional knows how to help.
One more reason is we tend to listen more to people who we think are smarter than us.
Battling Depression without Medication
If you are feeling depressed and to the point where you really don't know what to do, My sincere advice is to seek God First. God is the only one out there who will sincerely listen to us no matter who we are.
Ask God for guidance and strength to help you in battling depression.
Matthew 11: 28- 30
²⁸Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads, and I will give you rest. ²⁹Put on my yoke, and learn from me. I’m gentle and humble. And you will find rest for yourselves. ³⁰My yoke is easy to bear, and my burden is light.
The next thing you need to do is analyze what is causing your depression. There are many reasons why you feel depressed. If you no longer trust yourself to make a sound judgment, ask someone whose opinion in life you respect.
Share your story with them and explain what is causing your depression. Just ensure that you are seeking advice from someone with good life values; otherwise, they may simply advise you to do what makes you feel good, which is a piece of really bad advice.
Factors that affect the emotion which makes us depressed
Environmental factors: Negative life events, such as the loss of a loved one, relationship problems, financial difficulties, or job loss, can trigger depression.
Psychological factors: Low self-esteem, negative thinking patterns, and a history of trauma or abuse can contribute to the development of depression.
Social factors: Social isolation, lack of support, and a sense of loneliness can increase the risk of depression.
You need to pinpoint which of these factors is making you depressed and you need to address it.
The Real Problem When Battling Depression
The real problem is not the ones we are trying to solve; most of the time, the problem is us. How we react to problems and approach them is what's important. We can't always have our way in this world, there are things that we need to accept whether we like them or not.
Even if the opportunities that are in front of us are good, if we approach them negatively, these opportunities will turn bad and will just be wasted.