I’ve suffered from depression for 20 years now. During that time I have changed as a person. I am not the same girl that was diagnosed with depression in 1999.
I have had to change to get better. To fight the devil that is depression. The stalker that is poor mental health.
But I never expected that suffering from depression would teach me some valuable lessons about life. Lessons that I’m not always brilliant at following. Yet when I do follow them, they make me a much happier person.
7 Things Depression Has Taught Me
These are 7 things that depression has taught me:
1. Happiness Can Be Found Everywhere
When you’re in the darkness of depression it is hard to remember that there are things in this world that bring you happiness. That there are things that bring you joy. But the truth is that happiness can be found everywhere. It can be found in the smallest of things and the largest of moments. Happiness is everywhere. You just have to look for it. And when you find it, hold onto it.
2. You Can Suffer From Depression And Be A Happy Person
I like to think that I’m a happy and positive person. Smiling and laughing
3. Sometimes Medication Is Needed
I’ve taken anti-depressants ever since I was diagnosed with depression in 1999. And although, I know that medication isn’t right for everyone, in some instances a depression is so intense that medication is needed.
4. Being Kind Is Important
Ever since having depression, I’ve learnt that being kind is so important. You never know what someone is going through in their life. They maybe really struggling and so it never hurts to be kind. And treat others as you would like to be treated yourself.
5. Sleep Is The Greatest Healer
When my depression is at its worst all I want to do is sleep. Sleep beckons me with its open arms. I want to lose myself in its sweet nothingness. And there is a reason for this. Sleep is a wonderful healer. It’s the time when your body, mind and soul
6. Putting Yourself First Is Not selfish
When you struggle with your mental health you have to learn the importance of self-care. Having an early night; taking a long hot bath; going for a leisurely walk; sitting down and reading a good book. All things that may seem selfish. But they are not. Because when you suffer from any illness putting yourself first and doing things that make you feel better MUST be a priority.
7. You Will Get Better
When you are in the midst of depression and are surrounded by darkness it feels like you will never see the light again. You are being sucked down into a whirlpool of despair and you’re struggling to breathe. But I promise you that you can and will feel better again. It may not be today. It may not be tomorrow. But some day in the future the clouds will clear and the sun will shine again.
I often complain that I hate my depression. That I love my life but hate my depression and this is true. But I believe that suffering from a mental health condition has given me an insight that I may not have otherwise have had. It has also given me an empathetic and analytical nature that I will always be grateful for. So for that, and for the life lessons you’ve taught me, depression, I thank you.