Depression is not a battle you need to fight alone.

Depression is not a battle you need to fight alone.

Coping with depression is not a straight path, the long road yields many unforeseeable turns and bumps. Many people fear the tiring journey, terrified that the feelings of sadness will never subside. However with courage, patience and support from others, any individual is capable of successfully treating depression.

You Are Allowed to Feel Upset

Unfortunately, there is no pause button in life. Everyday obligations force us to the mask sadness from others and ourselves. We plaster insincere smiles on our faces, internally struggling to keep our world from collapsing.

“I’m fine,” “It’s nothing,” and  “I’m just tired,” are commonly spoken phrases. We may think hiding our pain is a sign of strength. But humans need to experience emotions in order to stay sane, both the good and bad.

Although circumstances sometimes force us to put on a brave face, we are harming our chances of recovery if we never allow ourselves to get upset. Time to time, we need to give ourselves space and embrace the unwanted emotions. We remind ourselves that there’s nothing wrong with needing to cry. Occasional sadness is just a part of being human.

Take it One day at a Time

When we are coping with depression, focusing on the future can induce extreme anxiety. The thought of planning six months or even a week from now is enough to send our thoughts into chaotic disarray. Instead of thinking long term, try to focus on the upcoming few days.

Think of the pressing tasks you need to complete and make a mental list. Recenter your body in the present. Focus on completing the small hurdles before you concentrate on the larger issues.

The future is incredibly unpredictable. Too much fixation on what’s to come will only cause unneeded stress. Don’t try to leap six feet ahead when your stride is only one foot wide. Step by step, you will reach your destination.

Let Your Fears Motivate You

Depression causes people to fear everyday activities that once seemed effortless. Going to work, attending social gatherings, or even getting out of bed can feel incredibly overwhelming.

It’s okay to take time to recharge, but we cannot let our fears prevent us from finding happiness. Secretly, many of us are afraid of happiness, whether we realize it or not.

This is because once we obtain happiness, we possess something we are terrified to lose. So we hold tight to the sadness, afraid to leave our bedroom, or seek out an activity we are interested in. We avoid social interactions and fail to reach out to friends. We think that apathy is the preferred emotion to mourning a potential loss.

Fear should be our biggest motivator while we cope with depression. Identify aspects of life- new or old- that can potentially bring us happiness. Chase these goals with optimism and bravery. Acknowledge your worries, but don’t let the fear slow you down.

Asking for Help is Not a Sign of Weakness

There is a misconception that seeking therapy or advice from others is a sign of weakness. We did not ask for the sadness, nor do we deserve it.

Countless studies show that Cognitive Behavioral therapy, along with other forms of treatment, significantly decrease depressed thoughts. You may be surprised just how much others can help, but you’ll never know until you reach

Opening up to others is a decision we should be proud of and a major landmark on the road to recovery. It takes an incredible amount of courage to reach out and admit we need guidance. Depression is not a battle you need to fight alone.

Adrienne Gagne attains happiness by continuously exploring uncharted territory. Her ultimate goal is to encourage new directions of thinking, not to sway others’ opinions to strictly align with her own....

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