My 6 Tips On Getting Out of Depression
I can’t believe it took me this long to write about depression. I guess I didn’t really want to admit that not only was I anxious, I was also very depressed throughout my journey. Anytime a thought about depression would come up, i’d blamed it on anxiety, but today I realized what I have actually been doing was running away from accepting the fact that I was pretty (clinically) depressed.
I really don’t like throwing the word depression around, unless we are talking about a clear cut (clinical) definition of depression out of the DSM-V. Why? Simple. Every word we use is associated with an emotion. When we say the word “depressed” out loud, we start to experience all emotions and thoughts associated with the word. And guess what?! It actually makes us feel depressed.
In my case, it was safe to say, I was clinically depressed, or according to the DSM-V, I was suffering from Major Depressive Disorder (MDD) (on top of my Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD)). G*d. I bet I was a blast to be around (sorry friends&fam).
Well let’s see, to be diagnosed with MDD, one has to have “five (or more) of the following symptoms present during the same 2-week period and represent a change from previous functioning; at least one of the symptoms is either (1) depressed mood or (2) loss of interest or pleasure.
1. Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day, as indicated by either subjective report (e.g., feels sad, empty, hopeless) or observation made by others (e.g., appears tearful). (Note: In children and adolescents, can be irritable mood.)
CHECK! I was pretty much all of the above 24/7.
2. Markedly diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day (as indicated by either subjective account or observation.)
YUP. This too.
3. Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain (e.g., a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month), or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day. (Note: In children, consider failure to make expected weight gain.)
#3 is how I know I’m no longer depressed! (LOL)
4. Insomnia or hypersomnia nearly every day.
Sleep was an escape.
5. Psychomotor agitation or retardation nearly every day (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down).
Oh! look! I actually didn’t have this one! (yay?!)
6. Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.
Most of the day, how could one not, after running from your thoughts all day.
7. Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt (which may be delusional) nearly every day (not merely self-reproach or guilt about being sick).
Worthlessness. Constant negative thinking, self-criticism and regret, thinking about it over and over again. (kinda like Nelly)
8. Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day (either by subjective account or as observed by others).
Let’s put it this way. One time, I got lost, driving down a street I’ve been down on multiple times. I called my dad hysterically crying because I was so disoriented. (Thanks for helping me out dad!)
9. Recurrent thoughts of death (not just fear of dying), recurrent suicidal ideation without a specific plan, or a suicide attempt or a specific plan for committing suicide.
OHhHhH. “What if I get into this car and it crashes? What if I die crossing the street? What if I don’t die quietly in my sleep? and so on … you get the point. And of course, the cherry on top, my suicidal thought that pretty much saved my life! (oh, the irony.)
A solid 8 out of 9. Yup, I was clinically depressed.
So depressed, that I couldn’t imagine continuing my life in this way. I would have daily crying spells, relieved at night time because I got another day down, well, to getting older and ultimately death just to stop the pain. (How different it is now, I don’t want to go to sleep these days because I want to savor every moment of my life.)
SO what changed? I realized suicide was not an option (I couldn’t do that to my mom and dad.) So, if I was going to stay, I was going to make the best of it.
(Side note: & now I’m crying. Writing these blogs is literally my therapy. When I write, I’m digging deep into my memories, memories I didn’t want to access, but know I have to.)
These are the 6 things that pulled me out of my depression:
1 – Changing with my environment. – I STRAIGHT UP cut people out of my life. I literally texted them to let them know how I felt about our relationship and that I was no longer going to have it. I no longer hung out with anyone who gave me negative vibes, whether it was what they said, what they did or simply their energy, I didn’t have contact with them.
2- Learning how to say “NO”. – I said “No” to things I would usually say “yes” to. Like hangouts with negative people, doing favors that put me in anxiety provoking situations and anything that would take away from my mental wellbeing.
3- Consciously feeding myself positive thoughts. – Until this day, 4 years later, I stopped watching or reading anything related to murder (if you knew me when I was anxious and depressed, my whole world revolved around serial killers. Fun fact! I’m a serial killer encyclopedia! but I never open up that Pandoras box anymore.) I watched different shows, read different books, followed different accounts on social media. Anything that didn’t bring out positive thoughts, had to go.
4- Changing my conversations. – I became conscious of when I complained, criticized, judged, or compared. I let all my friends know, that I don’t engage in gossip and I only discuss ideas. (Can someone confirm this?!)
5- Rewiring negative thinking to positive thinking.- I interrupted every negative thought with gratitude.
6- Speaking to a therapist. – I trusted.
Although, I never experienced a childhood sleep over with friends, amazing memories at sleep away camp or a fun drunken night story from my teenage years, I am grateful for my journey because I was given a second chance at life and it was all worth it.
If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741.
I’m walking in the Out of the Darkness Brooklyn Walk to fight suicide and support AFSP’s bold goal to reduce the suicide rate 20% by 2025!!
REGISTER TO WALK WITH ME HERE –
Walk Date: 10/27/2018
Walk Location: Marine Park – Brooklyn, NY
Check-in/Registration Time: 9:00 am
Walk Begins: 10:00 am
Walk Ends: 1:00 pm