Depression: "How I Broke Free!"
by Ifeanyi Ifediorah
March 28, 2019
Depression is a mental ailment that a very large percentage of people experience, it weighs the mind down, and leads to unproductivity in daily and work-related activities.
There are different ways to break out of this ‘sadness loop’, but first you need to identify the cause of your depressive state and tackle it from within.
Depression is caused by a lot of factors, though it is most often caused by over thinking about hurtful experiences and retardation in life.
At a point in my life, I was overworking myself, to keep up with the pressure to succeed that I had mounted on myself.
I looked at the goals I set, compared to the results/income I had gotten, it was saddening.
It felt like all my efforts were in vain, I was also experiencing a very painful break-up, from a relationship that lasted for three years.
I was still living with my mom, taking whatever disrespect that came my way, memories of losing my dad and elder brother in the space of six years still haunted me. My life felt like hell.
Unintentionally, I began to eat less, I started locking myself indoors to experience my pain in solitude, my productivity slowed down drastically.
I went from working for 9-14 hours per day to working for one hour a week.
I began to have fewer conversations with people, flash thoughts of suicide came to my mind but I brushed it off, eventually, I became too broke to afford anything at all. It was terrible!
This is my story, different people have various reasons why they’re depressed, it could be because they’re being body shamed for being too fat or skinny.
It could be as a result of low grades in school, or being fired at work, it could be as a result of losing a loved one, a symptom of a health-related issue, or something else entirely.
There is only one person that can help you get you out of your condition (if it isn’t a symptom of a health-related issue). Okay, scratch that, there are a lot of people that can help you get out of your condition, but it all starts with YOU.
You need to realise the power you have within your grasp; the power of emotional intelligence.
Humans are naturally emotionally powered beings, most of us make decisions and take actions based on how we feel.
Your mind is your control centre, virtually everything you do is processed by your mind, the moment you let your negative emotions get processed by your mind, you’d poison it.
It’s like infecting a computer with a virus, the virus stays inside disrupting your computer’s performance till it’s ejected by an antivirus.
In this case, your emotional intelligence is your antivirus, you need to program your mind to reject any thought process that destabilizes your psychology. How’s this possible? Let me show you what I did.
1. Logical & Selective Thinking.
First, I learnt to stop analyzing past experiences from an emotional stance, I utilised a logical approach.
I began to view things from a third party perspective. You can’t understand your emotions if you don’t analyze it without your emotions.
Further, I learnt to select my thoughts. There were times when I tried to heal mentally, and thoughts of hurtful past incidents slid in, while I was engaged in some sort of activity.
I asked myself questions like “why are you hurting yourself?”, “why are you letting yourself get depressed?”.
I consciously chose what to think about, I focused on things that add to my personal development and overall growth.
This helped me push toxic thoughts aside and focus on essential matters. You need to be totally conscious of your thoughts and emotions at all times.
2. The Power Of Writing.
I began to write more often when it felt like I was thinking of too much than my brain could process.
I listed my problems on a sheet of paper and began to state possible solutions. This helped me realise my problems weren’t as much as my mind made me believe.
It showed me a path to follow, more like a bucket list to check, if I wanted to stop being depressed.
Writing my thoughts down helped me analyze conflicting ideas thoroughly.
3. Healthy Diet.
Depression causes loss of appetite, which could lead to weight loss, skin drought, low immunity and more negative consequences.
I realised that if I wanted to beat depression, I had to step my game up, I began to avoid foods that worsen depression.
I consumed more vegetables, turkey, beans, walnuts, lean meat, fatty fish, sardines, low-fat dairy, oysters, whole grains, green tea, turmeric, and dark chocolates.
My diet switch did not only help me fight depression, but it also altered my overall health positively.
I became happier in four days of trying a new diet. I would definitely recommend this for anyone.
4. Work On Your Confidence.
Depression is a beast that preys on your happiness and confidence, it gradually creeps in most times, depleting your confidence down to the level of you questioning your self-worth.
You need to find what your self worth is attached to and work on making it grow.
If looking good makes you feel great about yourself, go to a salon for a nice hairdo, visit a spa for facial treatments, put more effort into fashion, get your body in shape.
If enlightening makes you feel more confident, read more books, attend seminars and webinars. Whatever it is that works for you, do it.
Further, the more time you spend taking care of yourself, the more you fall in love with yourself, and then you’d realise you don’t deserve to be subjected to self-harm.
Quick Tips To Help You Remind Yourself That You’re Super Awesome.
- Write down a list of five features/attributes you love about yourself, go through it every morning when you wake up.
- On a separate note, write down all your accomplishments in life, no matter how big or small they are, make sure to update this list regularly. After writing this, you’d notice you’ve won more battles than you remember.
5. Replace Old Memories.
I turned to a hermit when I was depressed, I barely left the front door. I thought solitude was a good idea for me to ‘clear my head’, but it wasn’t.
The lack of new events gave my brain no other option than to replay the memories of hurtful past incidents, this worsened my situation.
A close friend of mine came to see me from a different town, I told him about my agony.
He observed my situation and invited me over to his place for some time. In less than five days, I began to notice a positive change in my mood.
I explored the beautiful view of the nature of his town in my free time, my brain was too busy recording new memories to remind me of my pain.
I would definitely recommend visiting new places, meeting new people and avoiding toxic ones that remind you of your misery.
These are tips I tried out that worked for me, you should try them too.
However, there are different types of depression with different severity levels, your case might be worse than mine was.
In conclusion, I’d recommend you book an appointment with a doctor for proper diagnosis and suitable treatment.