5 More Things to Do When You’re Struggling with Anxiety/Depression
1. Google a list of celebrities who have suffered from mental health issues
Most people still feel that their mental health concerns are still so stigmatized that they don’t want to come forward and share the same with you. And that’s fine. But it can also make you feel like you’re all alone. Before, when I was too scared to share my own struggle, I really, and genuinely felt completely alone. So, one thing that I would often do, that would make me feel a little less lonely, was I would google famous celebrities, presidents, etc., who were/ or had battled similar illnesses. Did you know, for instance, that Abraham Lincoln, widely considered the greatest president in all of US history, battled clinical depression his entire life?
According to his colleague, Henry Whitney, “No element of Mr. Lincoln’s character, was so marked, obvious and ingrained as his mysterious and profound melancholy.” And according to his law partner, “His melancholy dripped from him as he walked.”
But this man issued the Emancipation Proclamation which led to abolishing slavery. Let me just say that again! The man was instrumental in the abolishment of slavery. And he dealt with clinical depression every single day of his lifetime. Amazing.
Other celebrities include, Catherine Zeta Jones, Emma Stone, Demi Lovoto, Adam Levine, Gina Rodrigues, Elton John, a tonne of hockey and football players, etc.
2. If you’re ready to share the details of your illness with others do it. Even if you just say, you know, I struggle with this or that.
You will be mind-blown at how many people are also suffering from the same ailment as you. Once I started to openly talk about my anxiety, I was able to build a huge support network. I remember the first person I told, this beautiful, totally confident girl, and she looked back at me and said, “me too!” That’s happened a hundred times since then. So, truly, you’re not alone.
3. Go and Get yourself some Sun
There are hundreds of ongoing studies that are trying to determine the exact link between Vitamin D which is produced by the sun, and mental illness. Some of the studies have identified that lower levels of vitamin d in the body have a relationship to higher incidences of mental illness, namely depression.
The sun just makes you feel happier. My brother, who lives in Houston, whilst trying to speak of the benefits of living there was quick to point out the sun. He said something along the lines of, “man, the sun just makes you feel happier. I’m not just saying that either.”
As we know there is a link between Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) and the amount of sunlight you are exposed to. With smaller incidence rates in Southern regions than in more Northern regions, where the hours of sunlight are far more limited. So, regardless, getting outside and getting some sun is going to make you feel at least a little better. A little more alive if you’re in a funk.
4. Speak to a Doctor
If you’re struggling with mental illness, anxiety or depression, go and see your doctor. This doesn’t mean you are going to be dosed with medication. But a doctor can check for signs of potential thyroid problems which mimic depression and anxiety. They will check your blood to ensure there are no other related causes.
And, you can decide with your doctor on a plan to treat your illness. Maybe that means being referred to counseling? Maybe that means trying an anti-anxiety or anti-depressant medication. If your thyroid is the issue, you’d be prescribed a pill that you’d take everyday.
Don’t let having a mental illness mean you can do it all on your own. I take medication, because I have too. And because it allows me to lead a happy and healthy life, with hardly a single panic attack.
5. Try Seeing a Counselor
There is evidence that speaking to a counselor is helpful in recovering from anxiety and depression. A counselor will work with you to help you develop the tools necessary to work through irrational, unhelpful and unwanted thoughts and behaviors.
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) is a common therapeutic practise that is employed in counseling sessions. I discussed it in a recent post. Basically, it is comprised of the reality that our thoughts, and what we think, effect how we feel, which effects how we behave.
For instance, you think if you go to a party you’re going to be made fun of, so you feel bad, so you decide against going to the party. This is an example of how social anxiety lends itself to some people literally being physically unable to leave their homes.
Negative or unhelpful thought->negative or unhelpful emotion-> negative unhelpful behaviour.
Positive or helpful thought -> Positive or helpful emotion-> positive behavior.
Fundamentally, CBT works to help you be able to change your unhelpful, self-limiting thoughts and behaviours.
Yeh, so that’s just another 5 additional tips I just thought of off the hop to the 13 things I’ve already discussed in an earlier post.
As more come to mind I shall share them with you!
Xox have an awesome day!