Is It Your Depressed?

When people say:

“Stop being over dramatic, you’re not depressed, you’re only sad”.

The first thing that comes to my mind is, “Is it your depressed?” . I mean, while everyone at some point has to deal with stress, I often perceive certain life events as threatening and difficult to deal with. Stress to everyone else might be like “power outages” in countries where electricity is a right and in a few minutes a back up generator comes on. For me, not being stressed, as with having constant electricity, often feels like a privilege. My inverter may not work and diesel maybe scarce as well so I sit there, waiting for this darkness to pass.

See, I’ve found that mental disorders are determined by various factors, and stress is one of them. Situations that deal with loss or overstrain can cause or aggravate depression, depending on the individual’s personality traits.

I’ve also come to realize that the relationship between stress and depression is not a one direction thing — see what I did there? No? Sigh, fine. Stressful life experiences and our coping strategies may predispose one to mood disorders, anxiety, and withdrawal. Depression may be the cause of severe stress. It may also lead to poor techniques to oppose it. What I do know is that the effect of stress on depression, its role in triggering the subsequent phases of the disease, and the factors that mediate the stress-depression relationship become more and more often subjects of research in psychiatry and psychology.

Personally, the experience of negative emotional states associated with depressive disorder narrows my attention span, reduces my ability for flexible and creative thinking and results in low productivity. Fun right? I then find myself using strategies based on avoidance and denial, and have difficulties finding the positive side of things. For everyone else living with this thing, I’m sure you know finding the “silver lining” and the “bright side” of things is like searching for a unicorn taking a bath in a nice pool in the Sahara desert. Even more fun right?

Anyway, in spite of this depression, I’ve learnt to effectively manage my daily stressors with these approaches:

  1. Active coping — Taking action to try to get rid of the “stressor” or its consequences
  2. Planning — Contemplating the best possible way to handle the problem
  3. Seeking advice and help
  4. Seeking emotional support and empathy
  5. Suppression of competing activities- Putting aside other activities not connected to the problem in order to better deal with it
  6. Turning to religion as a source of emotional support or signpost to positive reinterpretation and development
  7. Restraint coping — Prioritizing and waiting for the right time to act on certain things
  8. Accepting certain situations as irreversible, trying to get used to and learning to live with it
  9. Focusing on and venting of emotions
  10. Having a sense of humour because laughter helps to relieve unpleasant emotions

And if none of these help, you can always build your own self care package or #GetPsyndUp to find someone to talk to in your area.

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