Fighting depression is a tough battle. It’s completely possible to do it and come out triumphant on the other side, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy! You have to work for it to overcome depression, and sometimes that can mean quitting deeply ingrained habits that are holding you back or setting you up for failure. It can be a challenge, but it’s worth it in the end to improve your mental health. Here are some common habits you might have that could be working against you as you fight your depression.
There’s a pretty strong link between high levels of social media usage and poor mental health. Using social media often encourages you to compare yourself to others and become bitter and jealous, wreaking havoc on your mental health. You can do yourself a lot of favors by cutting down your social media usage and controlling what comes across your feeds. Block accounts that you notice tend to make you feel worse, and set strict time limits for yourself about when you can use social media and for how long. You’ll feel better for it!
Substance use like drinking and smoking often go hand in hand with depression. People turn to these things to help them numb out and lessen the emotional pain of the disorder, but using substances often has the opposite effect over time. Not only can you become dependent or addicted, leading to even more problems down the line, but the low of life crashing in once the substance wears off can leave you feeling much worse. If you have the capability to quit completely, then do it! If not, start by looking for ways to cut back and control your substance usage, and if you suspect you may be slipping into abuse or addiction, seek help right away.
One of the most depressing parts of depression is feeling like a shell of your former self. For a lot of people, a big factor in this feeling is their inability to accomplish things the way they used to be able to. Feeling like you wasted a day not getting anything done isn’t going to do much good for your mental health. However, it’s important to recognize that depression is a disorder that you can’t control, and you have nothing to feel bad for if it keeps you from accomplishing your goals the way you’d like to. Instead, try to focus on setting attainable goals that you know you can hit, even on your bad days, and not beating yourself up for the days when you aren’t at your best.
Repression and Withdrawing
The sadness that comes with depression can be overwhelming and difficult to talk about, leading many people to bottle up or shove down what they’re feeling in favor of either ignoring it or putting on a show that everything is fine. However, this only prolongs the problem. Those feelings are going to be expressed one way or another, and repressing them or withdrawing from your loved ones and support system will likely just lead to an emotional explosion later on. Instead, try journaling, expressing yourself in smaller doses, or seeking out therapy as a way to release your emotions and start feeling better.
Your self esteem takes a major hit when you’re going through depression, partly because of the way the disorder affects your mind and the way you think about yourself and talk to yourself. Do you ever notice that you’re berating yourself mentally, dwelling on your shortcomings and any feelings of worthlessness you might have? That’s a habit that deserves to be kicked! It can be hard to shift directly from negative to positive thoughts, so for a while, focus on neutral thoughts. Instead of beating yourself up for not getting the dishes done, try focusing on what you did get done for the day, and reminding yourself that you did your best and are taking care of your mental wellbeing, even if that means not checking everything off the to-do list.
Seeking out treatment for depression can be the next step in your healing process. If you’ve tried traditional treatments without much success, TMS might be a good fit for you! Learn more about the treatment here.