Living with depression — and especially coping with chronic depression — demands courage over any other virtue: the courage to incorporate the lessons we’ve learned from the past in our strategies for better health in the future; the courage to ask for help when we need it, and to persevere in new directions of healing; and the courage to keep moving through self-defeating thoughts, meeting our pain with compassion, and keeping our body and mind in motion — on the path toward emotional resilience.
If you are like me, you need all the pep talks you can get to practice courage day in and day out. Here are some of my favorite inspirational quotes:
Courage is not the absence of despair; it is, rather, the capacity to move ahead in spite of despair.
– Rollo May
You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say to yourself, ‘I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.
– Eleanor Roosevelt
Ring the bells that still can ring. Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack, a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.
– Leonard Cohen
We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear.
– Martin Luther King, Jr.
Courage is grace under pressure.
– Ernest Hemingway
Excerpt from Psych Central, read the full article here
Depression is a serious clinical illness. Health professionals use the terms ‘depression’, ‘depressive illness’, or ‘clinical depression’ to refer to something very different from the common experience of feeling down, miserable, or fed up, for a short period of time.
The feeling of depression is much more powerful and unpleasant than the short episodes of unhappiness that we all experience from time to time. It goes on for much longer. It can last for months rather than days or weeks. Most people with depression will not have all the symptoms listed here, but most will have at least five or six.
- Feel unhappy most of the time (but may feel a little better in the evenings)
- Lose interest in life and can’t enjoy anything
- Find it harder to make decisions
- Can’t cope with things that you used to
- Feel utterly tired
- Feel restless and agitated
- Lose appetite and weight (some people find they do the reverse and put on weight)
- Take 1-2 hours to get off to sleep, and then wake up earlier than usual
- Lose interest in sex
- Lose your self-confidence and feel useless, inadequate and hopeless
- Avoid other people, feel irritable
- Feel worse at a particular time each day, usually in the morning
- Have suicidal thoughts
Take care, it is common for us to not realise how depressed we are, because it has come on so gradually. We may be determined to struggle on and can often blame ourselves for being lazy or feeble. Other people may need to persuade us that it is not a sign of weakness to seek help.
When should you seek help?
- When your feelings of depression are worse than usual, and don’t seem to get any better.
- When your feelings of depression affect your work, interests and feelings towards your family and friends.
- If you find yourself feeling that life is not worth living, or that other people would be better off without you.
It may be enough to talk things over with a relative or friend, who may be able to help you through a bad patch in your life. If this doesn’t seem to help, you probably need to talk it over with your family doctor.
You may find that your friends and family notice a difference in you and are worried about you.