I’ve suffered from severe depression, so you’ll never find me saying anything else except that it is an illness and one of the worst afflictions anyone can suffer. I know this from personal experience. Before I talk about solutions that come from within I also need to tell you how important seeing a doctor is.
When I was suffering I would wake up each morning with a deep sigh and think “not another day!” I even got to the point where I went out and either wouldn’t speak to my wife or just repeated negative thoughts about how much I hated everything, from where I lived to my own life itself. At times I actually felt like I wanted to die. This is severe depression. It continued for a few years. I got out of it and I’d like to explain how.
First, I saw a doctor, (actually a psychiatrist), even though I didn’t want to. I didn’t believe in taking pills so I objected at first when she suggested I take medication. She pointed out some very useful things to me, such as the extreme mood swings I was suffering from. She also pointed out how ant-social I had become. It also became apparent that I was very angry and blamed others for my depression. I realised that I was blaming where I lived and things outside of me for my feelings and that, in reality, I needed to take responsibility myself for how I felt.
Does any of this sound familiar to you? Maybe you share some of these symptoms? Maybe you find yourself in the same situation? If you do, please read on and I will try to help you…
So how do you get out of depression? Before you read on, please understand that I am not just going to tell you to smile and stop worrying, but I am going to tell you that you need to take responsibility and accept that the cure for your depression lies within you. You are going to need to make a decision and act on it, now. You are going to have to be strong and put some work into this. It will take inner strength and courage and much determination so make the decision to be committed now.
The Nature of Depression
Imagine your depression as a living being, a very destructive little creature who pretends to be your friend, but is not at all. If you listen to him, he can convince you that everything is hopeless and that you are powerless to change things for the better. It’s all a web of lies! Don’t believe any of it. The truth is that this creature is only powerful if you believe what it tells you. Depression is a horribly destructive illness that stops you from being who you are and causes you to doubt yourself constantly. Depression can destroy your joy for life and will ensure that any success and happiness you could be enjoying right now seems a million miles away.
Your weapon against depression is your mind. First you need to promise yourself that you will work to restore belief in yourself. At the moment your self confidence may be shattered and your thoughts filled with self doubts. This is how depression keeps you trapped in its grip. It destroys your self belief and then you believe the negativity in your head. Positive thoughts become impossible. So how do you break free?
In my case, the psychiatrist gave me medication to relax me and allow me time to straighten myself out while free of stress. My mood swings were less violent and this allowed me to work on myself. What I did was to begin to bring positive things into my mind. I put lots of calming and inspirational new age music on my ipod and played it often. This started the process of melting away the blackness in my mind. I also did some meditation and prayed. Gradually with these small steps I noticed positive changes. Others did too.
This first step opened up my mind and body to the possibility of change. Next came the hard work…
How to Start Believing in Yourself
The first step towards believing in yourself is to get to know yourself better. Take time to think about what you really want to do in life, what are your dreams and goals? Become much more self aware.
Make a list of all your positive qualities. This may be difficult if you are depressed, so do this over a few days. Consider even the smallest things. The fact that you are looking for positives is itself a big step in the right direction.
What have you achieved in your life so far? List all your successes no matter how small. Make a list of all the things you are proud of having done.
Now, consider all the problems you have overcome. What difficulties and challenges have you beaten? There will always be successes even if you have chosen to overlook them.
Now comes the step of moving forward and attempting new challenges. Is there a sport that you would like to take up but haven’t because you thought it was difficult or beyond you? It doesn’t have to be a sport, it could be any activity which gets you moving. Look for something that would really inspire you and start as soon as you can. The fact of taking action like this to push yourself will breed confidence as you gain new experience.
Help others and you will soon feel the satisfaction that brings. Helping others is a positive contribution and will help you feel better about who you are.
One of the most important things you can do to start believing in yourself is to make some goals and plan the steps to achieving them. As you succeed with each small step your confidence and self belief will increase.
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Writing can really help you to build your confidence too. Each day in the morning you should write out your goals and what you want to achieve and in the evening before sleeping review in your mind what you did and what went well.
Keeping a journal is another good way to build your confidence. Write the positive things that happen each day and the lessons you learn. Note your feelings and how you are progressing.
Building your self belief is not difficult and is a huge advantage in defeating depression. By believing in your ability to achieve success and by thinking positively you starve depression of the fuel it needs to maintain its power over you and you will soon start winning the battle to escape and enter into a much more happy place.