I have been wanting to share my experience as a survivor of depression but nothing could really set my fingers to start working with these keypads.
Then few weeks ago, following the development of my niece’s pageant, a question was asked from her: how would you help a person experiencing depression? Her answer was quick and short: A person suffering depression needs someone to listen, and I am willing to listen and give some advice to a person suffering from depression. Immediately after a lively exchage of opinions roused among her sibblings, uncles and aunt. Someone said she gave a wrong answer, someone said she gave the right answer, her uncle said she should have read articles on Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade where it said that seeking a professional help is advised. Me on the otherhand regrets the fact that I fail to prepare my niece on that topic. Through my first hand experience, she could have nailed the Q&A. While my niece and her uncle is right, I still find the answers weak in some point. Here’s why:
1) While having listened to at first is part of the solution, it is not always therapeutic. I find being listened to very helpful only for confirmatory diagnosis. But my depression apart from due to burnt out is also due to some kind of addiction in remembering or relishing hurts and pain. Something similar to a grieving person, where relishing memories of the departed beloved brings the pain of loss. Yet, these repetative speaking of my pain makes me relive my hurts, and consequently increasing the stress hormone thereby aggravating depression. Listening therefore has it’s limit. So I decided to cut this seeking to be listened to and sought for other options.
2) Advice. This is the hard part on people who want to help because in my case, advices becomes a painful experience, since as a depressed person I associate it with a reprimand or rejection of my way of doing things. When I was suffering from depression, I would rather hear positive encouring words and inspiration.
3) Psychiatric help. It helped me a lot in identifying my state of depression but the rest becomes an annoying repetative, “on and off” cycle of talk teraphy. Again, because talking much about my pain only
agravates the situation. Although I am not saying they are useless, what am saying is at this point of time, the science of psychology has not yet fully grasp what works and does not work for every depressed person.
So what helped me get out of being depressed?
I got out through physical activity or exercise particularly biking. Why? Because biking is an exercise that recharged my already depleated happy hormone. Moreover, through sweating it out and good breathing, the production of stress hormone was put to a halt. So everytime am asked how I got out of depression, I answer by finding the physical excercise that I enjoy. Thanks to bicycle 😊