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Depression Do’s & Dont’s

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I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a little psycho. I’m paranoid, I over think, and I stress myself out constantly and unnecessarily. A few days ago, when I wasn’t texted back by multiple people after a significant period of time, I took it way too personally. As time went on and my phone remained dark, I gradually started to wonder if I was annoying my friends. I mean, it was Sunday afternoon; how busy could everyone be? I frequently struggle with my narcissistic obsession of how I rank in people’s lives; I feel like I’m never anyone’s favorite.

I may be a best friend but I’m never the best friend. I may be funny and have an ass hand crafted by the good Lord Himself, but I’m never the one that’s in a Facebook official relationship. I know that this is an incredibly shallow, self absorbed, and miserable way to think about my relationships, and it’s something I’m working on, but it’s very much a part of my reality.

Obviously, I completely overreacted, but I became increasingly upset as time passed. I contemplated staying in my room for the rest of the day, alternating between napping and watching my comfort shows. I was immediately reminded of junior year, and knew that if I didn’t correct my behavior, I’d be right back where I was a few short months ago. I went for a walk, and immediately found my mood elevated, and my thoughts becoming more relaxed and rational.

My junior year of college, I was extremely depressed. I struggle trying to put what I was going through and what I still deal with into words, but the biggest lesson that I learned last year was that depression isn’t something that can be dealt with passively. It’s a daily battle that needs to be fought intentionally and consciously. When you find yourself in a bad place, you can’t stay there. You can’t wallow in self pity. You can’t let it consume you.

When you’re depressed, don’t withdraw to your room. Don’t stuff your face with junk food. Don’t text the person you don’t want to because you’re desperate to feel good about yourself, even temporarily. Don’t put on Netflix. Don’t take a nap. It’s not going to fix anything. When you give into the urges to alienate yourself and self indulge, you sustain your own sadness, and dig yourself a hole that much deeper.

Do homework. Exercise. Go outside. Clean your room. Do your laundry. Do something nice for someone. Get around to doing something you’ve always wanted to do, like start that blog or learn that language. Force yourself to be better than you feel, and you’ll eventually feel much better.

Self pity isn’t self love. Self indulgence isn’t self care. Discipline is. The road to recovery is the one with salads and library trips, not rom coms and buckets of ice cream.

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