Coping with Depression – The Enemy Within

By Saiyed M. Fauzan Ali

We all know how Demi Lovato overdosed herself in her expensive house and became the punchline for memes because we found relapse to be quite amusing. We talk about Ben Affleck’s drug addiction and how he went into rehab twice. It’s all so funny and entertaining until it gets tragic. Until we read an article about the boy who was found dead with a note in his hand and an empty bottle of pills. Until it’s our friend who hasn’t attended university for two weeks and doesn’t answer our calls. Mental illness can take so many forms. It can be our father who has been returning home for the last two weeks with a gloomy look on his face, or our daughter who hasn’t communicated in days. One day it can be us. Its 1 out of 4 people who are affected by mental illness, but unfortunately we are living in a world where people would come and sign the cast on our fractured hand, they would write hundreds of comments on our Facebook post about the flu we caught last week, but if we tell them we’re depressed they’ll just run the other way. We accept the injury or the illness of our body but neglect the illness of our Brain. This ignorance is the reason why the majority of the world fails to understand mental health.

I haven’t written for almost 3 months I guess, and that’s because of my tight schedule over the past many weeks. It’s probably going to get better in the coming year, but blogging has always been my ardor and so I couldn’t stay away for long.

Let’s talk about depression, and how this enemy slowly drains all our energy, hope and enthusiasm making it difficult to take that step towards a positive change. Depression is a mental illness that has a negative impact on our feelings and behavior. The worst part about depression is that it often begins its attack undetected, and slowly eats you up on the inside. It’s like a parasite that latches on to you and doesn’t let go until it takes away everything – leaving you with nothing but negativity. The symptoms may include loss of interest in favorite activities, inefficient thinking, loss of appetite, loss of energy and often recurring negative thoughts. Some of the tragic life events that we experienced play an important role in the inception or relapse of depression, but sometimes it even runs in the family because many psychologists believe that genetic influences play their part in causing depression. Nonetheless, it can be treated and it should be treated before it gets worse and cause some serious damage.

The first and very common treatment for depression is to workout. If I’m depressed and down, I would walk into the gym, put some heavy load on that bar and start lifting, and I like to call this the ‘Clanging and Banging Treatment’. Workout boosts the feel-good chemical endorphin present in your body and encourages the brain to rewire itself in positive ways. In addition to exercise, healthy eating is also important because it helps cope with depression. Besides, if you focus on getting in good shape – it will change your attitude towards yourself in a positive way, and the early results will encourage you to work hard and become a better version of yourself.

The second piece of advice would be to trigger the fight or fly feeling and challenge your negative thoughts. When we’re depressed, we jump on to negative and worst possible conclusions. The next time you feel depressed, start using logic as a treatment to depression. Reason with yourself and with the time you’ll successfully convince your mind and overcome your depression. My last advice is to talk to somebody who listens and do it as fast as you can. Don’t wait, because if you delay then trust me this disease will conquer your mind and make you do stuff that you’d regret later, or someone in your family will regret because of your actions.

Discuss how you feel, and the cause behind that feeling. There’s nothing in this world that doesn’t have a solution – everything can be solved and rectified. Sharing plays an important role in the treatment of depression or anxiety, and to those people who don’t listen to what somebody has to say about how they feel or how they’re depressed should start listening before it’s too late. If somebody in your household, your brother, your sister, son, daughter, wife, whoever it is isn’t talking then ask them to speak up. Scolding is never the remedy to a problem; communication is the remedy. Tell them that you care, that you understand and you’d find a solution to their problem.

Life is a beautiful gift, so never lose it to some negative thoughts that wouldn’t mean a thing in the next five years. You can fight it, and be confident, healthy and gregarious again.

Until next time, stay safe and positive!!

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– Saiyed M. Fauzan Ali is an MBA/M. Phil specialized in Supply Chain Management and a Certified LSS (USA). The author has recently published a paper in the field of management sciences and has worked in the past as a research analyst and a critical reviewer. He is the founder of The Health Sphere and a fitness and writing enthusiast. You can follow the author on his Linkedin Profile

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