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Can I Overcome Depression?

By Rebecca Hall

Overview: Depression is a complex and often misunderstood condition that can significantly impact daily life. In this blog post, we delve into the common misconceptions surrounding depression and explore practical steps to overcome it. From acknowledging the problem to seeking support and practicing self-care, each step is crucial in the journey toward healing. If you or someone you care about is struggling, know that you're not alone, and help is available.

“But that’s just normal, everyone feels that way.” 

My client struggled with getting out of bed every day, but also with falling asleep, with finding any motivation, with feeling down all the time, and with feeling like there wasn’t any hope for her situation. And yet, she still felt she could explain it away, all while blaming herself for not trying harder or finding a way through it. The idea of naming her struggle as depression felt like she would be admitting she wasn’t strong enough to make herself be OK. She didn’t like the idea that she could “be depressed.” 

In Western culture, many of us were raised with the idea that we need to be independent and hardworking, and that if we aren’t able to fix a problem ourselves then maybe we are the problem, particularly with mental health issues. Since most of these are hard to see, it is easy for people to brush them off and dismiss them as a lack of willpower. 

Of course, that’s not true. Mental and emotional health have many more layers than willpower. Just because the problem can’t be seen doesn’t mean it isn’t there. 

Many in our culture also struggle with the stigma of a diagnosis. The idea that they could be diagnosed with a problem seems like it would make the problem worse, rather than better. 

My client did not like the idea of being diagnosed or that she couldn’t just try harder and make her problems go away. I sought to help her to understand that what she was struggling with daily was not what everyone has to cope with daily and at that intensity. Many of the issues that someone with depression is trying to manage are things that we have all felt at some point. But, with depression it is like those issues have multiplied and the person struggles to see a way out of them. Although I reassured my client that what she was trying to manage was too much for anyone, she had normalized it to herself and at the time she couldn’t admit that she needed help. For her, she felt she had to find a way to manage on her own – she was sure she could overcome it by herself.

So, the answer to the question above, “Can I overcome it?” is one of those frustrating “yes and no” answers. Yes, you can overcome depression…but, it would be hard to do completely on your own. Below I will list a few helpful steps that could help in overcoming depression.

Lady jumping in mountains. Reach out to a caring therapist in Marietta, GA today.
Fight back against what's holding you back.

Step 1: Acknowledge that there is a problem. 

Close to 7% of adults in the United States have experienced diagnosable depression. There are also many different kinds of depression: Major Depressive Disorder, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, Seasonal Affective Disorder, Postpartum Depression, and it’s even a result of burnout. 

No one causes themselves to become depressed. There are many causes such as physiological, emotional, mental, and trauma related. If you need help, I encourage you to reach out for it. If you’re reading this, you can contact us and make an appointment! This leads to my second step…

Step 2: Ask for help. 

For anyone experiencing symptoms that might be indicators for depression (see a partial list below) please find help. In the middle of feeling down, this could feel daunting. Leaning on our support system is important when we’re feeling down, but especially when we are depressed. Whether your support system is your friends, family, coworkers, or others, they will want to help you. If it feels too hard to go to them, you could see a therapist. I’m biased, so of course I’m going to say that – but it’s true that we want to help you, too! Dealing with depression is no joke, and the people who care most about you will want you to feel better. 

Medication can also be helpful for many seeking to overcome depression. Many people have concerns about the idea of fixing a problem with a pill. I agree that this should not be the first step. But, when appropriate, medication can be an incredible tool used in the healing process. For those who need it, medication can allow them to feel like they have the space to take the steps they want to take. It can ease the weight or burden they struggle with to allow them to feel more like themselves. Most doctors’ offices now do a brief screening for depression because it’s such a widespread concern. So, don’t be afraid to tell them that you’re struggling, they are equipped to help.

Asking for help is not weak – it takes strength to admit that we might need a helping hand. So, again, I encourage you to reach out for help.

Man with arms extended at beautiful waterfall. Reach out to a caring therapist in Marietta, GA today.
It is never too late to heal.

Step 3: Care for yourself.

Self-care is such a buzzword nowadays, which can be a little bit of a turn off. Even so, taking care of ourselves is important. There are lots of ways to care for oneself – physically, mentally, and emotionally. Caring for yourself has long-term benefits, including feeling better emotionally.

A few practical ideas for self-care:  

  • Make sure you’re eating good-for-you food and not all junk or fast food. 

  • Sleep - take a look at your sleep habits and make some changes in order to get consistently good sleep. 

  • Exercise is important, too – even a five minute walk could lift your spirits a bit.

  • Explore what is enjoyable for you – maybe music, time with friends, going outside, being creative…what do you like to do?

  • For more tips – take a look at my blog on “Self-care vs Selfish”

Step 4: Be kind to yourself.

Remember, it is not your fault that you are feeling depressed. You didn’t cause it to happen.  It’s not continuing because you haven’t done enough. Those are lies – either coming from others or even coming from ourselves at times. You are not the problem. Clinical depression is very hard to heal from on your own. 

With that in mind, be kind in what you tell yourself. We can often be much harder on ourselves than on others. Imagine a friend was struggling and what you might say to them – you would likely encourage them, right? Now, imagine saying those encouraging words to yourself. And, if you can’t find the words to encourage yourself – reach out to those who care about you so that they can encourage you.

I hope that this information will be helpful for you or for someone you care about. Remember, you’re truly not alone in what you’re experiencing. 

“It is well with my soul…” H. Spafford from the song “It is well with my Soul”/”Peace like a River”

“Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

“He will wipe away every tear from their eyes…” Revelation 21:4

Below are some symptoms of depression. If you have been experiencing them for more than a few days, please seek out help in your healing process. You don’t have to try to manage it on your own. 

Symptoms of Depression, over a long period of time (more than a few days)

  • Feeling like happiness is impossible.

  • Everything feels hard to do, even though there are things you want to do.

  • Feeling exhausted from trying all the time.

  • Feeling not just sad but overwhelmingly sad about life.

  • Lacking hope.

  • Feeling numb.

  • Feeling like a burden to others.

  • Feeling lonely all the time.

  • Like going through a fog.

  • Struggling with motivation, all the time.

  • Struggling to think positively.

As a faith-based counselor serving the Atlanta area, it brings me immense joy to walk alongside individuals who are committed to finishing the race of life well. Regardless of where you find yourself on this journey, know that you are not alone. Your desire for healing is both valid and achievable.

I encourage you to think about the things that hold you back in life. What stops you from showing up as the person you want to be? What hinders you from experiencing your relationships in a fulfilling way? When did you start to feel this way?

Once again, it is never too late to heal. It is NEVER too late for you. And God would never give up on you, so don't give up on yourself!

In conclusion, remember this: Your journey toward healing is a testament to your resilience and the unwavering love of a higher power. Embrace it, embrace yourself, and know that the best is yet to come.

Begin Working With A Therapist in Marietta, GA

Please consider reaching out to a qualified therapist. Our team of caring therapists would be honored to offer support with in-person and online services from our Marietta, GA-based practice. You can start your therapy journey by following these simple steps:

Other Services Offered at Remain Connected Counseling

Our team knows you may experience other issues in your life. This is why we are happy to offer a variety of services including teen therapyanxiety treatment, and EMDR therapy. In addition, we also offer life transitions therapy and depression counseling, and more all under a Christian counseling lens. By using online therapy, these services are available to anyone in Georgia. Learn more about our team of dedicated therapists and contact us for more information.

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