A week ago I shared how depression affects our physical health. If left untreated or unresolved, depression can help to cause joint/limb pain, heart disease, certain cancers, coordination issues, and even brain disorders. The effectiveness of traditional antidepressants is under heavy debate and they do not work for everyone. I am not here to debate this issue. The one thing that is clear is the effectiveness of lifestyle change and healthy coping skills. What does that mean though? How does someone actually live happy and fulfilled and still have problems, stress, events that cause sadness, and a past?
There are people who do not recognize that they are suffering from depression and think it is normal to have a dim outlook, persistent sadness, irritability, and other potentially unhealthy practices. Again, it is not wrong to have depression, irritability, or sadness. As humans we will experience life events that bring sadness. The longer we stay there however the more it will affect our overall health and ability to function. I believe that everyone wants to be happy, healthy, and fulfilled but may not know how. I sure did not for the first 35 years of my life. Having the self-awareness to recognize when depression is creeping in is vital to recovery from depression. Irritability, sadness (even mild), and persistent feelings like you have been done wrong by the world are important to recognize as soon as possible. As we have learned through research, lifestyle change is highly effective in recovering and preventing relapse in depression. What is that though? Does that mean you have to run marathons, do military boot camp training, eat like a rabbit, or sit in a circle with others? No to all of these! While that works for many, it may not work for everyone. What does work however for everyone is the recognition that change is needed and it may be a tough road, but can be done. Change is never easy but for me and so many others who now manage our depression in a healthy way, it is SO WORTH IT! Please recognize if you are suffering from depression and seek help if necessary. Everything we do ultimately will have an impact on us and those who love us. In the coming weeks, I will share how many of us are managing our lives differently than we used to and how much life has changed for the healthier and happier. It began for all of us with the self-awareness that change is needed. And it can for you too. Move forward. BE YOUR OWN MIRACLE!