Tue, 13 December 2016
Many of us have been depressed, know someone depressed, or will become depressed at some point during our life. There has long been a stigma around depression which prevents us from having an honest conversation on the topic.
In the early 2000's, after college, I was clinically depressed. It was the lowest point in my life. It took a lot of hard work to survive it, but I am better for that work I put in back then. This episode is a big milestone for me. Rather than just talking about how much success that podcast has given me (it has), I wanted to open up to help others authentically heal. If this episode isn't for you, no worries! I get it. But if you want to learn more about mental health, I hope you get something from this one.
This is my 101st episode, and I wanted to take the time to get personal.
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When dealing with depression, I created a 5 step framework for how to pull yourself out of the rut:
1) Find allies - Find your true friends and family who will help you get through your dark spell. You need people whom you trust to become your advocates and support network. Find atleast one person to become your confident. This is someone who you want to support you during your dark periods.
2) Eliminate negative people - When you're depressed you're feeling low. You need people to pump you with oxygen, not take it away. Old friends from high school, college, work or growing up can sometimes be negative forces that don't help us rise up. If your family is a bad influence on your mood, take a break.
3) Find an activity for introspection - When you're dealing with bouts of depression, find an activity to get your though the period. Yoga, meditation, training for a race, biking, etc. are activities to help. Many depressed people want to be alone, so embrace that feeling, and look inward during that experience.
4) Heal by seeking professional help - Find someone to help you. A life coach, business coach, therapist or anyone who can give you outside professional help can fill this roll. I'm not advocated hiring a $200 an hour therapist. If you are depressed and need a business coach to find a better job, or you are in a bad relationship and want a life coach to help you, or you're bummed and maybe need medicate - it doesn't matter. Find a professional!
5) Create Structure by Joining a community - Depression can happen after your graduate from high school, get laid-off or break-up with your significant other. Why? Because the structure, support and habits from those experiences go away. Once you leave a supportive environment like school or work, you looks that personal infrastructure that we need to thrive in a group environment. Work, school, a class, or any group activity will help you through this stage of darkness.