I dislike articles that generalize everyone else with the reader’s own experience, so I will write what I have personally experienced after battling severe depression on a few different occasions.
1) Those Feelings Didn’t Just “Go Away”
It takes a lot of fighting and a hell of a lot of work to get to a place where you just feel okay rather than terribly depressed or dangerously suicidal. It sounds like the worst piece of advice to hear while you’re still suffering, but the only way to get out of depression is to fight it with all you’ve got. Tell yourself what your dreams were before you became mentally tortured and then fight for them. Battle for what will be, even if you don’t think there will be anything. Because I assure you that there will be something much better for you than depression and its side effects!
I moved great distances and chased a few different opportunities so that I could get away from the bad environment that made me want to end my life. When I finally got to a better place, the depression would creep in again sometimes, but the difference from before was that I had a better environment to live in and my own solitude to fall back on.
2) Choosing Where You Live Is Essential.
I think more focus should be made on what really makes an individual jive. We’re still taught as children and young adults that living and being a certain way is better than other ways that may actually make us happier. Your living space must work for you. Most of my own depression was actually rooted in the house/houses I was living in, and then each new problem or situation would just snowball, because I was literally left exposed and vulnerable. If your place of residence is driving you up the wall, or if you live with people who do not respect you or your lifestyle, then I highly recommend that you get out. Your mind will be immensely grateful for it.
Do you feel stuck? Then make an escape plan: Figure out your finances and start looking for affordable housing. Ask a friend or family member if you can even crash with them until you feel better. You’ll probably find that it’s easier to get out of your toxic living arrangement than you thought. 🙂
3) My Mind Is Stronger
I wouldn’t wish severe depression on anyone, but a reward for those who have experienced it and have been able to beat it is this: There’s a certain mental strength that befalls those who claw their way up the slippery hill to emotional survival. It is not an easy journey, especially when you’ve had multiple bouts of depression/suicidal ideations. In my case, after I finally survived the worst of my depression, my mental resiliency became pretty high. Things just don’t bother me as much as they used to.
I think a lot of this is a defense mechanism. Your brain knows how badly you will feel if your mood and emotions slip too far, so you may notice that mean friends or bad life situations won’t kill you as much as they used to. Even if those dangerous thoughts return, it’s been much easier to shut them down and then quickly do something that I enjoy.
I am a fighter, and I won’t let one bad person or a stupid situation get me down for very long. You are a fighter, too.