Ever since I was in high school in the mid 1990s, I’ve had depression. I didn’t know what it was back then, but looking back, I see the symptoms. In my early 20’s, I started taking daily medication for depression and generalized anxiety disorder. Now, I’m 44 and continuing to take daily medication. I’ve been to therapists, exercised, taken supplements, journaled, and more to keep my mental health in a good place. Some years I do better than others.
The past months have been difficult ones for me and my depression. I’ve never really made peace with it, preferring to not think about it or pretend that it doesn’t live nearby. But, in recent months, my depression has taken up residence in my head, and I’ve struggled.
My depression isn’t a friend of mine. In fact, it lies to me all.the.time. Here are some of the lies it tells me and the truths I desperately hold onto during the hardest days.
Lie #1 – Things will always be this way.
Life is always changing. No matter how old you are, you already know this. Hold onto the truth that things change, people change and circumstances change. This includes you! Things around you will change; tomorrow may be a better day.
Lie #2 – You could snap out of this if you try harder or are stronger.
Depression is a disease; it’s not just a sour or sad mood. You can’t snap out of this and make this go away with the wave of a magic wand. You can, however, get better with treatment, help and support.
Depression affects all kinds of people. It has nothing to do with how strong or brave we are. It’s an illness, the same as diabetes, cancer or influenza. It requires treatment.
Lie #3 – No one can help you with this.
Don’t listen to this lie! You are not beyond help, and you deserve help. Maybe you’ve seen a therapist before and it didn’t really help. There are so many different kinds of therapists and practitioners who can help with treatment. There are support groups and call in lines and chat groups you can join. Many of them are free and easy to access! Check out the resources at the bottom of this post.
Lie #4 – You’re all alone, and no one cares about you.
This lie may feel true, but it isn’t reality. Depression is an incredibly isolating illness; it removes us from love and connection. There are multiple people in your life who love and care for you. They are desperate to support you if you’d let them. On the worst days, send one text, one message or make one phone call and you’ll see that you’re not fighting this alone.