How Does Major Depression Affect Someone?
Major depression is completely debilitating. And I’m not just talking about elements of general fatigue, burn out or procrastination as major depression can even interfere with smallest and simplest of daily tasks. It can literally stop you in your tracks and completely paralyse you on the spot. Plus, major depression can stem from life circumstances or for no clear reason – And that’s okay!
Anyway, I remember sitting in a psychology class one day and my teacher explained that depression can be so severe at times that it can even prevent someone from getting out of bed and making a simple cup of tea in the morning. Then, I thought that this was utterly insane and that it was rare for depression to be that crippling, until my depression worsened a few years ago which is also co-morid with PMDD (Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder) that I suffer with.
What makes suffering from major depression even more difficult is the negative stigma that comes with it…
The Stigma That Comes With Major Depression
Depression is more understood these days, but major depression which leaves you unfunctionable isn’t. It’s often mistaken for as laziness, ignorance and even simply not wanting to change. But the truth is, when depression becomes that severe and debilitating, you simply don’t have the mental and physical resources to cope. For instance, attempting every little task appears is like equivalent of attempting to climb mount Everest. Plus, you feel like you’re surrounded by water and drowning and everything is just too overwhelming.
Another issue with major depression is that it’s still not recognised as to how debilitating it can be. For instance, it can be just as debilitating as having a physical disability or a broken leg. But you can’t take time off work due to a depressive episode, you can’t just take time out when you need to. Plus, people even struggle to claim government support due to physical assessments being the gold standard of measuring work capability. So the grief, struggle and pain feels disenfranchised, it makes people feel like that they don’t have the right to receive any help needed or to feel this way.
My Personal Experience With Major Depression & Tips
So I’ve written a blog post to help those who suffer from severe depressive episodes. Because trust me, I’ve been there a million times. And when things get bad, I’ve struggled to eat, leave my bed and even use the toilet when I’ve needed to during those severe episodes.
Now I’m going to keep the tips very clear, concise and brief as many severely depressed people may not have the attention span to read through long posts. So feel free to even scan these or stick to the headings. Some may sound ridiculous and even useless during a time of crisis but also trust me on this one, small steps make a HUGE difference. I hope that these help and enjoy!
1. Make Your Bed Once You Wake Up Everyday
This one sounds very ridiculous and overwhelming for some. But for some reason when I make my bed as soon as I wake up, it sets a positive tone to my day. Because even if depression swallows you up and you end up spending the day back in bed you can tell yourself at least one positive thing that you’ve achieved – And that’s having made your bed!
I also know that this is a very small step and it feels like it won’t make an inkling of a difference. But since I’ve started doing this, it has made me feel more clear headed and positive each day, even on the really bad ones. Plus, it freshens up and makes your bed more comfy when you’re having those bed days and need to temporarily shut off from the world.
2. Whatever You Do, Don’t Fight Major Depression!
As I’ve said before, major depression is crippling, draining and debilitating. You already don’t have the energy and resources to cope and actively fighting depression will result in those feelings of exhaustion being exacerbated. Yes, I know this sounds counterintuitive but you need every ounce of energy that you need to recover, so don’t burn yourself out anymore. Just let the depression be for the time being.
I also compare major depression to swimming or drowning. For instance, the more you fight and struggle, the more you’ll sink. If you relax and try to go with it, you have more chances of survival and recovery. You can fight the good fight when you’re ready and then, you’ll have the strength to win.
3. Avoid Too Much External Stimuli & Sensory Overload
You may be tempted to binge on Netflix, scroll on social media or read some books. But when severe depression hits this can make you feel overwhelmed, irritable and more depressed.
For instance, when you’re faced with too much noise and blue artificial lights, this can worsen those feelings and in turn make you feel more overwhelmed and stuck. So make sure to turn on a blue light filter, limit computer uses and try to stay in a completely quiet and dim environment.
Now, I may also add that I strongly believe that abruptly opening someone’s curtains and pulling off the duvet covers when someone’s depressed is a terrible idea. Because of the very reasons I explained above, it almost removes their safety net and can actually make it worse rather than better.
4. Stock Up on Vitamins & Meal Replacements
This also may sound like it won’t make much difference but I’ve noticed a crystal clear relationship between mood, nutrition and diet. But you may struggle to eat while feeling majorly depressed or be tempted to eat junk food which is why I recommend supplements.
Feroglobin Liquid Iron
The very first supplement that I would recommend are iron supplements. Feroglobin liquid iron by Vitabiotics usually helps me a lot during bad phases. Plus, if you’re struggling with working up an appetite, increasing your white blood cell count will help with this. This supplement tastes great and I actually swear by this stuff!
Iron also contributes to the production of dopamine in the brain, so without it, your mood WILL be affected. Plus, you don’t have to have full blown anaemia symptoms to have an iron deficiency.
There are also many sources showing the link between iron deficiencies and depression here in more detail if you want to have a read.
Complan Meal Replacements
I recommend stocking these up for when things get bad. Because it can be incredibly hard to eat, function and keep your nutrition up. Plus, these are the ONLY things that have actually helped me to nourish my body and get back on track. They’re choc full of vital vitamins and nutrients too unlike those generic protein shakes.
Also, severe depression not only can make you lose your appetite, it can also make you feel a little nauseous. So they’re absolutely ideal if you’re struggling to eat anything solid.
There are 4 different flavours of the shakes and a chicken soup option. All of them taste really good but I’d recommend the original one as it’s the best value for money and tastes identical to the vanilla flavour sachets.
Vitamin D & B12
Not only is vitamin D good for boosting the immune system, it’s also great for boosting your mood. Because this also contributes to the production of serotonin and dopamine – Which are commonly low in those who suffer from major depression.
There’s also a link between vitamin B12 and serotonin. Vitamin B12 also helps to absorb other vitamins and regulate the production of serotonin therefore stabilising your mood.
With both of these I highly recommend purchasing from the brand Lindens. They’ve always worked for me and have helped me through bad patches. So I will include links to these and the other products below!
5. Recognise That Major Depression Is The Biggest Liar & Deceiver!
Major depression can be one of the most evil, deceiving and manipulating liars. It can blind you from your worth, blessings and very own potential. Also, depression will lie and make you believe that you’re not lovable or deserve happiness.
Self-awareness is the key to ignoring these thoughts and giving them less power. But the trouble is that many people believe that negative thoughts are realistic, especially during the midst of a depressive episode. So one way to differentiate the two is to compare the thoughts to a the thoughts you had during a time where you felt like everything was okay.
Practicing gratitude is a very difficult thing but it will go an extremely long way. Because even recognising the smallest blessings is a big step because depression completely blinds you from seeing them.
6. And Remember: If All You Did Was Survive Today, That’s Okay!
Celebrating those small achievements really make a difference. But if you didn’t manage to reach those goals, that’s absolutely fine too. Because it’s living with and battling major depression which is the hard part. In fact, it’s the biggest achievement and victory of them all.
Because depression makes you strong minded and resilient. It makes you a true warrior and survivor!
Also, if you know anyone with major depression I hope that these tips help. I also would love to hear your thoughts and anyone’s experiences with major depression in the comments below.
Thanks for much for reading!