Admit it. There’s a point in our lives where we feel that we could do nothing wrong. We’re energized, we get out of bed, do our morning routine, and eventually proceed with the day feeling outstanding.
But unfortunately, as a normal part in life, we experience low moments as well. While this is a temporary phase, others however, may loathe so low with their emotions and feelings, that they eventually become depressed.
During these times, these comments are usually told to us by our friends, family, relationships, office-mates, acquaintances — you name it.
“It’s only temporary.”
“You’ll get through it.”
“It will pass.”
While it is true that depression is only for a subjective period of time, the duration depends upon the person and the situation they are in. Some scenarios are easier to overcome. Perhaps a few weeks? A few days? While some might take longer.
Perhaps they’ve lost someone they love. Perhaps they’ve reached a career failure. Perhaps they’re at war with someone. Perhaps they’ve been framed or accused of something they didn’t commit.
The environment, support, and the experience, are big factors towards on the individual’s healing process.
Some families support their depressed siblings/children through words of wisdom. Sometimes even telling the stories of their own experiences. Friends might throw a party or simply be there for support.
However, sometimes even with the best support system in the world, it ultimately depends on the person should they be able to get out of it. It is undoubtedly hard.
There are also cases where we try to go beyond our capacity, ignoring our depressed selves and live a life not knowing we are depressed. This could be even considered worse. Why is that?
The person eventually becomes apathetic towards others. They become lost, focused on achieving or accomplishing the opposite of the cause of their depression. It varies.
While this isn’t the case for everyone, it does happen. I’ve mentioned the similar concept in my article before this.
Should you have followed me for a while now, you must’ve noticed most of the content that I write are towards individuals who are experiencing hardships or someone that is eager to learn more about self-development. It can get redundant at times because the concepts are eerily similar.
However, I’ve recently came from a depressive phase that I did not know I was in. Regardless on how I felt a day, or a week before, whether it be happy or excited, I wasn’t really “myself” for the most part.
Sometime during the day, I would eventually collapse and succumb in thoughts of despair.
I overthink. Anxiety kicks in. I try to fight it.
By the time I “thought” I was “okay”, I decided to push through with my work.
Then it happens again.
By this time I knew there was something wrong, I just couldn’t pinpoint it.
I wasn’t accomplishing literally anything anymore. I would start a task, do it for about 15 to 20 minutes, then get hit with this sudden urge to let it go and just collapse.
This isn’t good.
Eventually, it went on from just work to my personal life as well. I would fail to commit my promises to my friends and family. If I try and push myself to do something towards it, I eventually drop down and just want to shut the world out.
Like the example I pointed above, sometimes we push ourselves beyond what we can do rather than understanding how we actually are. Because of this, we end up becoming more obsessed in finishing goals, eventually depriving ourselves of who we really are.
The goal of this article is to help identify ourselves should we be actually “depressed” in a way that we are unaware of. I’ll also share my personal experience and methods that I suggest that could help you ignite that “fire” that drove you before.
This also works should you be aware of yourself being depressed.
Personally, I’m not the most emphatic person out there. Should you ask our team, I could be considered the most cold-hearted, apathetic, and emotionless person should an objective be needed to be accomplished.
This is something I eventually realized that is hindering my progress towards my own understanding of myself and how to be a better leader.
I’m an advocate of self-development. Despite having my “lost” days, I always try to introspect and identify how am I personally doing. Eventually identifying ways on how I can better myself in the process.
Depression has a rather different story than most of what I’ve experienced.
Throughout this year, I’ve encountered numerous highs and lows. Everyone does.
I would get anxiety attacks. The added lack of sleep, unhealthy diet, and the already-existing-issues that I had didn’t help at all.
Yet, even during those times of hardships (Yes, I’m talking to you Easter AR project and salf), I kept on trying to push myself to do more work.
In the end, I did accomplish what is needed of me. I’ve done my responsibilities, I’ve finished my tasks. It was good.
But deep inside, those experiences compounded.
Every anxiety. Every low moment. Every period of depression that I experience.
I kept shrugging it off.
As time passes by, it kept on compounding. My efficiency dropped. I had to look for ways where I believe I could better myself.
I thought I was burned out — which I was at the time. But despite week-long breaks, new passion projects, and better companionship, I would still drop down at least once a day.
Yet I still kept on shrugging it off. But the experience was becoming more severe as days go by.
A few months ago I was still able to do work. But now? I haven’t been as active as I has been. Despite the high moments that came through that period, I would still fallback into that process of despair.
It kept on happening. I kept on shrugging it off. Believing that I am “okay”, yet later on falling back to what I’ve felt earlier.
Until one day, I finally can’t work.
I don’t know what’s wrong.
I don’t feel depressed. I feel normal. Yet I just don’t want to function anymore. There ware no reasons behind it. Even now, I can’t fully explain the experience.
Imagine yourself waking up, with no hopes of doing anything whatsoever.
I just felt, numb.
Days passed. It was still the same. I would literally not do anything.
I would try and read articles. Try starting a project. Watch videos online. Even play video games.
Nothing. I just felt, empty.
From this point, I finally knew there was something wrong.
“Am I depressed? Am I burned out?”
Yet I was absolutely feeling fine. I know the feeling of being depressed and having anxiety attacks. It wasn’t that.
Then it hit me.
What if I’m actually depressed, but I just don’t know it.
Getting over it
This is a complicated topic.
There can never be “one answer” towards healing our own depression. At its worse form, we may even be happy and is unaware. This makes everything more complicated.
Yet in my experience, there were phases that happened before I ultimately got out of it. It may vary from person to person, but I do suggest you try it as well.
1. Acknowledge there’s an issue
One of the biggest problems that I had when understanding if I had a problem, was that I was always too quick to disregard what I felt and immediately reacted with an offensive strategy to get work done.
As I’ve said numerous times before, I’m someone that loves personal development content. Despite that, I kept on disregarding what I’ve felt despite encouraging people to understand themselves more. I was arrogant.
I’m certain someone else is too as well.
Start by acknowledging yourself that something is wrong, and you need to do something about it. We cannot let our own arrogance nor emotions be the best of us. We will always lose ourselves if we don’t even try and listen to ourselves.
Acknowledge that there is a problem. Do not embrace it, say “it will be okay”, and do nothing to improve it.
2. Figure out how everything started
When we start a career, venture, or a passion project, we were all energetic when it was initializing.
When I was starting this path of entrepreneurship, all I wanted was to inspire people. I wanted to be different. I wanted to be that person that someone can look up to and rely on.
Of course as years passed, things change. Actual experience changes us and defines our current view of things. Yet, we must never forget on how we started. Without that feeling in the beginning, we wouldn’t have gotten here in the first place.
3. Imagine and feel those early moments
What did it feel like? Were you happy? Were you achieving what you wanted? Did people admire what you were doing?
These questions raised in my head as fast a bullet when I started reminiscing on the past.
I breathed in. Breathed out.
Honestly? It felt amazing.
As I’ve said above, our perceptions change based on what we’ve experienced in life. This means that our expectations, or rather almost anything when we started, is different than it is today.
Once you start remember the past and how it all began, indulge yourself in a roadtrip to nostalgia-land and embark on a journey of feelings and emotions.
This helps clear out our mind.
Let everything out. If you feel like crying remembering the past, let it out.
4. Watch or listen to related stories
The advice that other people give us can truly do wonders in helping ourselves.
When I finished remembering my roots, I decided to read articles again.
But, here’s the thing.
Sometimes the best advice that we can hear to help us, isn’t one that we expected in the beginning.
I found myself not really caring about the context of articles surrounding mental health to be helpful. So I went on to YouTube and watched a video about entrepreneurship.
I decided to watch this video of Patrick Bet David. I’m a big fan and I’ve been following his content for over a year now. His video “14 Strategies to Beat Your Competition as an Entrepreneur” definitely helped me.
Through this video, he was discussing ways on how to be “the best of the best” and “taking down Goliath”. The lesson of the video is that if you want to constantly improve yourself, challenge yourself to take on the big people or companies in your field. The strategies that he points out are just methods on how you can take on the “Goliath”.
This video helped me identify more ways on how I can succeed with my goals. Since my goal is to inspire people, I need to keep on pushing and developing myself. This helped clear my mind and focus on the important things.
5. Take baby steps
Lastly, once you’ve done the steps above, take baby steps.
Remember the reason why you started doing this in the first place? Do something small that will get you there.
I started my baby steps by listing down my goals for the year while listening to some podcasts. From there, I knew something good was about to happen.
The goal of this process is to help you acknowledge that there is an issue happening with yourself. As I’ve said numerous times above, I always kept on disregarding what I’ve felt and pushed myself to do work, disregarding how I initially felt — and this is coming from someone that keeps writing self development articles (talk about the irony).
While this may not work 100% for everyone, I’m certain it can be a stepping stone towards your own journey of breaking free from depression.
Should you have made it this far, kudos. I really appreciate the time you’ve took to read this all throughout.
Am I better today? Have I “refueled my fire”?
The best part about it is, I become more aware of myself and how am I feeling. This can help me adjust circumstances to have the best result in every action possible.
Because of this, I am also able to identify should someone be in the same exact process. Sometimes, we might have a friend that is always smiling and happy, but deep down that person is going through something. Maybe he’s even unaware of it.
I hope I gave you insight on how we can help other people get through depression and give their life more meaning.
One of my personal goals is to help encourage people to express themselves and their emotions. We need to break the stereotypes when it comes to our personal feelings and how we should view them.
Mental Health is an important aspect that we should always take care of. We must always be aware of ourselves to actively be better in what we do, and how we can be an example to others.