Recently I wrote a post on How to overcome Bipolar Depression with advice on ways to help, in this post is a list of things to avoid when you are in depression.
This is because these whilst tempting will make the depression worse.
- Blame yourself. There is absolutely no value in beating yourself up or blaming yourself for being depressed. Depression is caused by a chemical imbalance in the brain, much like diabetes, yet is met with so much more stigma. It is not your fault that you are depressed and nobody, not even you deserves to feel that way.
- Blame others or lash out. Just as depression is not your fault, it is not the fault of others either. You must ensure you don’t take this out on a loved one. It is important for your recovery that you receive love and support and lashing out and blaming other people will limit the amount of support you receive. They will likely push away from you, adding to feelings of guilt and loneliness.
- Over-commit. In depression you are going to be exhausted, your brain shrinks limiting your ability to function. In depression you need to rest. It is important that you do not over commit yourself during these times. In depression I always ensure I have a break between social events, work, housework etc and don’t agree to plans I cannot commit to because of the depression.
- Drink or take drugs. I believe with mental illness it is possible to drink when you are stable and can control and regulate your emotions. In depression however this is not the case, as alcohol and drugs may make you feel better temporarily they will lead to a crash afterwards making the depression even worse. It can also lead to social, legal and financial trouble if your behaviour is out of control which can increase feelings of guilt, loneliness, anxiety and stress.
- Over or Under eat. It is typical for depression to cause changes in appetite, these are usually seen as a lack of appetite and interest in eating or it can also be a-typical and go the other way causing binge eating. The danger of this is that in depression your body and brain need nutrients to function and heal and by not eating you deprive yourself of this opportunity. Similarly if you have a tendency to over eat instead this is likely to include all sorts of junk food which whilst they provide some energy they provide little nutritional benefit.
- Give up. Fighting depression is hard, it is the hardest thing to do, it takes time and perseverance. Do not give up and think you will never beat this because recovery is completely achievable from depression.
- Stop taking medicine. If you have been prescribed medicine for depression it is advisable to continue taking it even if it feels like it is not working. If the medication is new and feels like it is not working give it time and maybe speak to the doctor about increasing the dosage. However if you feel it makes you worse talk to your doctor immediately. If you have been taking them for a while it may be time for a change, the brain will change over time.
- Over or Under Sleep. In depression it is important to get enough sleep to aid your recovery, but too much sleep can lead to feelings of anxiousness and irritability which can worsen the symptoms of depression.