I recently put up on my Facebook page a quote from JK Rowling ‘ I have never been remotely ashamed of having been depressed. Never. What’s to be ashamed of? I went through a really rough time and I am quite proud that I got out of that’. It was very popular and I expect it got many likes as many people like myself, can relate to it.
Learning about myself
Of course, I would prefer not to endure the traumatic loss of my Father at an early age or other losses in my life. However, the depression and stress I went through has made me the person I am today. The journey was a difficult one as I lost many friends along the way and I often felt isolated. It was made more difficult by people not understanding or wanting to hear. It was like they did not want to believe my world was not a happy place. However the journey was a rewarding one as I learnt the value of loving myself, the importance of looking after myself and that it is ok to ask for help.
Why I don’t disclose my story in the counselling room
As a counsellor this part of my story is relatively unknown. Not because I don’t think it is important to me. It is. It is because the other important lesson I learnt is the only person who could change anything was me. I believe that my client’s story is unique and they have to find their own way of dealing with their problems and finding their own coping strategies. My story and my ways of coping with depression will not help the client. In fact it would take the focus away from them. Additionally talking about my experiences in the counselling room may be a way for the client to avoid their own issues and feelings.
So many factors lead to depression
The rise of depressed people is increasing and slowly the stigma around it is decreasing. It is hard when are you feeling low and you feel that there is no way to turn or no way to change the situation. Some many different challenges in life can cause depression:
- Loss of a job / work issues / bullying
- Relationship break up
- Family problems
- Disability or injury
- Financial issues including debt
Learn to accept depression
In some ways the list of ways we can become depressed is endless along with the symptoms. I believe that the first thing you have to do is to accept your depression and not to be ashamed of it. Unfortunately there is no magic wand. If you want to feel better, be happier, get over the difficult period and move forward in a more positive way you have to understand that it will take time. There is no quick fix. You need to understand yourself and look at how you react to things. When we are feeling low, it is often easy to react very quickly and negatively to things. If you learn about yourself and try to be in control of yourself, then it will be easier to let go of the things in life that we have no control over.
Learn about you
You can do this through the help of a counsellor or you can do it by yourself. I find a useful way for my clients to try to understand themselves and how they react to things is to keep a diary. Writing your feelings and actions down can help you see them. Writing can also be therapeutic. Have a go at getting to know you! Don’t be ashamed.
If you want to learn ways of coping with depression, look at a previous post on tips to coping with depression.