How to get out of depression with our own strength

When it comes to depression, the question that most often arises is whether it is possible to get out of it without medication. This is because the use of psychiatric drugs is often seen as a demanding cure, with many possible side effects and a robust psychological impact. In this article we intend to present the issue in the most honest and objective way possible, addressing depression both from a clinical and mental/psychological point of view and offering the tools within our reach to fight depression with our own strength.

Depression is a mood disorder characterized by different sensations: sadness, loss of interest and a sense of pleasure, low self-esteem, lack of energy, feeling of helplessness and apathy, which often translate into specific physical symptoms and anxiety conditions. and fear. It is important to point out that depression is a disorder that is diagnosed by a specialist doctor, typically a psychiatrist. Drug therapy is an important help, especially in the most serious cases of depression, because it acts on the physical symptoms that often represent an obstacle to improvement. At the same time, it is essential to fight the depression inside our heads, because that is where the most important game is played: the one that allows us to get out of it in an active way,

We will not dwell here on the pharmacological aspect of the treatment for depression: it is up to the guidance of a good psychiatrist, and must be managed with the utmost honesty, making patients present how we feel and helping them to measure the therapy on us in a personalized way. What we will focus on is the aspect that usually cares most for those suffering from depression, which is to understand what we can do to get out of it more quickly. With an important assumption: since depression is a disorder of the psyche, the expert figures to treat it remain psychiatrists and psychotherapists, who can combine dedicated pharmacological and psychological therapy, case by case. However, being helped by a coach can also give the healing process an edge. Let’s see how.

In order to focus on the improvements that can be achieved through our actions and our strengths, it is useful to refer to the way in which psychology has studied depressive disorders over the years. According to the insights reached in the psychological field since the 1960s, alongside the purely biomedical aspects related to depression, it is essential to see this discomfort as a cognitive disorder: depression is a malfunction of our conscious thinking. From a psychological point of view, very often behind depression, there is no problem of an unconscious nature to be solved, for which one has to dig, identify knots and go through a long process of analysis. It is more useful to start from the opposite assumption: there is nothing “behind” the depression. Depression is nothing but its symptom.

Let’s explain it better: when we are depressed, we feel, for example, that we are not worth much, that we are unable to take pleasure in the things that used to make us feel good, that we are unable to live in a normal way like everyone else. When we think about all these things, it is important to see these beliefs not as the consequence of an unconscious problem to be solved, but as a pure anomaly of our conscious thinking. An anomaly that can be fought by acting on those thoughts, making an effort to change them. By acting on the pure aspects in which depression manifests itself, that is, on our beliefs, on the ways in which it leads us to see things. Gradually, as we learn to shape thinking differently, we lessen the symptoms of depression. And in most cases, we find that besides the symptom there is nothing. This is the conceptual basis of the so-called “cognitive therapy”, an approach that in the 1960s caused a stir and resistance among psychotherapists, convinced that if the unconscious source of depression had not been identified, it would have returned in other forms. The research of those years showed that very often this is not the case, and therefore we can fight depression simply by focusing on how it manifests itself in our way of thinking. This, in terms of self-efficacy and self-esteem, is an ideal solution, as it leads us to come out of it with the feeling of having made it on our own. convinced that if the unconscious source of depression had not been identified, it would have returned in other forms. The research of those years showed that very often this is not the case, and therefore we can fight depression simply by focusing on how it manifests itself in our way of thinking. This, in terms of self-efficacy and self-esteem, is an ideal solution, as it leads us to come out of it with the feeling of having made it on our own. convinced that if the unconscious source of depression had not been identified, it would have returned in other forms. The research of those years showed that very often this is not the case, and therefore we can fight depression simply by focusing on how it manifests itself in our way of thinking. This, in terms of self-efficacy and self-esteem, is an ideal solution, as it leads us to come out of it with the feeling of having made it on our own.

The best way to cognitively deal with depression is through an expert on that approach. There are specialized psychologists and psychotherapists who use cognitive therapy to fight depression. Personally, as a life coach, I often work on enhancing our cognitive skills, thinking efficacy, setting practical and feasible growth goals and orientation to action, and this is exactly the kind of work that can help regain control over our natural abilities and our lives, with effective and evident results, even in a short time. If you feel that this is what you need right now, contact me and let’s find out together how I can help you.

Let’s look at some general advice that can help put us in the right perspective to heal from common forms of depression.

  • Don’t focus too much on the physical symptoms: if you suffer from depression, you are likely to constantly feel stomach discomfort, changes in your heart rate, insomnia, agitation, tiredness, and nervousness. These are all strictly physical/physiological symptoms. And although they can be blockers for quiet living, although we can perceive them as heavy weights that prevent us from being well, only the purely physical aspect of the problem remains. They can be mitigated in various ways, possibly also involving the use of drugs, or relaxing herbal products. But mentally, it’s important not to focus too much on them. It is a single aspect of the problem. We try to concentrate the mental energies where they can be more important, that is in the improvement of the mechanisms (practical and mental) that make us live badly.

 

  • Recognize mental obstacles: in conditions of depression, we often become convinced of not being able to return to normal, of not being able to do the things that were natural to us before. This is a conviction that we developed when the first difficulties arose, and as long as we are convinced it will be more difficult to get out of it. Faced with the conviction of not being able to do it, let’s put ourselves to the test instead. With a gradual, progressive, not excessively challenging path of “recovery to normality”, capable of proving to ourselves that we can take practical steps every day, one longer than the previous one. This in practice can translate into doing things again that made us feel good before, in overcoming the fear of not being able to do something anymore (by doing it in practice), in contradicting the belief that they do not love us or that we are alone. These are fears that can be refuted in practice. With a little commitment, in progressive steps, heading towards the situation that would prove the groundlessness of fears, we feel better. And we work on the symptom, as we have already said.

 

  • Take the time you need: there is a big problem related to the conditions of depression, especially when you are not used to this condition and you are full of desire and energy to get out of it. What happens is that we are in an immense rush to heal as soon as possible. To be able to return to our natural function as individuals, to be able to pursue our goals again, to be able to feel normal again. And this haste very often results in powerful anxiety attacks. Anxiety which, among other things, feeds on itself, because we perceive anxiety as a symptom of depression and we feel once again far from the way out. From this point of view, it is better to think differently. Remembering first of all that depression is not a permanent condition, but seeing it as a limited period that, once it runs its course, will go away. And then giving ourselves the right time to heal. A time that we can also define in an abstract way and let it pass without judging ourselves. So as not to agree with the anxiety of lengthening the healing time. Have we been depressed for a few weeks and can’t wait to get out of it? Ok, instead of expecting to improve tomorrow, let’s give ourselves another three or four weeks, let’s work on our heads and on the right therapies and for this period we forget any judgment or measure of improvement. Let’s silence the judging/measuring voice in us for those three or four weeks and forget about it. We use those weeks to focus on where we can really do something, which is to take practical steps for improvement and change the way we think. And then we’ll make a point at the end of the period. If the anxiety comes back, let us remind them that we are working to solve the problem. And we are indulgent with ourselves. It is the best way to remove internal obstacles to healing.

 

  • Focus on small, progressive improvements: we clearly identify how depression has altered our lives. Are we no longer able to go out and see friends without fear? Don’t we feel like getting out of bed in the morning? Don’t we take pleasure in doing what used to make us feel good? Do we feel more alone than before? These are all possible things, and all things we can act on. If we are afraid of not being able to go out as before, we define a simple goal for the next day (for example “go out the front door and stand there for five minutes, then come back”) and show ourselves that we can do it, and then set a slightly higher goal for the next day. If we don’t enjoy certain activities, we use logic and rationality and remind ourselves why we liked that thing so much, and then move on to convince ourselves that the underlying reason, the one that resides in our personality and in our motivations, cannot be gone overnight. If we feel lonely, we identify a first-person we would normally like to see and make an effort to contact and see them. And so on. We break down each problem into simple gradual steps and try every day to ourselves that we can improve. With the energy that comes from those satisfactions, we will move closer to healing every day. We break down each problem into simple gradual steps and try every day to ourselves that we can improve. With the energy that comes from those satisfactions, we will move closer to healing every day. We break down each problem into simple gradual steps and try every day to ourselves that we can improve. With the energy that comes from those satisfactions, we will move closer to healing every day.

 

  • Ask for help: Being depressed is no joke, so we don’t need to feel ashamed or embarrassed in needing the help of others. Let us be followed by a professional guide, keep close friends and relatives who represent effective aids, and do not try too hard to prove to ourselves that we do not need anyone. Let’s focus on getting out of it as soon as possible, and with that in mind, it’s best to have all the help we can get. At some point, it will come naturally to think we can get by on our own, but until that moment has arrived, let’s allow ourselves a period in which we rely on external help, preferably an expert, such as a specialized psychologist/psychotherapist/ Psychiatrist who is attentive to our situation. , or like other help figures who have been shown to be effective in treating depressive symptoms, as I have personally found in practice as a life coach. These are the general suggestions. The rest is part of the treatment of specific cases and must be addressed in a dedicated way, through a personalized path. So if you feel you have entered a condition of depression and feel you want to do something concrete, tangible, with the use of your natural forces, take this article as a general perspective to keep in mind to direct that energy. And if it’s not clear how these principles apply in your situation, contact me and let’s talk about it. We will find out pretty quickly if the cognitive approach is as effective for you as it has been for many others, or if you need to take a different approach. The first step to finding out is to put it into practice and measure its effects.