Scenario 1 – “One day – you don’t feel like leaving your bed. It is your working day but you ignored the alarm and continued to sleep. The curtains of your room are still unopened and no force can make you leave bed today. Somehow by 2 pm, you managed to leave your bed. You are not feeling hungry, but as wired to eat lunch daily at 2 pm, you take out some bread – butter, make a basic sandwich and start having it. You are lost somewhere and you didn’t finish the sandwich. You lie on your bed again browsing some internet content. Here comes another nap. You wake up again. Weird feeling- you want to cry but you aren’t able to. You are not feeling to reply to any pending texts on your phone.
This goes on for a week now. There is no fever. There are no allergies or inflammation but you are still feeling like a moving dead corpse. Your work is piling up and you are procrastinating it further.
It has been a month. You have lost like good 8-10kg of your bodyweight. People asking you if everything is okay and you don’t know what to answer them. You used to write a lot but your blog is pending since then because whenever you pick up your laptop you just cannot focus. Your tinder matches are awaiting your reply. It is a feeling like everyone is moving forward in their lives and you are stuck and you have no idea why. It is a weird kind of emptiness. There seems no purpose any further and you are already thinking about to end everything!
Read further if you can relate to this.
First of all, I am not a clinical psychologist or some therapist. You can take my advice as and however you want. I write based on my personal experiences and through research.
Depression or the ‘mood disorder’ can happen to anyone. It can happen to rich successful people, to people with happy family, to someone who lost his or her loved one, to someone who is broke, to someone who is physically unfit or to someone with content relationship. If not acknowledged on time, it can ruin your life and life of people who are close to you because everyone expects you to ‘talk’ and when you leave things unsaid, unwritten and unanswered to someone, it haunts them for their entire life.
Let me get on point directly. There are several ways which you can fight with this ‘mood disorder’. There are several mental switches which you need to make yourself able to fight with this. Let’s talk about them one by one with examples, situations and studies.
The very first thing to do is to acknowledge and become self aware of the issue you are facing. Do not be in denial. If you can consult with other people who are aware about such issues – talk to them. Living in a denial only multiplies the problem and it becomes very difficult in the end. There are several medical quiz and tests which can help you to understand it. Google and Justdial can help. You will be able to understand my tips to fight it only after acknowledging your problem otherwise they would be of no help.
- Get Sunlight or Vitamin D: Let’s go back a little. Our up bringing in India was mostly consisted of ‘fairness cream’. We always thought and tried to be ‘fair’ or ‘light skinned’ and for same reason we avoided sunlight as much as we could because who wants a tanned skin. Now this became our subconscious habit. Whenever we saw sun or sunlight we moved towards the shade. Also in dietary, Vitamin D is found mostly in eggs, meat and fish, which aren’t present in our daily diet. Why I am saying this? Because Vitamin D plays a major role in uplifting your mood and in mental health. Please – Go to nearby pathology lab and get tested for vitamin D3. You might need boosters or supplementations. And start sitting in sun for good 20 minutes daily. The best timings are 11am to 2pm as per studies.
- Fix up your Diet: Your mental health and condition is directly proportional to what you eat and consume on daily basis. If you are consuming sugary and junk products everyday, do not expect yourself to be physically or mentally fit. The worst thing we do when we are depressed it we eat our ‘comfort food’ which is like taking our mind further to a greater height just to avoid a small fall but when we fall, things become unbearable. Following a structured diet with good amount of fats and protein can really help your mental health and mood disorder.
- Exercise: Any physical activity – be it gym or zumba or dance or any sport is helpful to fix up your mood disorder. Why? Understand this – Basic instincts of Humans are to hunt, to eat and to reproduce. Now in modern lifestyle, our subconscious mind crave the ‘hunt’ part as everything are readily available at our hands distance. To generate such ‘hunting’ skills, physical activities like gym or sports helps a lot. In a book called Sapiens by Yuval, he talked about this in a very descriptive way.
- Clean your room: Now after applying basic techniques on the betterment of your mental health, time to fix your surroundings. First most thing is to do – Clean your room. Empty that dustbin, fold those clothes, paint those dull walls, wash your bedsheet, clean your mirrors – Cleaning your own space has a great impact on our feeling. There is a reason why aestheticism and clean hotel room pleases us. More over, cleaning your room is the smallest battle which you should fight everyday to prepare yourself for the difficult and long battles in the outer world. Watch this to understand more: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yiE4Az8QUCw
- Meditate: Meditation helps you to regain control over your emotions and it helps you to learn – how to observe your thoughts. There is a reason that hinduism and islam both promotes meditation in form of prayers and other rituals. If you don’t know how to meditate – you can join my facebook group to learn about it: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1839780486049954/
- Read books about Stoicism and Buddhism: Direct meaning of stoicism is the endurance of pain and hardship without a display of feeling or complaint. Reading about stoicism will teach and make few mental switch – which will help you to fight this battle with a more clear ‘third-person mind‘ . Same with Buddhism – it teaches how life is all about suffering and how you should be content with the sufferings and struggle you are facing on daily basis. Just google top stoic books and start reading them. There are tons of videos as well on youtube about same. You can read about my books recommendations : https://chiragbarjatya.com/2018/08/06/books-which-helped-me-to-up-my-game/
- No Alcohol or Weed or Any other drug: Please stay away from these things as much as you can especially when you know you mental state is not in right condition. Your friends might offer you a drag or 30ml saying that it will help to ease the pain – Don’t. These things make life miserable. No one in history has achieved good things or better life by smoking or drinking substances.
- Talk to People about it and Be patient: Talking out to people – your close family and friends can help. It is always not that they won’t understand or make fun of you, there is no harm in trying.
- Take Professional’s Help: If none of the above technique helped you, time to take professional’s help as there are two types of depression – persistent depressive disorder and major depressive disorder. In major depressive order you might get physical symptoms like pain, digestive issues, dizziness, insomnia, etc.
- Do not Romanticize it: The problem currently with mental health awareness in our country is that instead of spreading legit awareness about it, people have started romanticizing it a lot. They are not ready to accept the fact of their bad diet and less sunlight exposure. Today in every novel or movie or Netflix series – they are spreading awareness of depression which is resulting in romanticism by youth of our country. Please take a step back and realize this battle and fight with it.
DM me if you have any doubt. I am here to help you. Everything will be fine.