Depression and anxiety is the same as a heart attack or cancer but because it’s emotional and mental (physical too!) we tend to treat it differently. Depression and anxiety are calls for attention. They are signs that changes are needed.
I suffered depression many times throughout my life, sometimes it was diagnosed, sometimes not. I also had a tremendous bout of anxiety about 5 years ago. The last time I sought treatment for my depression and anxiety I began to look at what exactly these ‘signs’ were trying to tell me and began to look for ways to assist in my recovery by making necessary changes; changes in my thinking, my lifestyle and changes in my beliefs about myself.
The very first step on the road to my recovery, I believe, was talking. Depressed people don’t talk. They bury their thoughts and feelings to the point that they are not even aware of them until they start to become menacing and crushingly repetitive. And even then, most depressed people will stuff that awareness down as long as they possibly can until it becomes physically impossible to do so and function any longer. I started to visit a very kind, wise lady who volunteered her services as a counselor. I saw her once/week for about 2 months. She never gave me any advice. She didn’t give me ‘tools’ to try. She didn’t give me any homework. She just listened. She sometimes asked questions so that I was forced to clarify my thoughts, but mostly she listened with compassion. It was from there that I was finally able to move forward and take action steps toward my recovery. I kept on talking. I hired counselors and then coaches and talked for about 2 years and then I began to be in a place where I could handle some advice, some tools, and some homework.
If you are depressed or anxious please find a compassionate, patient listener. This is what I do as a coach. It is the best first step you can take for yourself.