Written by Molly Tracy
So, picture this: It’s the middle of the month, you keep checking OutLoud’s Twitter waiting for my column, and nothing. You start to feel sad, lost, confused, WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO?! (Okay, in reality, you probably forgot about me, right?)
Well, for the past month since we’ve talked last, I’ve been battling with a bout of depression, something I am clinically diagnosed with. I’m not the only one though; Major Depressive Disorder affects 14.8 million adults and one in eight adolescents. Also, you can always just feel sad.
Depression can be either chronic or situational. In my case, it’s both. In my wonderful column “Diseases are NOT your life,” I mention my psychological conditions as well. Though I suffer from Bipolar I Disorder, part of that is the “manic lows” which just means you’re really, really sad. Sucks, right?
Though I am diagnosed with it, I can definitely say that this depression is situational. I’ve had two surgeries in one month — one went well (no cancer, yay!) and one not so well. Two surgeries can be tough on anyone’s body with the effects of anesthesia. There are many different side effects to it, but in my case, I get super emotional (watching Grey’s Anatomy six hours after surgery? Bad idea.), confused, and have trouble breathing. So two surgeries in a three week period was a bit…disastrous. (I think I gave Kleenex most of their profits for the month.)
But enough with the medical mumbo jumbo, since depression is one of the most diagnosed illnesses in the country, I have some tips to help you if you’re ever feeling off one day, or stressed about something (stress can make you depressed!), or maybe even suffer with it chronically.
1. Watch Trash Television – when I was going through a cancer scare, I watched 8 seasons of The Kardashians in 2 weeks. You might get judged for it, but it’s proven (by me) that worrying about the Kardashians or the toddlers in tiaras, or the bridezillas will take your mind off of it.
2. Retail Therapy (IF YOU CAN AFFORD IT!): I’m not endorsing spending money you don’t have, but if you find yourself with a little extra cash, go ahead and buy that top, or that fandom T-Shirt, or the Funko Pop doll.
3. Go out with friends (or stay in with friends): I’m never happier than when my friend S comes over or when I talk to my friends on Skype. Being alone is the worst thing you can do when you’re depressed. DON’T BE ALONE!
4. Go for a run: As someone who can’t walk, I can’t personally endorse this, but as it’s said in Legally Blonde, “exercise gives you endorphins, and endorphins make you happy!”
Those are just some of the many things you can do when you’re depressed. If you feel like you’re chronically depressed (meaning you’re always sad and it’s not attributed to something in your life) talk to someone! You can start with a family member or friend, and they can help you see if you may need to talk to a professional. There’s nothing wrong with this. There has always been a stigma on mental health, but it’s extremely important. Selfcare is not selfish. Do what you need to do to be happy, and ignore the haters.
And with that, I will see you next month!
[box] Molly Tracy lives in Orlando, FL. She’s currently attending Community College where she’s studying to be a teacher. She lives by the three Bs: Broadway, BBC, and Blogging. She has been writing for Outloud since Jan 2010. [/box]