When You Are In a Dark Place

Written by Karyn Hall

May 22, 2021

When you are in a dark place, it can feel like nothing will help and nothing will ever change. The tunnel vision is part of the darkness, because lack of hope that it will be different can be devastating.

But the tunnel vision isn’t the truth. Though you can’t see anything good about your life, that’s the depression blocking your vision. When people who were depressed recover, they see the same life in a different way. They see the positives in their life, including the people they love. Keep in mind that one of the symptoms of depression is seeing nothing positive.

Small things matter. When you are struggling to get through the day, to get out of bed, small steps are actually big steps. Brushing your teeth, taking a shower, and taking a walk are important steps. You may be tempted to say it doesn’t matter–but it does. Moving and doing anything can help.

Have compassion for yourself. Depression is an illness, and it is debilitating, and it can be resolved. You are not a bad person, you have an illness. Be kind, patient and understanding with yourself.

Stop ruminating. One of the ways that depression builds and strengthens is through ruminating thoughts. Rumination isn’t productive, it’s just going over and over negative thoughts or memories. Imagine a big STOP sign when you are stuck in rumination. Then occupy your mind with math facts, song lyrics or go for a walk and be mindful of all that you are seeing.

Exercise. This can often be the most difficult of all to do, but it truly makes a difference. Initially it may be a short-lived bit of relief, but it will build.

Seek help. Depression is an illness. Find a therapist that you trust. Recovery takes time, but it is possible.

Live a skill-full life

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