Living with Depression

Accepting and living with depression

Many people experience a sense of disbelief followed by overwhelming relief when depression is diagnosed. At least now there is an explanation for feeling so at odds with the world and yourself. Living with depression is neither easy nor enjoyable but it is manageable. The first step is to accept the diagnosis and the next is to consider a plan for living.

How to deal with immediate depression problems

  • Get your prescription completed by the pharmacy and start taking your medication without delay.
  • Do anything else you need to do that is directly related to your recovery, such as making appointments.
  • If you are employed, you will need to tell your employers that you are ill and give them a date on which you are likely to return to work. You will need to supply a certificate from your doctor.
  • If you are self-employed, you may need to reschedule some of your work and, if you have no alternative, such as sub-contracting, to turn down some jobs. You should check what state benefits are available.
  • If you are home looking after children, don’t worry too much about housework for the time-being. Just concentrate on getting the children fed, washed, to school and to bed at a regular time.
  • Basic survival: eating and sleeping are all you need to do if you cannot cope with anything else for now.

Overcoming the stigma of depression
Many people suffer brief, recurrent episodes of depression and some suffer with moderate to severe depression throughout their lives. Depression affects as many as one in five people at some time in their lives. It is therefore remarkable that some stigma over mental illness still remains. It is your personal choice who you tell and who you don’t. If you believe that, in some instances, it is wiser to produce an explanation such as exhaustion, bronchitis or back pain, for example, then do so. It is entirely your decision and if you either can’t or don’t want to tell others, then don’t. However, the more people who are prepared to reveal that they have suffered from depression, the more acceptable it will become until the stigma is finally lost.

Key Facts: Accept the diagnosis of depression, then make a plan for living. You don’t have to tell other people of the diagnosis if you do not wish to. Very many people suffer with depression. Someone who lives in your road, someone else at your place of work and several other parents at your child’s school will all suffer with depression at some time. Accepting the diagnosis is the first step towards recovery.