Recovering from Depressive Episode
If you’ve been struggling with depression, time can get really distorted. A couple of weeks can feel like just a few days. While you were healing, the world kept turning.
One of the hardest things about coming out of a depressive episode is going back to the regular state of affairs. You’ll probably have to put some things in order once the fog lifts.
Sure, you might be feeling better now, but you’re immediately confronted with personal relationships, work responsibilities and other aspects of your life that were neglected.
Is your anxiety building up just thinking about it? Rarely do you hear about the difficult work that comes along with recovering from serious depressive episodes.
It’s complicated and some men would prefer the comfort of their depression to the pressure of setting their affairs in order.
It can feel like a spotlight is shining right on you. Well, don’t head back into the cave just yet. Check out these helpful tips on how to gently rejoin the rest of the world again.
Final Steps to Completing Your Recovery from a Depressive Episode
1. Being around supportive people – You need a strong support system to help get your life back on track. That can be your friends, family, coworkers and therapy partners. You can also find some comfort from a few well-vetted social media friends.
You don’t want to let too many people into your private life, but you’re going to need people that you can lean on when times get tough. Tell them exactly what you need from them to avoid any confusion. If you just need some space, that’s fine, but don’t allow yourself to become too isolated.
2. Journaling – You’re bound to have some emotional moments as you continue your recovery. It can be helpful to write them down. Journaling provides you with a safe space for processing difficult emotions and situations that arise from reemerging into your normal life.
Instead of letting unhelpful thoughts well up inside of you, jot them down so that you can release them. The journal becomes a sort of sponge for your sub-conscious mind. You don’t need to hide anything from your journal. It’s a private tool for your recovery.
3. Remodeling or Cleaning – Many people that endure long bouts of depression often allow their surroundings to descend into chaos. It’s an external metaphor for what you’re experiencing on the inside. So, it can be helpful to clean house or remodel your surroundings to reflect your new start.
Just don’t bite off more than you can chew. Avoid the wild mood swings of a big, new challenge. It can gas you out in the end. Just try to keep your room nice and tidy at first. In essence, turn that dark metaphor into a much lighter one.
Related: How to Quickly Get Out of a Funk!
4. One at a Time method – There might be several things that need your attention as you begin to feel better. There’s friends and family relationships to mend, overdue work to tackle, and other taxing interactions awaiting you. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and have a relapse.
So, you should go with the one at a time method. Don’t try to juggle everything at once. Just pick a single important task and put all your efforts into it. Once, it’s done you can celebrate that victory. A feeling of accomplishment will give you fuel for the next challenge.
5. Being patient with yourself – Depression is like a devil on your shoulder that whispers all sorts of self-defeating and harmful words to you. Hopefully, you’ve learned some techniques to combat those invalid thoughts and feelings about yourself. Now, it’s time to be positive and patient.
Don’t be so self-critical. You’ve come a long way and you should be proud of what you’ve accomplished thus far. Just be patient with how your recovery is progressing. These things take time and there’s no measurement of how each person should be advancing. Take everything in your own stride.
6. Get Help When You Need It – So many men battle depression all by themselves and never seek treatment. Getting help is not a sign of weakness. It takes courage to ask for help when things become overwhelming. Luckily, your therapy partners are there to help whenever you need them.
Even once your therapy plan has run its course, you can still book new sessions just to get a little boost along the way. That doesn’t mean you’re having a setback. That just means you’re committed to getting better. If you need to speak with someone about depression, contact an organization like Better Help.
7. Take the Proper Medication – You might be feeling better, but your prescribed medication should still be taken regularly. Your therapy partners are well aware that you’ll have times where you don’t feel like taking the meds. Trust their expertise in this area and keep on your regimen even if you feel better.
Don’t become your own healthcare specialist by deciding when and how you’ll take the proper medication. It would be a shame to sabotage your own recovery by not seeing it through to the end. You’re almost there; just stay the course.
More Self Care Tips for Dealing with Depression
These are a few major steps in finalizing your recover from a depressive episode, but there’s more that you can do on your own. You can practice self-care by being proactive when it comes to maintaining your own positive outlook on life.
It’s perfectly fine to squeeze a pillow, cry it out, or take a long drive to get your thoughts together. You can make frequent trips to local parks to ground yourself and reconnect with nature by taking long walks outdoors. Practice breathwork, mindfulness, and always challenge your negative thoughts when they arise.
Final Thoughts on Recovering from a Depressive Episode
A major depressive episode can last for several months. So, don’t expect for everything to get fixed in a few weeks once you’re able to function normally. Everyone’s recovery is different and unlike a sports injury, nobody can tell you just how long it will take.
The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that 19 million Americans are living with depression. That means you’re not alone in this struggle. Be patient, follow these steps, and the recommendations of your therapy partners to avoid having a relapse.
If you are concerned you might hurt yourself or someone else, call 911 now or go to your nearest emergency room.