There is four times the rate of depression now than in 1987. We've essentially been doubling the amount of depression in this country for each of the last three generations.
Even considering an increased tendency to diagnose depression now than in previous years, this emerging 21st century culture is clearly not particularly conducive to happy care-free lives.
This means that if we want to be happy, we sometimes need to be outliers to a certain extent, and that means meeting depression head on when it arises. We especially need to understand how depression is the great deceiver.
Yes, depression tells us to freeze, disconnect from other people, and hunker down in our bed/apartment/room/house.
Depression tells us to isolate and self soothe with food/drugs/alcohol/TV/internet...pick your poison.
Depression creates thoughts of death, impulses to die, and dark explanations for ourselves and the world.
Don't be deceived!
Instead of immobilizing yourself and disconnecting from others, mobilize and connect to others. Get in motion!
What do I mean? Well, here are a few suggestions:
- Exercise daily.
- Go to events.
- Call friends and see friends frequently.
- Write three items you're grateful for every day in your journal.
- Schedule social and health-related activities into each day--yoga, lectures, movies with friends (anything with friends), walks on the beach, etc.
- Get the junk food/drugs/alcohol out of your house, and put healthy alternatives in their place.
- Limit depressing screen and social media time--it doesn't help to negatively compare yourself to others.
- See your therapist.
Depression lies to you, telling you to disconnect and immobilize in despair, but you don't have to listen! Instead mobilize and connect.
Believe me, you (and everyone you know) will be glad you did!