My name is Lauren and I have depression. Although I will always have depression, it is not a constant state of being sad. Instead, I go through depressive episodes. For me, these episodes last a day or two. When I am going through a depressive episode, I feel like a zombie. I feel like the world is moving around me and I am just standing still. My brain feels foggy. I am not motivated to complete tasks, even ones I am interested in.
These episodes are often hard to overcome. When I’m going through this, I find it hard to wake up and enter the real world. To some, it might seem like I’m just being lazy, but in reality, I am fighting an internal battle just to leave my bed. Tiredness consumes me no matter how much I’ve slept. I want to curl up in my fuzzy blanket and never face reality.
I did not know how to cope with these episodes until this year, which is partially what made my junior year of college difficult for me. Over the past couple of months, I have developed multiple techniques to help pull myself through the hard days.
Have something to look forward to
Have something that makes you want to get out of bed in the morning. Whether that be getting lunch with a friend, getting a manicure, or going to the gym; plan a fun activity.
Make someone hold you accountable
If you have someone you feel comfortable talking about your mental illness with, tell them how you are feeling. Have them call you and make sure you get out of bed.
Plan out your day
Sit down with your planner and lay out all of your tasks. Don’t focus on all of them at once, choose one and work until completion. Take it step by step.
Spend time with your pets
My rabbits always make me feel at least a little better. Whether I’m petting them or watching them sprint around my room, they always put a smile on my face.
Treat yo’ self
Don’t go wild and buy a Porshe, but try out a new face mask, buy a new pair of fun socks, or get some ice cream.
Depression manifests itself differently for every person, so don’t feel frustrated if what works for me doesn’t work for you. I am not a trained professional, I’m just a psychology student sharing what coping mechanisms work for me.
If you or someone you know are experiencing suicidal thoughts, please reach out to the National Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.