Stigmas and Signs of Depression

Often times we face our struggles alone and face extreme difficulty while doing so. We may find a sense of pride in the idea of facing these problems headstrong and feel like a failure if we fail or find out that we aren’t strong enough for them by ourselves. These feelings are completely normal and don’t make you an atypical person. Most people feel uncomfortable with reaching out for help because of their desire to “have it figured all out”, but in reality, we never ultimately figure it out.

The sad thing about suffering from a mental illness or dealing with something similar is that it’s often invisible and doesn’t profoundly show any physical manifestations, meaning there is no real evidence to support your claimed pain. This ideology has developed the stigma characterizing conversations about mental health to this exact date. So often phrases are uttered such as “Just get over it” or “It’ll pass”. The thing is, you can’t. Clinical depression is a state in which the person affected has very little power over their motivations and correlating life activities that it shows itself as “laziness”.

Society accepts this “lack of motivation”, but with a price. They say “He/she has really changed” being the acceptance component. The judgement follows: “They don’t care about anything anymore; they quit showing up to work and/or school; they don’t talk at all!”.

Now that all the problems with depression and society’s reaction have been stated, let’s focus on the one and only solution: reaching out. The bottom line is if nobody ever knows, nobody ever knows. And it’s really a shame that the person dealing with this type of disorder has to be the person to come out into the light and claim their struggles and advocate for themselves. We fear rejection, judgment, ridicule, denial and being outcast. We even lack motivation to talk about why we don’t have motivation. Ironic.

But don’t let this fear stop you from communicating. When I decided to tell people about my depression, I found it helpful to identify the next time I’d have a conversation with the desired party and how I would inform them. For some, this may create anxiety: but for me, it gave me a definite time and date that I would have to open up about this. I might even send out a text saying, “I’ve been meaning to talk to you about something really serious.” while I had the courage.

Opening up about your struggles is never easy, and it never will be. Although you expose yourself in an extensive way, you receive an opportunity for extreme acceptance and support. Many people have faced (or know someone who has faced) a very similar cry for help and are more than willing to extend their hand to you. Find your support group and begin your journey. I believe in you. I truly do.

If you want us to be that outlet for you, I’d be more than happy to talk with you. Strike up a conversation using collin.ullrich@stayforyourself.com. We are here to comfort and provide a safe place for you to vent. Share with a friend to send some encouraging light. Have a great day!

Mindfulness: Liberating your Mind

Breathing is often the most overlooked thing humans do. It occurs naturally, and we hardly have to think about it, so why should we?

Self-induced therapy is the action of bringing oneself to a state of emotional tranquility without outside intervention. Often times when we need therapy or a helping hand, we’re alone: in bed, in a car driving, etc. There’s not much in the way of an on-hand therapist. Thus, it is necessary to become equipped with coping mechanisms in order to avoid an extreme, personal crisis.

One coping mechanism that has resided well with me is mindfulness breathing, hence the title. This exercise can be completed anywhere and anytime, preferably with a sense of privacy. Let’s begin.

For starters, find an area in which you feel exclusively comfortable: free from judgment, free from sound, free from distractions. Once you’ve arrived, find a comfortable spot to sit and take a minute to prepare your mind, whatever this means for you.

Next, assume a proper sitting position with both feet flat on the ground, shoulder width apart. Relax your neck and shoulders and begin to think of your favorite sound found in nature, whether that be a river flowing, the crickets chirping or the sound of horse’s hooves against hard-packed dirt.

Finally, breathe. Breathe deeply and focus completely on each breath. My favorite count to breathe to is in for 5 and out for 4, meaning counting to 5 as I breathe in and counting to 4 as I breathe out. Continue this process for 3-5 minutes, or longer if you need.

Come out of your meditation by opening your eyes and shaking out your arms and stretching. Feel better? More relaxed?

This type of meditation has provided me with extensive relief from day-to-day stressors, and I fall back on this exercise multiple times a day. It doesn’t need to be perfect, or even the same every time! Modify the exercise and add your own variations which help you relax the most.

Did you enjoy this exercise? Let us know by sending us an e-mail at collin.ullrich@stayforyourself.com, and we’ll be sure to respond within a day’s time. Breathe on 🙂