Every one of us has gone through a tough or hard time at some point in our lives. When we are struggling, there are a lot of things that could help us come over those problems. For nearly 2 years now, I have been struggling with major depression and now that I am finally recovering, I believe I should talk about everything that could have helped me, but didn’t earlier. Whenever we face an emotional problem , there are many steps that we need to take, I am going to list some of them out and describe how those factors were ineffectual or arrived too late to help me in time.
Step 0: Self Acceptance.
The first thing that anyone needs to do to solve a problem is to accept that a problem exists. No one can solve anything or help you as long as you yourself are not willing to accept any help. It is the first and one of the most important steps.
Step 1: Sharing problems with family and friends.
Telling your friends and family about your problems is the next step you have to take. It is ok for you to expect help from them as they are close to you and you trust them to help you whenever a situation arises. In my cases this didn’t really work out but that doesn’t mean it won’t help anyone else either. Many problems get sorted at this step and it rarely happens that you have to step up to the next one. Sharing your problem makes you feel that the burden is shared and it helps take the pressure off of you and helps in the long term. It also builds stronger relationship with these people hence giving you friends for life and those that are going to be with you through thick and thin.
Step 2: Faith healing.
Faith isn’t the best doctor when it comes to most illnesses. It is something that relies on the placebo effect to work and that requires people to be gullible to it. This is something which is not officially accepted as a good way to heal problems but it cannot be denied that people have gotten better at dealing with their emotional problems if they have faith in some superior power. This could be god, the universe, karma or anything people tell themselves to convince themselves that things are going to get better with time and gives them temporary peace and the patience to deal with everything. This step is controversial; it cannot even be considered a complete step. It is more of a step 1.5. People follow self styled gods, meditation, yoga or they tell themselves that it is somehow part of a bigger plan and someone or something is in control of everything taking care of them. This is the easiest step really, but we must be careful and explore this step only when necessary otherwise we may be lead into another area of problems altogether like delusions etc. Step 2 must come only after step 1 and if we try and change it, it might have devastating effect on our own selves.
Step 3: Professional Therapy.
If your problems haven’t been getting better so far, the next step is to seek therapy from professionals and try to talk to them about your problems. This is something that is likely to help as the professionals are trained in talking to their patients and always try their best to help you. They won’t prescribe any medicines to you but just lend you an ear you can talk to comfortably without any restrictions. It is the legal binding of a professional to not share your experiences with anyone else and when you really think about it; there is no better way to ensure confidentiality than telling the said person his/her whole career could be destroyed if they breach your trust. After all, they are humans too and what drives them is their career orientation. Put a threat on that and they will follow all the rules by the book.
Step 4: Medicines.
Lastly, we come to taking mood-stabilizers, anti-psychotics, anti-depressants and other medicines that are prescribed to us by professional psychiatrists and are supposed to help us. This step comes last because these medicines also come with multiple side effects that are not completely known yet. It is the best to delay their use as long as possible but if nothing else is helping, this really is the last resort.
So these are all the ways you could work your way out of an emotional problem. It is important to note that these steps may vary from person to person. Some people are just not capable of having any faith in something they don’t believe in and so the task of believing in god, karma, universe etc. is inapplicable to them. They have to jump from telling friends and family straight to therapists.
In my case, the self acceptance part came on too late. I spent so much time thinking I somehow deserved what was happening and that it was because of my own self and not because of an illness that nothing else really worked for me. It would have been easy if I had friends I could rely on or people I felt comfortable with, It would have been even easier if I believed in some superior power who is controlling everything that happens, something like destiny, fate, karma etc., but I don’t. I can’t live my life by some rules I don’t personally believe in. It would be lying to me and although I have never had a problem with lying, I have realized that I cannot go on for very long if I lie to myself. Friends, family and beliefs are just some of the many things that make life easier to live, but if you don’t have any of them, it doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t live. It is going to be tougher than it would have been, much tougher but it is still worth it. Just because life is tough, it doesn’t mean you should stop living it. I know that there will be times when that will seem like the best option and the easiest one but there will also be times when you will want to fight it and push through. You will want to do whatever it takes to get better and fight anything and anyone it need be to do that. If it is a battle with your mind, it can always be won.
Always remember it is easy to win a battle with some allies like your friends and family around you, It is even easier if you have a god or the whole universe with you but when it is you alone, against your mind, the taste of the victory is harder to get but equally sweeter.