Out of depression
Living in depression and later working to get rid of the disease is a multi-stage process. This post is an attempt to structure these phases and where we will see the way out of depression in a clearer light.
Phase 0 – Living in suffering and uncertainty
The first phase, let’s call it Phase 0, is about living in the depression and being a victim of the disease. When you are here you do not have the profits or overview enough of the situation to work out of it. You may not even realize that you are suffering from depression.
In my case, I was in this phase for many years. It took a long time for me to realize that my condition had a name, that it was a disease, and that it was not normal to have it that way.
A fish swimming in the sea does not know that there are birds flying only meters above them. The water it swims in is all it knows. The same is true for the person who is in phase 0, he does not know that there is something wrong, only that life feels too damn good.
What usually takes a person from stage 0 to phase 1 is a consultation with a physician, and perhaps eventually a psychologist or psychiatrist who can evaluate your condition and give you a diagnosis. So if you find that life is very heavy, but you have no idea why this is where you should start.
Phase 1 – you know what’s wrong with you
When you are in phase 1, you realize that you have a diagnosis and that the name of the disease is depression. The diagnosis of depression has several sub-diagnoses with different characteristics, which I will not discuss here. Many also have multiple diagnoses, where depression is one of them. The point here is that when you are in phase 1 you have realized that something is wrong.
This is an important milestone in the road to recovery. You have defined the problem, the one that fails you. It is only then that one can start looking for tools that can help. And fortunately, there are plenty of measures that are effective.
Phase 2 – You decide to work to become healthier
Many people live in phase 1 for a long time, before they step into phase 2. This was the case for me, I lived in the depression for many years before I realized that it was possible to get rid of it through targeted work. It is also no wonder that the transition from phases 1 to 2 can take time because depression contains so many self-reinforcing mechanisms. Depression takes away the energy, motivation, sleep, parts of your social network and your relationships. And not least, it deprives you of hope. That’s what kept me down for so many years – I simply didn’t think it would be possible to get better, and at least not that one day I would be a hundred percent healthy!
If you are there, even if you do not think it is possible for you to get healthier, you can cheat a little. You can pretend you believe it until you actually begin to believe it for real.
Phase 3 – the working phase
In this phase, you work purposefully over time with various techniques and measures to improve it.
Since we are all individuals, what is effective for me is not effective for you. We, therefore, need to become explorers, try many different measures, and build a toolbox that is most effective.
In addition, conversion therapy and possibly medication will be important to many. Exercise and exercise are also key steps. Simply start with short walks each day and increase the length and intensity over time.
Phase 4 – when the work goes by itself
One or the other way in phase 3 you reach a delicious milestone – the one I refer to as the water separator. Once you’ve reached the watershed, the job out of depression suddenly starts to get a lot easier.
You know you are here when you notice that you automatically arrest yourself for making a mistake. For example, you think of something negative about yourself, but then you stop that line of thinking, acknowledge it for what it is – a bad lie, and think something different and more positive instead.
Or when you stop and say an inner thank you for seeing something beautiful, completely by yourself. As you increasingly notice that your life is filled with beautiful, beautiful things, even though there is still pain there. The road out of depression is not a straight climb out of the hole, it is a roller coaster, where you fall into a hole occasionally, but increasingly rarely.
Phase 5 – You are mostly healthy, but continue to work on yourself
One day you will look at yourself and your life and declare yourself more or less healthy. It is a wonderful feeling, worth all the effort on the road. You also acknowledge that there is no point in stopping developing yourself. So you continue the job, for example, by training in an increasingly optimal way, or by making career choices that take you closer to what you really want to do.
And by simply enjoying life, here and now.