How to Handle a Diagnosis of Depression

The problem with the word ‘depression’ is that it is banded around much too freely, with people around you telling you how ‘depressed’ they are because the store sold out of their favorite candy bar or that they received a ticket for parking in the wrong area. 

Depression, the medical term major depressive disorder, is an exceedingly debilitating condition of the brain where essentially, in a depressed individual, their natural levels of the ‘happy’ hormone serotonin are lacking. 

So, whether you have only recently been diagnosed with major depressive disorder or else are only beginning to be able to process it, you should definitely continue reading. 

Truly Believe It Is Real

Hopefully, you have been brought up in an environment whereby even if, when you were growing up, your parents and peers never discussed the issue of mental health, you were not indoctrinated to believe that issues such as depression and other mental health illnesses were simply not real.

However, regardless of your previous attitude to viewing those with depression, now is the time to realize that this is a chemical imbalance inside your brain, and although not visible like a broken leg, it is just as valid. 

Work on Your Feelings of Guilt

Not everyone suffering from depression also feels an almost permanent sense of guilt, but if you are one of those people, it is vital that you begin to work on eradicating such thoughts on the days you feel able. 

There is, unfortunately, no step-by-step guide to getting rid of oppressive and extreme feelings of guilt and shame, but if you are someone who feels these things on a regular basis, it is recommended that you book a session with a qualified therapist. 

Do Something New

One of the most frustrating things that anyone suffering from major depressive disorder will tell you is that friends, partners, and family members who do not understand what you are going through will suggest absurd ways to break free. 

As someone who is now diagnosed with depression, you essentially have two options: sink or swim. Even though people with major depressive disorder often feel like they are drowning even though they know how to swim, you must try to identify triggers and start building armor. 

Expanding your career pathways and your education level, for example, is a positive step towards looking towards the future and through the oppressive treacle-like substance you feel as if you are encased in. From furthering your career in social work by embarking upon the Spalding social work master’s degree to going to university for the first time, doing something new is definitely a step in the right direction. 

Tell People

Finally, and perhaps most importantly of all, no matter how (wrongfully) bad you feel in admitting that you have depression, or regardless of whether your loved ones have expressed a disregard for mental health issues, you have to tell them about your situation. 

If they are true friends and love you for who you are, they should trust you when you say you have depression, even if they are fortunate enough to not understand what that actually means.