Someone once defined Evil as “that which destroys hope.” By that definition, depression is an evil malady, because it robs its victims of hope as well as energy and joy.
Let us underscore a point previously made: depression will not go away without proper treatment; you can’t will yourself to “get over it.” In eight out of 10 cases, treatment will be effective. But it takes from several weeks to several months for the treatment to take full effect.
In the interim, if you are suffering from major depression, you are bearing the heavy burdens of chronic exhaustion, feelings of worthlessness and helplessness, probably aches and pains that have no physical origin, and no faith in a better future.
You must understand that these symptoms and feelings are part of the depression, and your bleak perception of the world probably does not reflect reality. Those negative feelings will fade as the treatment begins to take effect. Until then, there are ways you can make your situation more bearable:
- Set realistic goals and assume a reasonable level of responsibility for attaining them, taking your depression into account
- Break large tasks into small ones, set some priorities, and do what you can when you can
- If possible, postpone important decisions until the depression has lifted. If you must make some significant decision, such as changing jobs, getting married or divorced, seek the opinion of others you know and trust, who will have a more objective view of the situation
- Try to be with other people and to confide in someone you trust. In depression, to be alone is to be in bad company
- Take part in activities that might make you feel better. Going to a movie, a sporting event, religious services, taking a walk or engaging in mild exercise may help lessen your dark mood, or at least distract you from the negative feelings that have you in their grip
- Don’t become discouraged if you don’t feel the treatment is helping. As previously noted, it may take weeks or months to become fully effective. Expect gradual, day-by-day improvement
- Accept the help of family and friends