Depression can bring with it a litany of complications and amplifiers. Isolation, loneliness, and self-loathing can be the blanket one wraps themselves in when depressed. The adrift feeling of being untethered, uninspired and hopeless can overwhelm you when dealing with depression. One day dissolves into another with a numbing monotony of sameness. It can leave you feeling awash with the intensity of detachment.
Moving away from this cycle is challenging. It works best with the help of a Mental Health Professional, Counselor or Therapy to help manage all the existing complications of depression. It is also important to reach out to immediate help if you are feeling suicidal or otherwise out of control.
Planning a New Vision
One of the complications of depression is the exhaustion, overwhelming feeling that zaps your ability to move forward. But even curled up it is possible to visualize another world. Plan a healthier vision. See your life with passion, joy, and helpfulness. Find a purpose, a reason; larger than yourself to do more than you need for others that need more. Loss and self-loathing are often significantly impacted when you feel the power of purpose. In isolation and despair, we often lose our sense of self. Why are we here? Who would miss me? But when you reach out, reach down, reach up and help someone else your perspective is shifted.
You begin to feel the joy of giving, the power of purpose and the magnet draw of serving others. This does not need to be giving money. It is about interacting on a personal level. It can be taking blankets to the homeless. It can be donating food or time to a food drive. It can be mentoring, tutoring, or just connecting with someone else who is lonely and isolated. Connection, purpose, and selflessness are critical to our self-identity and self-esteem. Care for animals, care for people, care for the environment, care for justice. Make calls, help with calling, help with spending time showing others the big value they have and remarkably you may find that you see how much value you have. Quarantining can make this challenging, but not impossible. Contactless drop-off, video chatting and email are all safe ways to reach out.
“Purpose offers a testable, causal system that synthesizes outcomes including life expectancy, satisfaction, and mental and physical health (McKnight & Kashdan, 2009)“. Research from UC Berkeley and UC Irvine noted that a sense of awe and purpose will propel us forward and spark motivation.