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Depression drains your everyday life of motivation and desire to engage. It leaves you with an internal hole that can not be patched up by the activities you once found entertaining. At a recent GX3 panel, game developers Zachary Snader and Adam Rickert shared their experiences with depression and provided tips on how to break free from the crippling disease to find happiness once again.
Learn how to recognize your symptoms
Look inside yourself to figure out your specific triggers. Approach everyday one step at a time and try to pinpoint key situations that make your mood worse or better. Once you can safely identify them, begin to spend more time cultivating circumstances that improve your state. As one panelist said, “Doing things that make me happy helps to see things in a little more positive light.”
Engage in productive procrastination
Create a list of everything that you want to accomplish. Try and tackle each item on the list. If you feel that you can’t accomplish something, move on to the next option. Having a visual accomplishment board, even if very little got done at the end of the day will help you see that you CAN make something happen.
The key lies with focusing on the items that were checked off as opposed to obsessing on the ones you didn’t feel up to doing. “I didn’t finish this task but the dishes are clean.” Alternately, you might consider making a list of tasks to feel better about your ability to engage, even while depressed.
Embrace your support network
Don’t be afraid to talk your closest friends or family about the way you feel. Depression grows when we shut everything and everyone out. The despair can make you feel like you need to escape everything and that’s okay — take the time you need — but know that isolation alone might not improve your feelings.
Again, take it one step at a time: Invite a close friend over for a movie, go take a walk in the park, start slow. Don’t give in to social peer pressure and hit up a big party or club if you don’t feel ready for it. There’s nothing wrong with being low-key — you’re taking your time to heal.
Another piece of panelist advice: “Make a point to purge outside negativity by limiting your circle to a few close friends that will lift you up at your own pace.”
Don’t be afraid to compliment yourself
Remind yourself of your accomplishments and be your own cheerleading squad. Though the advice might sound like a broken record, engaging in positive thoughts and building a warm blanket of praise for your own accomplishments will remind you of the beauty and power you hold inside or yourself.
Even if at first you have doubts about the validity of your traits and achievements, little-by-little self-praise without criticism will help. “You have to fake it til you make it.”
Seek professional help if you have to
Depression affects everybody in different ways. What works for someone may not exactly be the right choice for you, but if you feel that you need some professional help, don’t be afraid to reach out. Anti-depressants, mood enhancers and therapy may just give you the final umph you need to beat depression.
The controller is your mind and you are the main player, depression is yet another boss battle that you have to tackle. “Make sure that you have your happiness and when you do, you can help others.”
(featured image via darcyadelaide)
Previously Published December 12, 2015.
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