Thursday, March 16, 2017

Yvette Adams Article

4 Things to Remind Yourself After a Depressive Episode
Strategies for reviving your self-confidence after a downward mood shift.

We often talk about triggers and the agony we endure during depression episodes, but not much is spoken about what happens post-episode. You know, during the “recovery” phase. That period where you’re just expected to pick up the pieces and carry on with life until the next episode hits. I find this time extremely challenging for many reasons but mostly because of how it affects who I am and how I see myself.

One of the biggest issues I face after a depression episode is dealing with the way it affects my confidence. To say that my self-confidence takes a knock would be more than an understatement. I’d be lying to you. It erodes my sense of self at the core and that leaves me feeling confused and lost with regard to who I am and where I fit in the world. I feel raw due to the constant scraping depression is to my soul. The constant negative talk eats away as the episode runs its course. The longer the episode, the less of me remains.

I decided to create a list of things I can do or tell myself after I come from the abyss that would help steer me in the right direction in the recovery phase. In this phase, there is lies a unique opportunity to find oneself or redefine what’s already there.

1.Take the time to time to write down and put to words (or pictures) who you are or how you see yourself.

Blank canvas. That’s what you are right now. I’ve mentioned earlier that the recovery phase is an opportunity. Use it to create what you want for yourself, in yourself. Redefine who you are. You have the strength and capacity to do so now. Highlight the best parts of you. And identify the area(s) you feel may need some improvement.
2) It is not your fault.

We often blame ourselves for the person we “become” during the depression episode. That unhygienic, demotivated mess of a being. We let ourselves go completely. Realize this: that person is not who you are. It is the illness which has taken over. Even the idea of you feeling guilty about it is the illness overpowering your ability to see that it’s not your fault.
3) Accept the illness in its entirety.

Denial can fuel the surge of guilt. Accept what mental illness has the power to do. Learn more about your triggers and why they exist. Understand the limitations you have but also embrace where your power in managing the illness lies. Because you do have power. Use it.
4) Surround yourself with positive people.

Look, this doesn’t always work, I’ll be honest. But it’s good to know that when you are ready to reach out, there’ll be someone there on the other side that will be willing to help you. These are often the people who will remind you of all your best traits, because of course none of them will come to mind when you just came from a slump.

The best thing I can do for myself, is to love myself. Self- love is the best medicine because you actively nurture those vulnerable parts of you are. You need love after enduring days or weeks or months of torment. And who better to give you love, than someone who should be your biggest supporter. You.

-Yvette Adams