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Depression has become such a common problem, most people forget that it’s a mental illness. The sweeping statement of “I’m depressed” has become normalised, to the point were people feel that it’s part of everyday life. So what is depression? I think a person becomes depressed when they decide to live in darkness. No matter how close the light is, you just can’t see it. I have had symptoms of depression on and off since I was a teenager. It all starts from believing your not good enough. This may be from an over use of social media or the people around you telling you that your useless. The transformation from student to graduate is huge and it is easy to become overwhelmed. This brought on my latest period of darkness. It took me two months, a doctors visit and incredible family and friends to help me see the light. No matter your circumstance you shouldn’t punish yourself by taking a break from life.

Find a purpose

You need to have a reason to wake up I’m the morning. Everyday you should do something that is going to help you get to where you want to be. If it’s being a writer, learning how to drive or just searching for a job, giving yourself a purpose is very important. This makes you feel like you have something to live for. When your feeling depressed it’s very easy to lose a sense of reality and feel that your life is pointless. This is not true. You are important and the world would not be the same without you. You have educated yourself to a high standard and you have the tools to change your life. Think about what you want out of life and what will make you happy. You will be amazed at how much better you feel when you find a purpose.

keep a diary

This might seem strange but you don’t have to be a novelist or an English graduate to write. We are all writers because we all have a story to tell. Keeping a diary allows you to understand yourself and tell your own story. We all have fears, insecurities and flaws that we don’t want to discuss with other people. The blank page is non judgemental and you don’t have to explain why you feel a certain way. I found writing a diary really helped me understand my feelings. I also started to notice a pattern in my moods. I realised that my moods were affected by work, people and the time of day. Identifying this made me avoid situations that made me unhappy or keeping myself busy at times when I knew that I was likely to feel sad. Keeping a diary gives you a chance to get to know yourself. Ultimately you are the one who has control of your feelings.

Speak to someone that you trust

I think that this is the most important thing you can do. Your thoughts are often irrational when you twist them around in your head. Speaking to a good friend or a doctor can give you some much needed advice. You are not the only person that has been depressed and there are ways to over come the symptoms. A friend will reassure you and remind you what a great person you are. A doctor doesn’t just put you on anti depressants. They can also suggest speaking therapy and exercise. Exercise is really the most under used anti depressant. Who ever you talk to make sure that you don’t suffer alone. In the long term having a good support system will prevent your symptoms from getting more Serious.

Keep up appearances

When you are feeling down its easy to let your physical appearance go. In the most severe cases people can stop washing or getting dressed. It important to care about your appearance as this is what you present to the world. My obsession is glitter and sparkles. I love anything that reflects light. I noticed that as I got more depressed I started wearing darker clothes. Now when I have a bad day I put on my most sparkly jumper and as much jewellery as I can manage. Everyday should be an occasion and you should have fun with your clothes. If you fancy a new look why not go to YouTube for inspiration. You can be anyone you want to be. What better place to start then your clothes.

I hope that you have enjoyed this blog and find some of these tips useful. I found it very hard to write this blog but felt that I should share my experiences with you. You are not alone, everyone suffers from depression at some point in their life. The important thing is to not let it take over. There is sunshine ahead, you just need to allow yourself to see it.

* I am happy to talk to anyone about their personal issues. Please don’t hesitate to email me thegraduate21@hotmail.co.uk