How to deal with depression?

As an individual who works with people often with serious depression, and having gone through it myself on a deep level, I’ve gathered extensive experience and data on how to deal with depression on a daily basis.

It’s never easy but I believe that our current society does not do a great job of alleviating nor even revealing the truth about it.

The following post is my open letter to You if You are out there and dealing with depression, and looking for a way out.

If You prefer a shorter video version of this blog post You can watch my video on YouTube here.

My personal story of depression

I didn’t sit like this guy in an abandoned building but it was extremely heavy regardless.

I’ve been in a deep and dark place personally.

It got so bad at one point that I thought about driving my car off the road (I was alone in it).

Everything seemed bleak and grey, with no end in sight with it.

Only hardship, no purpose, no meaning, no nothing. Just pain and suffering.

This went on for a long time for me personally. And there was just more than one occasion where I thought about ending it all.

Now looking back at it, I can even appreciate the learning and growth that took place during it.

But living through that darkness was excruciating.

What I learned about depression through working with people?

In a way, You are not special with Your depression. A lot of people are depressed but they often don’t share it openly.

Here’s one really big and important thing, people think feeling depressed or being depressed is wrong.

Our society tells and sells us the belief of “You can feel good all the time”. Unfortunately, where we are as a human species and society, this is not true.

We as humans have emotions and feelings. These fluctuate on a daily (or even hourly) basis.

There are bigger ups and downs but there’s also a lot of neutrality. A lot of mundane and grey.

And when we are told we need to feel good all the time (and achieve and be like this and that – successful and pretty), and then when we don’t feel good all the time, we often make it MEAN that we as individuals are WRONG.

Or not good enough. Which again will lead towards being depressed.

Being a normal human being

Being happy and successful all the time is quite a task.

Please think about this for a moment.

If You are one way but most things outside constantly tell You that You have to be different, You will start to think that there’s something WRONG with YOU.

But is it really the case when most people’s (I refrain myself from saying all) feelings and emotions fluctuate? Is it You that is wrong?

Or are the stories and lies being told to us about being human WRONG?

“You should be like this!” “Well I’m not, and this does not make me wrong!”

What if it’s normal to feel down, and dare I say depressed once in a while? Or even for longer periods in our lives?

What if these are just normal cycles in our lives that we go through to transform and make our lives better later?

Running away from depression and wanting to fix it

You can’t always fix Yourself or engineer Yourself out of depression. You are not a machine.

When I was depressed, and started understanding that I was feeling down “more than the norm”, my immediate reaction was to try to fix it.

And not really go deep into it.

I do blame the self-help and spiritual movement here. And I see it a lot with the people I work with. I obviously take full responsibility for making those beliefs mine.

There’s this incessant need to fix ourselves like we are broken. We don’t want to feel bad or experience darkness. Because this would mean we are WRONG or not good enough.

We don’t actually want to be human. We don’t want to be these creatures who have meltdowns or who get angry. Or God forbid, want to end their life because they just feel so bad all the time.

And for the critics out there, I’m not saying that we need to “feel bad all the time”. I’m not saying this at all!

I’m actually presenting a new narrative about humans.

  • We are creatures whose emotions and feelings fluctuate.
  • We are also influenced by our outer reality to an extent we cannot really comprehend.
  • As humans, we can’t feel good all the time. We truthfully feel a wide range of emotions, and this varies during different periods in our lives.

And it’s ok that we are like this.

That’s all.

What is the first and most important step in dealing with depression?

Baby steps and taking them slowly are good when dealing with something so severe as depression.

If You are feeling down all the time, with no light, only darkness, everything seems meaningless, You are having suicidal thoughts – then there’s a high probability that You might be going through what we humans decided to call depression.

And if You are trying to get help from all the therapists, healers, spiritual practices, or even trying to work Yourself out of it (guilty as charged), and nothing is working – it’s time for something else entirely.

I personally believe that this should be the first step as well. And I’ve already gotten good results with this “trick” (it’s actually not a trick, it’s being human) with the people I work with.

So what should You do?

It’s time to accept that You feel like this and there’s nothing wrong with it.

I’m depressed and it’s fine. And if Your brain currently says it’s not fine, that’s okay too. It’s okay that I do feel not okay about it.

The next step in how to deal with depression

If You feel like You are ready to take on the mountain that is Your depression, here’s a list of what I did personally and how I work with people.

After I accepted the fact that I’m depressed and stopped running away from it, everything changed. I felt relief. It seemed okay to be me again.

But I still was feeling really down, completely hopeless and dark. I made a plan and an agreement with myself.

  • I said to myself “It’s okay to be depressed for a while and just allow it. I’m scared but it’s ok.”
    • Going into it and allowing myself to experience what this depression cycle had to offer was extremely scary to me. But I had no other way out so I might as well give that a go.
  • I still had to do real-life things like go to a job. I made an agreement with myself after accepting depression that I will not be able to “be successful” for that period but I will show up regardless. I will do my best with the depression with me.
  • I did that with all areas of my life that I couldn’t switch off during my time with depression. Relationships and partnerships, being a parent, business, family.
  • I also made a plan to fully allow myself to be depressed. Just immerse myself in the depression. To completely and utterly allow myself to be depressed.
  • I even had to understand and say to myself that I have no idea how long it will take. And even that is okay. That was even scarier.

That was it. That was all I did.

What started happening in my “battle” with depression?

I didn’t feel like this fallen angel but I believe this image speaks quite well about the actual combat between me and my depression.

At first, it was undeniably terrifying. Every day was still a battle to get out of bed and take care of earthly things. And some days I just stayed in bed. For long periods.

I did it despite feeling like I was a failure. Or that I had to do something else. And even if I felt WRONG.

I did all the things that I wasn’t supposed to do. Binge-watched shows and sporting events.

I did nothing for long periods. Other than just being extremely depressed.

A way out of the depression

There’s always a way out. It’s just the nature of our reality.

I did that for weeks. I didn’t time it but it could have been months as well. It was a long time.

But then a ray of hope, I “randomly” found something that intrigued me online after scrolling on my phone.

It piqued my interest to such an extent that I could not stop myself from engaging with it. I read and I read about the subject. When I was done reading about it, I started applying it in real life.

And all of a sudden, my depression was gone. I have engaged with life again, there was a purpose, and meaning and life seemed worth living again.

Just because I had accepted my darkness and the natural state of my being. I allowed my depression to come and teach me.

In truth, I granted myself to be a normal human being.

When I look back at it now, I also allowed myself the rest that I was craving. That was definitely a part of it.

The fierce tempo of our modern society is not built for us humans to have good mental health. We need to take care of that part ourselves creating different lives and ways of being.

But the biggest part, the juice that got the ball rolling was still acceptance of my situation.

I couldn’t go on the way I was going, and I had to receive my depression to it’s fullest.

Conclusions and the aftermath of how to deal with depression

I imagine the great Buddha was depressed once in a while. So why can’t we mere mortals be?

I sometimes wish I could share the faces of people when I tell them “Just be depressed for a while”.

It’s an utter surprise and yet relief at the same time. Nobody has told them this before, and at first, they don’t know what to even do with it.

But usually, people have suffered enough by the time they come to one of my consultations, and they are willing to try mostly anything.

Even if it’s just them being a human.

I would like to leave You with the following guidance that also served me in dealing with depression:

  • It’s okay to be where You are right now.
  • It’s certainly more than normal to have these feelings. Or to be numb.
  • Our feelings and emotions move up and down. And are on neutral as well.
  • The upside and downside both pass. They are like a warm and cold breeze that comes once in a while to teach us something about ourselves.
  • It’s okay to take Yourself out of the mad tempo we are in. You won’t be left behind. You will engage again when You are ready.
  • This will not be Your reality forever.
  • Just allow Yourself to do the things that You truly want to do. Even if it’s staying in bed for a week and not doing anything that “normal or successful people do”.
  • If You deal with depression once, it doesn’t mean it won’t come back again. Most likely it will but in a different way. We are creatures who fluctuate and transform constantly.

If You are experiencing some childhood traumas that can be the cause of Your depression, here are some posts that can shed light on Your pain.

Ian Altosaar

The Freedom Astrologer

Work with me: https://linktr.ee/astroian888

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