Monday, 3 January 2011

REPOST: The day of the black dog...

After our round-up of 2010, I wanted to repost this post which I wrote about this time last year. Depression isn't the easiest of subjects to talk about and this is only my personal take on it. I know that this time of year can be particularly difficult for people but I hope that people read this and take something away from it. If you ever want to chat (about this or anything else)  you can always find me on Twitter or via email. 

I think it is fair to say that everyone has days where everything seems to go wrong, but sometimes you experience something that can't just be attributed to a 'bad day'. Winston Churchill described this as his 'black dog'Many other famous faces have struggled with depression and it is an illness that can affect anyone and everyone.It can be triggered by the smallest (or largest) things but there are often triggers that you experience throughout your life, and if you can spot these, then you can often stop the depression before it has a chance to get a hold on you and spiral out of control.

Due to my overly emotional personality,and my tendency to worry about EVERYTHING, I have been prone to bouts of the 'blues' throughout my teens and now in my twenties. I can often be quite paranoid, something that isn't helped by my insecurity and complete lack of confidence. Some days I can be happy and relatively carefree but some days I just want everything to STOP.Brooke Shields described being depressed as "I just felt as though I would never be happy again, and as if I had fallen into a big black hole." If even famous faces who have the world at their feet feel down, then how can normal people expect to escape the clutches of the 'black dog'? I think there is a tendency with depression to keep it hidden away, perhaps with the hope that out of sight will mean out of mind, especially as a teenager. People can be very quick to dismiss it as a "phase" when you are brave enough to reach out and this causes you to keep it hidden even deeper. So what can you do? 

First of all, try and remember that it is NOT YOUR FAULT.Take a step back from the situation (I know this is often easier said than done) and try to calm yourself down. What has triggered your sadness? I find that when I get stressed about work or if I am ill, I am MUCH more irritable and prone to feeling down. It is SO tempting to just stay in bed or on the sofa all day but if you are doing something, you often don't have time to fret about what is worrying you. Obviously, if your essay or assignment is what is stressing you out, then it is a good idea to do this! Just not straight away. Have a bath or shower first. Wash your face. Weirdly enough, brushing my teethalways helps me to feel a bit more positiveDo whatever it takes to get you out of bed and up to face the world.

Once you have identified your triggers you can work out ways to circumvent or completely avoid them. For example, if you are having trouble with an assignment, go to your lecturer. If it's boyfriend trouble, talk to your friends. If your friends are the problem either try talking things over with them or just try and find some new people to befriend. Sometimes it can be easier to talk to someone who is removed from the situation as they can give you a more balanced opinion on the situation you find yourself in. 

Surround yourself with people that you love and trust. If you trust them you can tell them what you are thinking or feeling without worrying that they are judging you or going to think you are being stupid. Your friends are there for you when you need take full advantage of their love and support. I am lucky enough to have my lovely boyfriend Mark and Danni to listen to me and to make me literally laugh myself silly. However silly my problem they are there for me and that is something I can't thank them enough for. My family are also there for me when I need someone just to talk things over with and nothing can beat a hug from your mum or dad! 

The internet is your friend in this situation. Whether it is joining groups on Facebook or browsing pictures on We Heart It, there is bound to be something to cheer you up. I have literally HUNDREDS of bookmarks but these are the ones that I go to when I need cheering up.  In addition to this, I read the blogs of all the lovely ladies on our blogroll- I can guarantee that they will always cheer me up! 

♥  We Heart It  
♥  Looklet

I love these sites for different reasons but for the most part I visit them to cheer me up and inspire me.
Who doesn't love a cute baby photo?! 

What are your tips for when you are feeling down? Do you have certain people who you confide in or turn to for help?  



Anonymous said...

I just wanted to say that I think it is wonderful that you have dedicated a post to this often hidden and unspoken issue of depression. I personally too battle with it and I think despite the general acceptance that a lot of people do there is an undertone that you must get better and once you feel better that's it and it won't happen again, which is unfortunately not true.


Danni and Maria said...

Claire Eloise- Thank you for your comment, I have struggled with it throughout my life and at the moment I am OK but in times of stress (i.e. exams!) it all comes flooding back. it IS still a bit of a taboo subject but I hope that people will be more considerate regarding it..

Maria xxx

daisychain said...

I love this post, it's so honest and insightful and a valuable resource.

Much love to you Maria x

Danni and Maria said...

Thank you Laura, I did hesitate when I first posted it but it is something that is very important to me and I wanted to share. :)

Maria xxx

Harriet said...

Great post, thanks for talking so honestly and so positively about it. Xx

Danni and Maria said...

Thank you Harriet. :)

Maria xxx

Sherin said...

This is such a great post. Depression is one of those 'taboo' subjects that no one seems to want to bring up, so it's good to see someone discuss it. This post will be so helpful to anyone sufering from it.

Danni and Maria said...

Thank you Sherin! It really means a lot and I hope it can help at least one person...

Maria xxx

Sarah said...

Well done to you for posting this. Depression is one of those topics that people don't seem to want to talk about it, but it's so important to raise awareness. I lost a friend to depression a few years ago and it totally shook me.

I'm so sorry you struggle with depression though Maria, but it sounds like you have some great coping mechanisms at least. xxx

Danni and Maria said...

Thank you Sarah, I know I am lucky and I am so appreciative of that :) Sorry to hear about your friend though, it's no surprise that would shake you up! :(

Maria xxx

Sarah said...

A difficult topic but written about so thoughtfully.

Just shared on twitter. Thank you for re-posting x

Danni and Maria said...

Thank you Sarah, I really appreciate you sharing it :) Obviously this is only my personal experience but I think just putting it out there is beneficial

Maria xxx

Natasha said...

My friend sent me the link to this blog post and it really inspired and helped me. I was diagnosed over four to five year ago when I was 16 and since then I've struggled with on and off bouts of depression, but this blog post summed it all up for me, so thank you :) xxx

Danni and Maria said...

Natasha- Thank you for your comment, it really means a lot! I know everyone experiences things differently but I think taking control of the little things can really help :)

Maria xxx

Fayoona said...

I just followed this through from ellie (somehow i missed this before).

I really appreciate what you wrote here. thank you lovely

Melanie said...

Just wanted to say I thinks it's so great that you were brave enough to talk about this issue, as it is still a bit taboo and really shouldn't be, so thanks. and great blog btw :)

Anonymous said...

indignantly, bent on avenging the wound given to his beloved dolly. was with him, "Zoë, you are insane," Truyn said at last, very contemptuously. "This


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