Being Resilient Can Help You Fight the Blues
Depression is the leading cause of disability in the U.S. for those between the ages of 15-44. By the year 2020, the World Health Organization is estimating that depression will be the second leading cause of disability worldwide. As many as 15% of people with depression die by suicide, according to the Center on Depression and Resilience.
There are many ways, however, to tamp those numbers down, one of which is being resilient, or having the ability to bounce back from the negativity that life throws at you. Resilience is all about having the ability to cope with and adapt to new situations. Being able to get up again and again after being knocked down by a series of adversities in life is an invaluable trait to have — and one that can be learned.
Resilience and Depression
Everyone goes through hard times in life. It’s how each of us chooses to deal with it that helps us pull through. When you are depressed and choose to let it get the better of you, you are the one who suffers most. Others, who may be trying to help you, will eventually tire of your lack of effort in response to their efforts and move on. This leaves you where you started. Depressed. Only now, you are missing your support group.
People who refuse to let depression get the better of them work to improve their emotional health, which helps them to become better able to bounce back from bouts of depression. This is resilience.
Resilience supplies the tools and emotional energy required for coping with bouts of depression, and helps them feel better about themselves in the long run. People who can be resilient can stay focused and flexible, whether times are good or bad. Even though many learn resilience and flexibility early in life, this does not mean they are skills that cannot be attained in adulthood.
How does an “old dog” learn the new trick of resilience? The number one skill you can develop is learning how to connect with others and not isolating yourself, for fear of compounding the feelings that are making you depressed. Having people around you can serve as a support team — a group of people who you will find actually agree with your thoughts and opinions and are happy when you are around.
Another way to build a support group by getting out there is to join a community where others are battling depression as well. There is a sense of safety and comfort in knowing that others are going through what you are. You may be more willing to speak up and find that others are going through some of the same things and can totally relate to your situation. In such a group, depression is not a new topic. Everyone has been there, or is there. Everyone already understands. They all get it.
Get Out There
So if you’re down in the dumps, make the effort to get up and out in the world. You will be surprised by how much easier it is to fight depression with others around you, cheering you on.