How do you Deal with Depression in Your 20s?
If you’re a 20-something, depression might seem like the end of the world, but you need to trust you’re never alone.
It’s been almost a year since the world lost Robin Williams.
A comic connoisseur beyond par, Williams often seemed extraordinary to his audiences, breezing his way through roles that were as larger than life as the man who played them. What people forgot though, was that he was still a man, and a weary one at that — constantly fighting a battle against depression he ultimately lost.
Closer home, Deepika Padukone took up the mantle for the illness, talking about her own fight with it. She called to shame the many who still hush it up, shove it under a carpet, pretend it doesn’t exist.
It’s time we stopped. Depression is NOT a temporary state of mind that will simply, pass. It is a very tangible problem — like a sore on the body —and it needs to be talked about.
So, what do you do if you’re a 20-something — like Deepika herself — and suffer from depression? What avenues are open to you and how do you deal with it? The Quint understands, and offers you suggestions that might just ease your pain...
1. Ditch that ‘Friend’
We all have that one friend in our 20s. You’ll reach out to them and try and tell them how crummy you’ve been feeling lately — only to have them make it all about themselves. This ‘friend’ will also make it seem like your depression is just a ‘mood’ and nothing else. “I feel that way ALL the time, I’ve had SUCH a bad day” is their usual bleat. Ditch them. Then find someone with a tub of ice cream and a box of tissues. You need to be heard. And you need to talk to someone who will understand.
2. Talk to Your Parents
There could be no greater support system than your parents. As two individuals who have watched over you all their lives, they will want nothing more than to help you and do what’s best for you. You’re probably worried sick about worrying them — don’t be. Imagine how much more anxious and guilty they will feel when it’s too late and you’re much too ill for them to help you.
3. Eliminate the Root Cause of Your Troubles
Often, the trigger to our depressive/anxious/melancholic feelings are staring us right in the faces and we are too scared to do anything about them. Nothing could be more pointless. You are much too young to be living a life of compromise, persuading yourself that things will eventually work out. Truth is, they might not. If you’re in a toxic workplace, QUIT. If it’s a painful relationship that’s got your goat, think about whether you truly deserve the torment you are putting yourself through. Is he/she truly worth it? Walk out of it with your head held high, putting yourself first.
4. Do What Makes you Happy
Yes, this one’s a cliché, but how many of us can truly claim to follow such sage advice? You won’t be waking up 70 years later regretting the office meeting you bungled; you will, however, regret the picnic you missed, the bicycle ride you didn’t make time for, the trip with friends you skimped on because you were too caught up in the mundane.
5. See a Shrink, and No, it Doesn’t Mean you are mad
Parents, friends and well-wishers might want the best for you and shall always be there for you when you need them — but sometimes what you truly need is medical intervention. Feel no shame in owning your pain and the need to share that with somebody medically equipped to heal you.
6. Take a Solo Trip
You will take several trips before you reach your 20s — with screaming nephews and fussy aunts. And several more in your 30s and 40s — with spouses/partners, family and colleagues. But there will NEVER be a better time than your 20s to explore the world on your own. Take a trip to literally anywhere you want to go! Trust us, you’ll thank yourself for this later.
The one most important thing to remember when you’re going through depression? Even when you feel at your absolute worst, you are NEVER alone.
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