It's easy to think that having depression is something that will affect you for the rest of your life, especially when you're going through a really bad episode.
I know because I've been as low as it's possible to go with depression. I also know that things don't have to be like that forever. With the right diagnosis and the right treatment you can look forward to a happier life, even if it doesn't feel achievable right now.

Four years ago my life was a complete and utter mess. I was 40, I had no job and was back living with my parents. I had no prospects, was in debt and wasn't far off being completely broke. I was lucky enough to stumble across someone who was able to properly diagnose my symptoms and recommend an appropriate treatment. Since then my life has completely changed for the better: now I want to offer you some hope for the future.

Think of depression as being like a computer virus that’s affecting all the software, programmes and operating systems. It’s disrupting everything, causing some programmes to work too hard and some to fail completely. In fact, this is almost exactly what happens to your brain when depression strikes.

What’s not commonly understood is that when one area of the brain stops working as it normally should, it has an impact on virtually all other areas of the brain. So, just like a computer virus, one ‘bad’ area can infect all the others. Unfortunately, because of the way each area of the brain is linked with other areas, one seemingly small problem can lead to devastating consequences.
There are several things you should always remember if you suffer with depression.

Although it can make you feel lousy, you do not 'deserve' to have depression and having it does not make you are not a bad person – even if those thoughts go through your mind occasionally. This is your brain playing nasty tricks on you and they are not normal thoughts.

You are as entitled to live a happy life as anyone else. Just because you may not be happy right now does not mean you are always doomed to be unhappy. Treating depression can be complicated; getting the right diagnosis and treatment can take time. If you've tried lots of different things to beat depression but none have worked, don't give up.

Have you heard of Thomas Edison? He invented the electric light bulb. It's rumoured that Edison tried over 2000 times to find the right combination of chemicals that would keep an electric bulb working. In all that time he never gave up, and neither should you. No, it's not easy or quick beating depression, but the next treatment you try might just be the one that gives you your life back. Don't ever give up, even when things seem impossible or that it’s not worth going on. Always keep in mind that depression is mostly a malfunction of how your brain is working, nothing more.

If you keep doing the same things to try and get well, but they aren't working for you, then you need to try something different. You may need to use a combination of treatments to become well, so don't discount any particular drug, therapy or treatment. For example, it's unlikely that one drug by itself will completely make you better. But that drug (or other treatment) may work wonders when you combine it with specific exercises, other therapies etc.

Something else which is not widely known is that anti-depressant tablets on their own are unable to completely fix you. To explain exactly why would take up much more room than is available here, but basically any medication can only take your recovery so far.

You may also need to change your diet slightly, take vitamin or mineral supplements, do specific exercises to re-stimulate the brain, or have some form of treatment such as Cognitive Behaviour Therapy. What will work for you will not be the same as what someone else needs, but you need to be open to suggestions you may not have previously considered.

Just because the present or the past may have been bad, it does not mean your future also has to be. It is not set in stone; you can change it. My own experience of fighting depression convinces me that if I can turn my life around, almost anyone can. And yes, that includes you.

One thing that can really help is to have the support of someone who will help you through the worst times. Don’t underestimate how much this can do for you. When I was at my worst I was unable to face doing such simple things as making dental appointments, let alone face the trauma of going to the dentist. Having someone deal with those things, and to go with you can be an enormous help.

Don’t be afraid of asking for help; this applies to guys in particular. Men tend to think that having depression is a sign of weakness – that’s if they will even admit to themselves that they have it. Having depression is not a sign of weakness and you don’t have to battle it by yourself. Sometimes having a little help can make the difference between being able to move forward and remaining stuck where you are.

Whatever your current circumstances, or however bad things seem, you must not give up. You are as important as anyone else, you deserve to be happy as much as anyone else. It’s never too late to become well.

Your future can be much better than the past – don’t give up.

Author's Bio: 

Richard Ingall went through the very worst of severe depression but turned his life around. Richard has gone on to write Depression Beater, a breakthrough book on understanding and treating depression. Written with the help of an expert in functional neurology, you'll discover information about how to treat depression succesfully that most experts simply do not know.

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