How My Depression Changed Over Time – My Brain’s Not Broken

You know, it’s funny. You would think that after ten years of living with depression, of experiencing it on and off, that I would understand it better by now. Some days I feel like it is. I feel like I understand why I have symptoms or know exactly what I can do to relieve them and feel better. But other days it’s like I’m dealing with depression for the first time. It may seem like I haven’t learned much about depression, but I disagree. For me, there’s a difference between learning about depression and learning how to deal with my own depression, and that’s what I’d like to talk about today.

When I first learn about a new idea or concept, I love to take in as much information as I can. I don’t know if this is the most useful way to learn, but my instinct is to cast a wide net. At the beginning of my journey into depression, I cast as wide a net as I could. I read books, listened to podcasts, watched videos, and tried to learn everything I could about what it’s like to live with depression. And while I learned a lot of useful things, I was also overwhelmed by the amount of information and experiences out there. Not all of the information I learned worked for me and I quickly became frustrated.

I’ve blogged about this before: when it comes to dealing with depression, what might work for me may not work for you, and so on. But this is not simply a message of finding what works for you. What has frustrated me lately is seeing how my depression has changed and adapted to the changes in my life as I continue to go through it. The intrusive thoughts have changed course, attacking different areas of my mental health. The things I felt insecure or anxious about when I was 20 are not the same things that exist today, and my brain knows it. Symptoms of depression may not change in people over the years, but sometimes they seem to come from ever-changing sources.

At some point, when talking about depression, I realized that I had to change my approach. Instead of learning everything I could about the topic, I needed to learn more about it. myself. I needed to learn about my instincts, my habits, how I dealt with success and failure. I didn’t really know myself and that lack of self-knowledge was a barrier to mental well-being.

That’s not to say any of this is easy; Knowing ourselves is a journey that lasts a lifetime. We are constantly growing and changing, just like the world around us. All of this is to say that what is true for us one day may not be true in a few years, and that’s okay. The better we get to know and understand ourselves, the better equipped we will be to address the mental health challenges in our lives. I know that, despite everything, I am better equipped to handle my depression than I was ten years ago, and that fact gives me strength for the present and hope for the future.

I’d love to hear from you on this topic! Do you think the way you experience mental health challenges changes over time? What tips or techniques have you done to help improve your own mental health? Let me know in the comments!

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