We’ve all had those days when depression keeps us firmly stuck in bed. We know all the things we ‘should’ do to feel better but, realistically, we’re not going to make a kale smoothie or soak in a soothing bath.
We’re not alone. There are many of us who have had zero motivation to get out of bed and crack on. We’ve hopelessly thought about the futility of life, questioning the point of it all and perhaps had suicidal thoughts.
What Is Depression?
Depression is described in the dictionary as being ‘low in spirit; downcast’. What it actually feels like is a slab of lead pushing down on the shoulders until you can't breath. I's heavy, stubborn and can drive you person to despair.
When we are depressed we can’t be bothered with our own potential, lift our heads up, see that we have true value in the world, give ourselves in close relationships because we become absent in the company of those we love.
We care less about how we look, or else we overdo it when we go out to act as a mask to the world. We stumble through the day trying to find some meaning to the feelings that ravage us. We lose our motivation to pursue our true vocation and, in so doing, compromise our soul.
We feel like victims – buffeted by the rough winds of life. We cannot grasp onto anything that is solid in order to pull ourselves out of the storm.
Either we see nothing but unfairness or we stoop to self-loathing and believe we deserve nothing better. We lose our sense of reason and we are unable to take an objective view on our circumstances and address what is fact and what is fiction.
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How To Get Through The Day When Depression Keeps You In Bed? Here’s A Way To Make Sense Of It: Radical Recovery
In a bid to make sense of all of this, it’s time to accept the unacceptable: that we can’t magically make depression disappear any more than we can force the sun to start shining because we want it to. The feelings of depression come from a place deep inside us – and are there to protect us and help us function properly.
Excuse me? Did you say protect us?
Yes, I did. There is a very, very good reason why we suffer from depression and it’s the deeper part of us that’s brought us to this point.
We are in this black place for a reason even though that reason may not be apparent yet. At this moment can you hold the thought that you are in the right place at the right time?
This may sound utterly defeatist, but being at the point of defeat is a starting point. Before we can find our way out of depression, the best course of action is to accept it.
Myleen, 35 wrote:
I’m always beating myself up for not being where I could be by now if I had done this or that, not being where people my age are at. Is it fair to say that’s because all this time I’ve been suffering depression/anxiety at various levels and it was a part of my life just like any other thing would have been? I don’t mean using it as an excuse, like to say it’s not my fault, I was busy with depression then but I’m trying to find ways of living with myself, accepting myself and not hating myself as much.
Whilst trying to find ways of beating the depression Myleen explained what I too discovered: by going over and over what I should do to try and pull myself out of the depression, I ended up simply ended up diving in deeper.
There was no escape in trying to work out the whys and how’s at this first critical point. Those thoughts only drove me deeper into the abyss. I would wake up each morning determined not to be beaten down by depression that day only to discover by nightfall that nothing had worked. And I was still in bed!
By not accepting the depression I moved further into the dark room.
However, by the act of giving up I found that by accepting the depression I took away all resistance to it.
Here's an article you may find helpful if you suffer from depression
and don't know what to do next:
What Do You Do When Depression Keeps You In Bed? Stop Resisting It
Resisting depression creates an inner conflict. It’s like the swinging of a pendulum. At one end of its swing you may be saying: ‘I don’t want to feel like this’ and feeling angry and frustrated.
At the other end of the swing you might be saying: ‘I will never be able to conquer this’, whilst feeling hopeless and defeated.
This swinging from one side to the other is exhausting but doesn’t help us in our search for peace. We want to feel something other than depression. We would give anything to feel peaceful.
The irony is that as long as we fight depression, we strengthen it and lose our way. But, by accepting it, step by step, we diminish the power it holds over us. If we can find the courage to accept the depression for what it is – a phase of our lives that we have to pay attention to – we will begin to create an opening that will help us to move towards the light.
We release energy that we need to recover, energy that’s taken up with non-acceptance of the depression; energy that we can now use to our advantage: to get us on the path of recovery from depression and towards hope.
You may find this article helpful if you suffer from severe depression: Help! I Suffer From Severe Depression
You Won’t Come To Any Harm
You may not be able to bear the thought of accepting your depression. Maybe you are thinking, doesn’t that just take me deeper into the hole of darkness and hopelessness? No, you won’t come to any harm.
Instead you will start the healing because you will begin to value yourself. You may fear that if you stop fighting you will lose all control. This doesn’t happen. You will become stronger because you release the recovery energy you are currently using to fight depression.
Acceptance Doesn’t Mean Accepting Everything – Just The Depression
When I accepted my depression I accepted that at this very moment I was unable to fight it any longer. Something happened inside me: a shift from believing I could change this moment to recognizing that this moment was the reality of my situation.
People who become totally accepting of their depression are taking positive action. The positive action is: ‘I don’t judge myself for being in this place.’ This is the starting point of healing which leads to profound change and a new life.
You don’t have to accept all the negative things in your life, just the depression. This in itself will give you clarity because depression seems to make everything seem grey. Once you start to accept the depression, it seems to lose its hold.
This is because, when we continually try to escape from depression, we identify with it and nothing else. But we are not just the depression. The depression is something that is present in our lives now but it is a temporary state.
We don’t have to accept that we will be depressed for ever and that there will be nothing else.
When Depression Keeps You In Bed, Don’t Struggle
It might help to think about the advice experts give to a person who has fallen into quick sand. Don’t struggle – you’ll only sink deeper. Instead pause, take a breath, spread out your arms and balance yourself.
Accepting we’re in the quicksand is the first step towards getting out. With depression, acceptance is about moving away from ‘the struggle’ and finding new ways of releasing ourselves from the hold it has on us.
What If The Depression Is Too Awful To Accept?
If you feel that the depression is too awful to accept, try this:
Accept the depression as if you’d chosen it.
Seeing it as something you have a choice over is a way of taking the sting out of the tail. You may think this is mad but it is ‘radical acceptance’.
Radical acceptance is the ultimate approach to letting go of resisting the reality. I know I’m asking you to go further towards the ‘enemy’ and you may not be certain this is the right way but it is the way to beat depression fast.
When you radically accept the depression you stop it in its tracks because you are no longer creating more pain. The mind stops going over and over the past – because you accept it. The mind stops projecting into the future – because you accept it. When you slow down the mind (more of that later) you stop creating more and more pain.
What Will Happen If You Accept It? Finally, You’ll Feel The Relief You’re Looking For
This acceptance will bring you a sense of relief. It will calm you down in the knowledge that you don’t have to sort it out there and then. You can just relax and sit with the feeling of being depressed. It is not self-indulgent; it is honest.
You are entitled to feel depressed if that is how you feel. You can still function and be depressed. Being depressed does not mean you are going to die; it means you feel depressed. You can cope with that for one day at a time, one hour at a time, one minute at a time. You are not a freak, you are not unnatural, you are not worthless – you are simply depressed.
My recommendation for the times when depression keeps you in bed is to indulge in it knowing you're in the right place at the right time. This isn’t forever, no matter how horrible it feels. It will pass. Eventually.
If you think you might need professional help, this article can help: Which Doctor To See If You Suffer From Depression