Overcoming Mental Illness

We have all felt sad at some point in our lives. Customarily, it is perhaps because of frustrations, disappointments, or even losing a loved one. This sadness is normal. Time heals, the mood gradually lifts and we go on with our lives.

However, for some of us, this state can get to such severity, that it completely dominates our lives, preventing us from living as we were accustomed to. This condition is known as Depression – a prevalent mental health illness that requires treatment.

Commonly referred to as the 'black dog' or the 'common cold of mental health illness’; depression is a global menace that according to the World Health Organization (WHO), is the biggest contributor to worldwide disability.

Globally, there are approximately more than 300 million individuals suffering from it (about 4.4 % of the overall global population). The good news, however, is that despite its prevalence, you can overcome it. And although it is dependent upon the individual we examine some of the most effective ways you can use to manage your mental state include:


‘No man is an Island’ it is said and it makes perfect sense in these circumstances. Talking to a person about how your life is unfolding without the fear of being judged is not only a huge sigh of relief but also has therapeutic benefits.

Sharing helps you cope with stress. It also allows people to understand what you are going through making it easy for them to devise strategies to help you conquer it. Moreover, you learn about solving problems and coping with life stresses better.

Support groups

Support groups afford you a wonderful chance to interact with people undergoing a similar challenge to yours.

You get the opportunity to hear first-hand experiences and how others have learned to manage their challenges. Apart from understanding what you are experiencing, they give you validation for what you are feeling which is an important aspect of healing because many sufferers a mental illness have to deal with allegations of over-exaggeration’ and pretence.


It seems cliché but such exercising is crucial.

Not only does exercising improve your overall health, but you also get a sense of accomplishment. Exercise promotes a healthier brain that responds better to stress by boosting the brain chemical levels that promote the formation of new brain cells and neural connection.

Moreover, exercising regularly has been seen to be more effective for depression than typical depression prescription drugs (SSRIs). During exercise, endorphins (feel good body hormones) are released which help uplift your moods.


Finally, if the case is more severe, you can always opt for medication. Usually, the popular drugs prescribed are anti-depressants. It is important you understand that these drugs are not an instant magic pill’ and as such you need to practice patience to enjoy optimal results.

Role of Family and friends

Having support plays a crucial role in helping you overcome depression. Individually, it can be challenging to sustain both a healthy perspective and the necessary effort needed to overcome depression.

What’s more, the innate characteristic of depression makes reaching out to help a difficult task. When you are suffering from depression, you tend to withdraw and subsequently isolate hindering active connection even with loved ones. Nonetheless, when you have friends and family by your side, you have confidence in speaking out since you are certain of their unconditional love and support despite your shortcoming.

Everyone wants to feel loved, cared for and safe and if you are depressed, even more. We all want someone who can listen to us attentively without judging us or getting distracted while at it. And who else better at it than those that know you well enough?

Finally, staying connected and close to individuals who both understand your condition and can offer a positive influence will have a beneficial impact on your outlook and mood.

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