It’s been nearly two years since I lost my right leg and I’d be lying if I said that my mood wasn’t still affected by it.
Although I wouldn’t go as far as to call it ‘depression’, I can definitely recall a time when I was exhibiting all the signs of that particular condition.
Mental Health might be something that has worked it’s way into the public consciousness in recent years, but there are still large swathes of people who are suffering from some form of mental illness and do not feel like that they can tell anyone else about it.
I know that when I was feeling at my lowest, it didn’t once cross my mind to tell anyone else about it. I felt that no good would come of it. Me telling my wife or my colleagues about how I was feeling wouldn’t help me in any way, all I would achieve would be to bring others down with me.
Today, I’m less and less affected by it, but if it wasn’t for the help of my family and friends, I might have never got out of that hole. I’ve collected a few of the things that helped me the most, everyone will react to depression in different ways. If you think that you or a friend might be suffering from some form of depression it’s always best to talk to a professional:
Change your lifestyle
I’ve spoken before about the benefits of changing your lifestyle. Simple, small changes can often make the world of difference. Things like reducing the amount of alcohol that you consumer per week, cutting out smoking and eating healthy can often be the most challenging when you’re struggling with your mood.
Often these are the things that provide a small glimmer of light in an otherwise dark day – however, they can be replaced with other things. Exercising regularly and getting a good amount of sleep on a daily basis can often do wonders.
It might sound silly but a little bit of light can go a long way to improve your mood. During the first winter months without my leg, I found it difficult to bring myself out of the house. The idea of leaving the house on crutches or, even worse, in the wheelchair was too much for me. The longer that I stayed in the house, the more morose I became.
Without my daily dose of Vitamin D, my body was not producing any serotonin which lead to my condition worsening. Luckily, my wife suggested that I get some PDT at just the right moment – after 2 weeks worth of sessions, I finally felt like leaving the house by myself.
Plan – Execute – Complete
Making plans for the future with people who are depressed, or might be considering ending their lives, is a way of taking their mind off their problems and delaying their final decision. What’s even better than this is finding a way for them to make plans for themselves.
The moment that I knew I was over the hill was when I decided to cook dinner for my wife. I’d sat in a virtually catatonic state for weeks, only leaving my chair to get some food. When the food ran out, I knew that my wife was testing me. Getting up, planning a meal, buying the ingredients and cooking a meal for her did more for me than any kind of medication ever could.