How to be happy when depressed? Can the two co-exist? Yes! First off, we need to feel that we deserve happiness. Happiness is our natural born right! However, many people inwardly believe that they do not deserve happiness.
When feeling depressed, feeling undeserving of happiness will contribute to a person giving up on the effort to improve one’s life and outlook.
Where does this false belief come from? This most likely stems from a dysfunctional family and upbringing, and most likely from being treated as though we are the bottom of the rung, repeatedly.
If we are treated poorly by our closest caretakers, we grow up feeling as though we deserve that treatment. We grow up believing that we are innately bad, undeserving of love and unlovable. Therefore, by extension, we feel that happiness is something we also do not deserve. If we believe we are undeserving of love, then how in the world do we deserve to be happy?
That is a falsehood! We all deserve to be happy, no matter what false beliefs have been ingrained in us since childhood.
That being said, there are many reasons why people become depressed. Many do believe they deserve happiness, yet they cannot seem to achieve a happier state of mind. This can be due to unfortunate life circumstances, a horrible job, an undesirable career path, an unhappy relationship or marriage, a troubled childhood or any number of reasons that contribute to a depressed state.
Depression is both a chemical imbalance within the brain and a condition created or caused by our environment. Negative or toxic environmental conditions can worsen the pre-existing chemical imbalance and create deeper or prolonged depression.
Depression must be treated with both anti-depressants and individual therapy. Anti-depressants alone will not eliminate depression; anti-depressants simply help a person to cope better and to function at a higher level than the depression has allowed.
Individual therapy is where the real work is in order to achieve a happier state of mind. Yet, I see all too often the situation whereby a person’s deeply ingrained beliefs interfere more than the depression itself on his/her ability to be happy.
People can experience feelings of happiness, despite dealing with depression, but only with proper treatment and most especially, individual therapy. The two treatments combined are necessary and vital in order for treatment to be fully effective. Individual therapy with a well-trained therapist helps us to overcome the mental challenges and barriers to happiness. Therapy helps to break down our false beliefs that we have been conditioned to believe all our lives.
Yet, I have run across so many cases where people complain that individual therapy does not work – why is that? It’s either that the therapist is ineffective and not well trained, or it’s the individual who is not willing to do the actual work therapy requires.
It is true – there are plenty of bad therapists. Therefore, it is highly beneficial to interview therapists first in order to find the most suitable match. Too often though, people become discouraged after one just bad therapist and quit therapy altogether. Just as often, I find that people give up on therapy before even really trying. Therapy is work, and it can be mentally and emotionally exhausting, painful and just plain difficult. Because of this, people often put up road blocks or quit therapy because it’s just too hard.
Therapy is hard – let’s face it. I have personally learned, however, that the hardest things in life bring us the greatest rewards and are well worth the personal effort, commitment and time. After all, isn’t our happiness and emotional well-being well worth the pain of working at it?
Achieving a happier state of mind does take work, especially when dealing with depression, but we can get there if we try. Once the first steps are taken toward alleviating depression, we can feel better because we are working toward a personal goal. Working on a goal and seeing incremental progress helps us to feel better about ourselves and contributes to improving our happiness on a day-to-day basis. So, if you are facing depression, do take the necessary steps and obtain treatment. You will feel better as time goes on, and you will feel happier.
So there are some tips on how to be happy when depressed! Here’s to overcoming depression and to being much happier in life!