SAMSHA in Washington, D.C. asked me, and others, to be in this PSA about living successfully with mental illness and how important support is in recovery. I am proud of what they produced, but it’s often not easy for me to talk about living with depression. I don’t want to be defined by it. More importantly, I don’t want others to define someone else who is, likewise, struggling with a mental health problem. I hope this commercial helps.
Strong, supportive relationships are one of the best safeguards against depression. In fact, studies have found that good social support helps to protect both our psychological and physical health. Sharing our lives with others is pleasurable and helps us feel better at times when we feel down. The process of talking about our problems and being listened to by someone who cares can be healing by itself.
Friends provide us with many important things such as emotional support, practical assistance and information, a different perspective on our problems, a sense of personal worth and belonging, and ideas for solving problems.
Catastrophizing is an irrational thought a lot of us have in believing that something is far worse than it actually is.
It can generally can take two different forms: making a catastrophe out of a current situation, and imagining making a catastrophe out of a future situation.
Decastrophizing means mentally bringing the problem back to its proper perspective.
We may end up recognizing that a situation rates only a “5” or “10” on our awfulness scale and not the “95” that we currently perceive. Decastrophizing means more than purely acknowledging that our feared situation is unlikely to arise. It means considering the consequences if it should arise. It means considering the consequences if it should arise, and recognizing that in any event, we would cope.