Fighting Depression While Recovering from a Serious Illness

Fighting DepressionWhen we are seriously ill we become scared, stressed and very emotional. These normal feelings we have to cape with while trying to come to terms with our illness can lead to depression. It is so important to fight depression before it sets in and takes over your body and soul.

The sort of depression I am talking about is not the chemical kind that can take you over for no apparent reason. I am referring to that awful, gut wrenching feeling of despair you have as you try to cope mentally and physically with the health problems you are having to face,

There is not one answer to suit everyone, but I find that when you set yourself a huge challenge and fight to reach it, then you are less likely to worry so much about what you are facing and will spend more time and energy on meeting your challenge. This challenge can help you fight any feelings of depression that you may be feeling

I guess setting goals is the first step e.g. being able to walk unaided; but I am talking about something much greater than this when I refer to setting a challenge. I am talking about you aiming to complete a task that seems impossible at the time. You also have to be prepared to fight to meet your challenge regardless of how long it takes you.

When I discovered that my stroke had left me with the rare condition of ‘Alexia without Agraphia’ it meant that I could not read – BUT I could still write! So I decided to write a book. I knew that this task would be awesome as it is so difficult to write something as complex as a book when you cannot read what you have written.

My husband, Peter was a godsend. As I wrote each page he read it back to me so that I could be sure I had written what I meant to. I finally succeeded with reaching my challenge two years later when the book was published.

Peter said “Meeting this challenge was the best therapy for Barbara’s recovery than anything else we tried.” Fighting depression is never simple, but setting a major challenge in your life at this time can certainly ward of the feelings of depression you are experiencing.

I have written my book around my own experiences of coping with both a stroke and a brain tumour and the depression I was feeling. At the same time I have tried to inspire and motivate others to take some of the actions that I found so helpful for my recovery. You can read a short version of what happened to me to see if you would like to read the entire book.

Hints and Tips

When ill and trying to fight off depression, aim to be productive. Set yourself a challenge that when met can make you realise that you have achieved a huge victory. You need to satisfy yourself and others that you ‘can do it’.. Reach for the stars. After all, you can do whatever you want to do; you just have to figure out ‘how’ – don’t let anyone tell you that you can’t do something.

32 thoughts on “Fighting Depression While Recovering from a Serious Illness

  1. Ash Kingsley

    I am a Depressive and have been for many years. I practice what you preach and being productive is one of the keys to surviving and thriving. Being active balances chemicals in you, and also helps in so many different ways. Having small goals and completing them adds up to enhanced productivity, leading to cumulative feelings of success. Soon enough, your confidence gets higher, and you can ‘reach for the stars. 🙂

  2. Lisa Perkins

    This has to be the most helpless time in ones life….. Dealing with any kind of medical problem is hard, but emotionally… It can be completely Depressing. Sometimes, it’s just way to hard to recognize the “Silver Lining” at the end of the Battle!!!

  3. Steve Francis

    I suffer from depression myself and I know how important it is to try and stay productive even when in a depressive episode.

  4. Ana B.

    Very inspiring. You’re a perfect example of how a person can fend off depression while recovering by keeping themselves productive. In the end you’ll be healed, and you’ll be personally successful.

  5. Mary McKinney

    It is hard being a care giver. I try daily to battle the few demons I have towards it. I love my mother endlessly but it is a hard, hard job!

  6. caitlin

    I agree when recovering from any illness it is always important to aim high and be as productive as possible.

  7. Wendy Mitchell

    I have fibromyalgia, and that is an illness that doesnt go away. I have learned to live with it, but there are days the pain is unbearable. That is when depression sets in the worst. During those time of severe pain, I rest and sleep as much as I can. I find it helps alot.

  8. stanza

    It is actually not healthy to give up at certain point..yes u have to remind urself that u need stars.U first need to satisfy ur own self and always tell urself :Yes ,I can do it.

  9. Rhystc

    I believe setting yourself challenges and being productive is the best way to beat depression. Good advice!

  10. Chris W.

    Having experienced depression in my life, I, too, have learned that it is important to set goals and take on a new challenge. Such goal setting always made me feel better about myself and gave me new adventures to focus on. It also gave me a greater feeling of control and empowerment.

  11. Samantha R.

    When I get into a deep dark depression I try and keep my mind off things by playing cards, reading, or even doing house chores.

  12. rose

    I think your words can help others with depression. Inspiring. It is very important to get treatment and motivate yourself to see it through.

  13. Jack J

    I have found that setting goals and trying to stay positive while recoving from a serious illness is very important.

  14. sweety

    Excellent tips. We don’t like to see our dear ones sick and following these tips helps us to care for them as best we can. Its really helpful and I recommend every one to read.

  15. Joe King

    Depression is such a hard thing to beat, especially in this dreadful situation. I admire your courage.

  16. Hailey Singer

    Such a beautiful article, I hope I can do as well as you if I ever find myself in this position.

  17. Jane

    Depression can be terrible. Distraction is the key. Best not to focus on all the negatives as this will compound the problem. Surround yourself with happy people and find friends who you can confide in.

  18. anegeku ekwa

    From my experience the best way of coping with stress is listening to music and watching comedies This article is so relevant to everyone it directs us on how to overcome our depression.

  19. sarwar

    depression is a very serious topic and i am glad you managed to cover this.This is more wide spread than we think.everyone should be aware of this ..

  20. Marie L.

    Combating depression is tricky. I agree that you should aim to be productive. It takes your mind off some of the pain.

  21. Antasy

    For a human being, depression is not uncommon. Fighting with it is the main challenge. Great writing!!

  22. Brian

    My uncle suffered from severe depression after tumor removal from his brain stem. He went so far as drinking Clorox bleach to commit suicide. I guess he couldn’t bare the thought of being helpless and always a burden to us.

  23. MBW

    It’s so important to maintain a good healthy mind during times of trouble. It can literally be the difference in one’s survival.

  24. Matt

    You definitely should never give up! I found making a plan and starting a routine in my life helped me recover. Thanks!

  25. Indumathi Palanisamy

    I suffer from depression myself and I know how important it is to try and stay productive even when in a depressive episode.In my experience the best way for me while dealing with stress is always to go to the beach.


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