WHAT IS MELANCHOLY?
Melancholy is a feeling of sadness that lasts for a long period of time; often without any obvious reason.
A person with a melancholic personality is likely to be a self-reliant individual who is thoughtful, reserved, and often anxious.
They often strive for perfection within themselves and their surroundings, which leads to tidy and detail-oriented behaviour.
If you lie under this category, then there are several possible explanations for this “addiction’’ to unhappiness:-
The reason for this might be an underlying mental health disorder.
People who have been brought up by excessive discipline and unrealistic expectations may have learnt to equate unhappiness with love and success.
Based on past experiences, some people have chosen to punish themselves or others. They are consumed by guilt or regret that they cannot overcome.
Dissatisfaction makes the person work hard, change jobs, eat healthier, spend quality time with friends and family, and thus helps in preventing unwanted behaviours or situations.
Some people take it as a personal mission to take on the world’s problems on their shoulders.
Some people do not allow themselves to be happy when, for example, people are starving or global warming is damaging the planet.
After going through this, you might have got confused between the terms: “melancholy and depression’’. So let’s clear it out, depression is a common mental health disorder.
It causes severe symptoms that affect how you feel and think and handle daily activities such as sleeping, eating, or working. To be diagnosed with depression, the symptoms must be present for at least two weeks.
Some signs and symptoms of depression are as follows:
- Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
- Feelings of hopelessness or pessimism
- Feelings of guilt or worthlessness
- Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies or activities
Depression, even the most severe cases can be treated. The earlier the treatment can begin, the more effective it is.
Apart from this, there are ways through which we can support someone with depression:
- Be present without judgment or criticism. (Validate their feelings and allow them to be seen, be a shoulder to cry on)
- Don’t offer unasked advice.
- Avoid minimising the pain
- Avoid the tough- love approach
- Be patient, don’t push their boundaries, or give them an ultimatum
- Ask them if you can do anything to help them.
- Help them with everyday tasks they might be neglecting. (Do their laundry, make them a meal, clean the room)
- Take care of yourself too so you can show up for them.
HOW SADNESS BECOMES A SAFE PLACE
So many of us are addicted to the feeling of sadness, with our bodies dependent on our internal stress responses. To heal we must release the emotional plus physical payoffs we get from our consciousness.
One of the best ways to get out of this cycle is to get into self-care. Experiencing a new emotional state. Sleeping, getting sun, creating, eating well. Releasing the trapped emotions the body has become dependent on for a long time. Be gentle with yourself as you process the new way of existing. It will work as a rebirth.
Self-care can be any activity that we do deliberately to take care of our mental, emotional and physical health. So where do you start? Well, there are three golden rules:
Stick to the basics. Over time you will find your rhythm and routine. You will be able to implement more and identify more particular forms of self-care that work for you.
Self-care is something you actively plan, rather than something that just happens. Add certain activities to your calendar, announce your commitment, and actively look for opportunities to practice self-care.
Keeping a conscious mind is what counts. In other words, if you don’t see something as self-care or don’t do something to take care of yourself, it won’t work as such. Be aware of what you do, why you do it, how it feels and what the outcomes are.
Never forget “As with everything, self-care takes practice!”
WHAT PEOPLE SAY ABOUT THIS FEELING
When I asked people about this feeling half of them said that they are addicted to this feeling plus they enjoy it and half of them do not. Some of them said that this feeling of sadness helps them to push themselves to achieve their daily goals. The rest of them said that it is due to a lack of self-esteem or insecurity because of which they are unable to come out of it. Of course, there are other reasons behind this feeling also, but most of them responded in this way. Past experiences stand among other reasons.
Melancholy and Depression: “They are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.”
I’m Roshni Grover, a freelance counsellor helping individuals to overcome their daily challenges. I have completed B.A in Applied Psychology and M.A in Counselling Psychology. My aim is to open my own organisation that promotes mental health awareness.
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