People who are prone to think positively can have protection against depression. Since depression tends to be filled with negative thoughts and feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness, a positive spin on the situation is a nice break. Sometimes this is not possible. For those times it’s important to seek out professional help to get you through. For the times when you’re able to make light of an otherwise terrible situation, here are five ways you can find depression helpful, even if they are a bit snarky.

1 Depression can be good for the environment.
When I am depressed, I tend to shower less and wear the same clothes day after day. Because of this I’m using less water both from lack of bathing and from having less laundry to wash. An eight-minute shower can use over 17 gallons of water. One load of laundry in a high-efficiency washer can use up to 25 gallons of water. Older washers can use up to 45. Less water usage can greatly benefit the earth, especially in areas experiencing drought.

2 You save money.
One symptom of depression is isolation. There are a few reasons why. One is that people who are depressed don’t have the energy to interact with others. Another is that we just don’t want to burden others with our illness. So, we tend to shy away from others and just stay home. This means less going out for dinner or shopping. The less time spent out of the house, the more money saved.

3 You can lose weight.
Over 80% of people with bipolar disorder are overweight or obese, so weight loss can help with several health problems like heart disease, metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes. When some people experience depression, they lose interest in eating. This can cause significant weight loss (at least 5% of total body weight). You have to be careful with this one because not eating is not healthy, but smaller portions and healthy foods are good for depression.

4 There’s quality pet time.
My dog can always tell when I’m especially down. During these times he tends to stick by my side more than usual. He’s also very good at cuddles, which make me feel better about life in general. Taking care of a pet can get you out of your head and out of the house. Having a pet requires responsibility. They need food, water and walks. All of these get you moving instead of wallowing on the couch. Our pets can also be more effective at lowering stress than our partners.

And now for the serious reason:

5 You can encourage others who have depression.
When you’ve experienced depression first-hand you know how much it hurts and how hard it is to deal with it. Because of this, you can help others get through it. You’ve survived 100% of the days you’ve suffered from depression and someone going through the same experience can glean inspiration from your perspective.

 

 

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Image credit: Siena College