The Pain of Change

Depression used to be my standard operating system. It existed like an evil best friend I knew was bad for me but who also held together my destructive comfort zone. Strange how we’ll stay in poor habits just because they’re comfortable, isn’t it?

“Change happens when the pain of staying the same is greater than the pain of change.” (Tony Robbins)

Gradually, I disowned this evil friend and found freedom from depression. I’ve lived outside of the pit for many years now. Yet, I still find myself occasionally gazing back into its miry depths. More than other times of the year, battling depression during the winter months is especially difficult.

Increasing Intensity

Part of the reason for this occasional visit seems to be the same reasons depression impacts so many people. It feels impossible to avoid altogether and based on these stats from the World Health Organization, I’m not the only one who feels this way.

  • 350 million people worldwide — that’s 5% of the population — struggle with depression.
  • Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide.

Many of the elements leading to depression seem to converge and intensify during the winter months. Here are just a few that make depression in the winter months intensify:

  • Isolation
  • Grieving
  • Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Overwhelm and overload
  • Comparisons
  • Neglecting self-care
  • Decision overload
  • Family conflict

Then there’s the uniqueness of the holidays. They take us out of our normal routines. They present us with seemingly endless sweet and savory opportunities. We essentially let our guards down, and that’s all the opening depression needs to gain a foothold once again.

Refuse to Let Depression Win

The sooner you can reestablish your guard, the less damage depression can do during the winter months. In fact, you can actually more than just get through them — you can enjoy and celebrate them.

This is so difficult to do all on your own, though. I simply cannot remain victorious over depression without help from others. A lot of others.

On Struggle to Victory, you’ll find a great deal written about depression. As hard as I’ve tried, I cannot separate myself from it because it played such a large role in shaping the person I am today. My prayer is that my experiences can help you or someone you love find victory too.

You can click on the Depression category along the right side of any page and find many posts related to overcoming depression. I’ve listed several of those below that you may find especially helpful with depression during the winter months.

Refuse to give up the fight. Refuse to let depression win. The best tip I can give in that effort is to simply not quit. Persevere. Keep putting one foot in front of the other. I pray that the resources I offer here can help you or someone you love continue doing just that, especially when depression during the winter months seems inescapable.