Weekly Tools and Tips to Improve Any Relationship

February 16, 2017

Combating Depression: Advice from a Blue

As a 20-year-old sophomore in college, I had a lot going for me. I was living abroad with three good friends, I was traveling to exotic countries, I was working toward obtaining a higher education and I was in love. Despite all of the wonderful aspects of my life, there was something that overshadowed the good: Depression.

I was officially diagnosed with situational depression shortly after moving home from my semester abroad in Russia. Up to that point, it was the darkest period of my life. On paper, it didn’t make sense for me to be depressed, and yet, I was. Difficult doesn’t begin to describe the years I warred with this mental illness.

Though it didn’t logically make sense for me to be feeling so depressed, understanding my personality from a Color Code perspective now helps me identify characteristics that contributed to my depression. I am a Blue, and it just so happens that Blues are more prone to depression than the other colors.

Before we look further into these characteristics, remember there are many shades of Blue — we are all different. Some Blues may feel they don’t struggle with the same limitations I do. And even if they do, they may have found a healthy way to overcome them. However, if others relate to what I am about to tell you, I hope to provide helpful actions to combat depression and other mental illnesses.

My limitation: I have unrealistic expectations, especially for myself and my life. I tend to create a timeline of where I should be in my life, and it’s because I compare myself to others. For example, as a 20-year-old, I wanted to graduate college by the time I was 22, but I also wanted to travel more. Sure, I’d lived in Russia for a semester and traveled while there, but that was only one corner of the world. If I expected to graduate at 22, I couldn’t put off school and continue to travel. If I wanted to travel a ton, I couldn’t pay for school. I wanted my life to be as picture perfect as everyone else’s looked on social media, but it wasn’t realistic (for me or them).

My advice: Stop comparing yourself to others and thinking you should be doing more than you are. Determine what’s most important to you (e.g. college OR travel) and make that a priority without worrying that you will never achieve your other goals. Recognize these things take time and be patient with yourself.

My limitation: I am worry-prone. I tend to focus way too much on the future with a tunneled perspective. While depressed, I would stew over things like “What if I never get married?” or “What if I never get happy again?” (Spoiler alert, I’m married and have found happiness.) I created problems that weren’t there yet and never would be.

My advice: Focus on who you are rather than who you are not. Instead of thinking, “I am not pretty,” think, “I am kind.” Additionally, focus on what you do have and not what you don’t. Rather than hyper focusing on whether or not you’ve checked off a reasonable amount of boxes on your bucket list, focus on what you’ve achieved and what you’re currently working to achieve.

My limitation: I get too jealous. For whatever reason, I think a lot of us look at others’ success and view it as our own failure. If someone else lands their dream job, we can’t be happy for them because we haven’t found ours. It doesn’t make sense, but I believe it’s a real thing, and I felt this way a lot when I was depressed.

My advice: Rather than focusing on the thing you’re jealous of, think about the person you’re jealous of. If it’s one of your friends or family members, who it often seems to be, think about your love for them and how you do want them to be happy. Then let yourself celebrate with them. I think it’s less lonely to celebrate with them than to distance yourself from them.

Now that I’ve revealed my insecurities — how Blue of me 😉 — I hope others who have similarly struggled can take comfort in knowing they’re not alone and there is a way to overcome some of our less-than-admired qualities. Blues, if you have additional suggestions as to how you’ve fought against your mental illness or limitations, share them with us in the comments below! Remember, our goal is to become Charactered (attaining strengths outside our core colors), but we can be patient with ourselves until we get there.

Megan Christensen graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho in 2014 with a Bachelor’s degree in communication. She previously worked as the head writer for KSL.com and is now the digital content manager for the Color Code. Her core color is Blue, but she is almost just as White.