When I told my mom that I was depressed, all she had to say was: \u201cIt\u2019s all in your head.\u201d It didn\u2019t help, and made me doubt myself even more. But, it is real, and on the rise. Not acknowledging it makes it more dangerous. It\u2019s a problem, and it\u2019s not going away unless we start dealing with it properly. Bear in mind that even though it is devastating, it\u2019s not the end. It doesn\u2019t mean you\u2019re never going to feel joy and happiness again. You will, slowly, and in small measures. You\u2019ll learn how to cope, and how to manage this difficult condition. Here are some ways a few Malaysians cope with theirs: One call away Being depressed can make it seem like you\u2019re alone in the world. That\u2019s why, for an extrovert like Wei Jie, there\u2019s little that can\u2019t be solved with a night out with his friends. Despite the time apart and work obligations, his friends from high school still meet up once a week, to check in with each other. Ever since he opened up about his depression and his parents\u2019 indifference, they made an effort to be there for him. They\u2019d only be a call away if he needed an ear. They made good on their promise and answered every call. They never judged when he cried or belittled his problems. Wei Jie even says that he owes his life to them. Knowing just how much he meant to them helped him pull through. If you\u2019re like Wei Jie, and venting about your problems makes you feel better\u2014talk to your loved ones. Parents, significant other, or friends - find someone who understands what\u2019re you going through and takes your problems as they are without judging you. Reserving the hour When you\u2019re depressed, it gets harder to do the things you love. Your passions take a backseat while you try to take care of yourself, and that sucks. It really does. After his father passed, Nathan spiraled. He stopped talking with his friends, he felt that his job was a dead-end, and he stopped drawing. His passion for drawing developed when he was a kid. His dad pushed him in that direction after seeing how much he enjoyed arts and crafts in kindergarten. After his dad passed, he couldn\u2019t do it anymore, because it was too painful. Of course, his mother worried. She nudged him and bought him new paints and brushes. To please her, he picked it up. It didn\u2019t click the first time, but he started to enjoy himself when it became a routine. Painting became the one thing he looked forward to each day. There are still days when he struggles to get up from bed. Even then, Nathan tries to set aside an hour to sketch, paint, and indulge in what makes him happy. And that\u2019s something everyone owes to themselves: Time. Put aside time each day to do what you love. Let it be the reward for making it through the day. It\u2019s not selfish to take care of yourself. Through their stomachs It\u2019s easy to think no one cares about you, but it\u2019s not true. There\u2019s always someone who does. Don\u2019t believe the voices in your head. For June, she silences the voices by providing for her family. Both her parents are working past their retirement age, and barely have time to eat a homecooked meal. They\u2019re not getting younger, and they\u2019re at an age where they have to be more health-conscious. So, June takes it upon herself to cook for them, making sure they\u2019re getting the nutrition they need. When she sees how happy they are with her gesture, her life has more meaning. Even if it\u2019s the last thing she wants to do after a long day at college, she\u2019s happy to see them happy. To June, being needed by those who matter makes her feel like she matters. She\u2019s more motivated to heal. In another world After being diagnosed with clinical depression, Mira thought her life was over. She was overwhelmed by all the medication and appointments with the psychiatrist. Instead of supporting her, her parents were disappointed and worried more about what their relatives might think. While medication and therapy helped, what really helped her to cope was video games. She\u2019s a fan of role-playing games where she has to save the world. In that universe, she isn\u2019t surrounded by her illness. She isn\u2019t Mira, the clinically depressed, but a hero with the power to change her destiny. Given the chance, Mira models her character after herself to help immerse in the fantasy. While she knows it isn\u2019t real, it inspires her to recover, so that one day she\u2019ll be as strong as she is in the fantasy world. If you\u2019re depressed, know that you\u2019re not alone. It does get better, I promise you. It\u2019s not a straight and easy road, but you\u2019ll get there eventually. Keep doing the things which make you happy. Start doing things for yourself. If you feel helpless, there\u2019s no shame in talking to a professional. Please don\u2019t harm yourself. There are people who would love to help. Contact the suicide hotline and befrienders, who are willing to talk to you anytime. http:\/\/www.suicide.org\/hotlines\/international\/malaysia-suicide-hotlines.html https:\/\/www.befrienders.org.my\/ (Names have been changed.) This article should not be taken as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health providers with any questions you may have regarding a mental or medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this Website.