Beyond the Blues
Understanding depression is difficult; hear from Psyche's community of peers on their experiences with this mood disorder.
Understanding All Anger is Self Anger Can Save You from Yourself
At times I have been so angry I've wanted to smash up rooms, destroy chairs and tables, pull down closets and shatter pictures with my fists.
Hello. My name is Brittany and I am currently 22 years old. I want to talk about the reason why I started sharing my work on Vocal. For several years I have battled anxiety and depression. Which is worse, I am not sure. Sometimes they work together, and other times it’s as though they’re working separately. Every single day is a struggle. Some days are worse than others, and some days are relatively good days. Most days are normal. Normal for me is something I wish nobody would ever have to experience especially daily. Everything I write is inspired by my own personal experiences. I want to share these in the hopes that maybe they will reach someone who desperately needs to know that they are not alone.
Content Warning: Postpartum mental illness, depression, and suicide. Oizys was an old ship. Charles’ family had bought her in pristine condition off a Greek immigrant back in the ‘80s. Now her wooden frame was littered with dents, the copper plating turned green, and smelled like hell. The once brightly painted OIZYS now only read O ZY and Katrina would sometimes call her Ozymandian. In spite of these many flaws, she could be steered by amateurs and was what they had. All they had isolated in the Gulf of Mexico.
Catharsis At Last
I’ve never told anyone this. Not family, not friends, not strangers. But I don’t want to hide anymore. I’ve been suffering from depression for the past 4 years. I’ve managed to hide it exceptionally well over the years. I moved to a different city for university in 2016, away from everyone I knew. It felt like a new beginning, a fantastic adventure. Everything was new, scary, foreign but full of potential. The first year went by in a blur. I hadn’t really made any friends, at least none that I felt safe with. I still kept in touch with some old friends but as time went past, we grew further apart until eventually they all went away. I was living in student accommodation but I didn’t really spend time with my flatmates. I grew increasingly anxious and didn’t leave my room unless I absolutely had to. I isolated myself from the outside world and it was an easy task. I was in a city where no one really knew me. I was an excellent actor so my family never suspected anything. When I spoke with them, I could slip into the persona of who I used to be - funny, sarcastic and entertaining. I felt relief during those moments, but as soon as the phone call ended, it was like the curtains fell and the play ended.
Become one with nature and improve your mental health
My oldest son recently took me on a two-mile hiking trail across a local mountain. When we got out of the car he asked me to listen and I smiled; We both took note of the complete silence because we were away from the sounds of the city. The air was fresher and my sinuses cleared up. My son age 39 walked just a bit slower and I picked up my speed a little and we found we were walking in sync with each other and were one with nature. As I strolled behind him my son's clothing seemed to blend in with the hues on the mountain and I was amazed.
Dancing with the Black dog
As the world is struggling with the Covid crisis, and its aftermath it seems to be a little self-absorbed to be considering Depression, and what it means or does to ourselves.
Experiences from the pit.
We were all completely shocked at the heart breaking news, last year, when we heard that Caroline Flack, beautiful, accomplished, successful Caroline Flack, embroiled in a media nightmare, had resorted to taking her own life.
Rules To My Life.
I have suffered from depression for a little more than half of my life. It is a rough road to living and being satisfied when dealing with depression. Throw in a little obsessive-compulsive disorder and you really have a recipe for some fun thought and behavioral patterns. I require a set of rules to keep myself above water. Through the creation of these 'life rules,' I have made it easier to enjoy my life. Let's just get right down to it;
When Your Child Suffers From Depression
Depression. epressi It’s such a horrible word. Not just a horrible word but a horrible affliction. If you have ever found yourself in epression’s clutches, you know the feeling of hopelessness you experience. The fear that you will never escape it. The feeling of being lost. The feeling that the world has gone dark and there are boogeymen around every corner waiting to jump out at you.
Quick Facts -Depression can result in a vicious cycle - a nasty thought appears in your head, you believe it, it makes you feel negative, you act out the negative emotion, and reaffirm the belief.
Hiding in Plain Sight
In 2019 I heard words from my doctor I didn't expect. "You have been dealing with chronic depression your whole life." I looked at him with skepticism and replied, "I can't be chronically depressed. I get up every day and I go to work and do what I have to do, and I'm not depressed all the time." Fortunately, I have a wonderful doctor who I can trust to always be honest with me. Hearing those words was a shock; but as they sunk in, it was the beginning of understanding myself in a new and liberating way. I learned that I suffer from a form of depression called "High functioning chronic depression." It is one of the hardest to diagnose because the sufferer has the ability to function on a daily basis, while hiding the non-stop internal struggle to remain productive. We can have periods of high productivity also. But the difference is; we may be in emotional agony at the same time. Childhood trauma and abuse exacerbate any type of mental illness and I am one of those survivors. The feeling of emotional isolation and the judgement of others is the most painful aspect for me. The smarter and more talented the sufferer is; the harder it can be to recognize. Those who suffer from this are most often exceptionally perceptive of everything around us and ultra-sensitive to the feelings of others. We are often able to see the big picture when others can't. That knowledge can be an overwhelming burden to carry. "You are so smart and talented. Why aren't you famous? Why haven't you done more? Why are you doing a job that is so unworthy if your abilities?" I have grown used to hearing comments like this from others and I ask myself these questions when I am at my lowest. I never had an answer. Comments like that have added to my pain and the guilt I have carried my whole life for not accomplishing so much more. There is a non-stop inner dialogue that the HFCD sufferer experiences that is a heavy burden to carry. We suffer from an unusually high fear of failure, even though we are typically highly talented and intelligent. We overthink everything often causing us to just give up on a project or an idea. This form of depression is exacerbated if other conditions exist such as ADD/ADHD/OCD or any other challenging personality condition. I am ADD/ADHD combo with HFCD. I spent the first forty-eight years of my life not having any answers for the failures, the lost opportunities and the emotional agony of just trying to survive, meet my responsibilities and find some happiness in my life. At 48, I was fully tested for ADD/ADHD. That was when I began to understand myself in a way that finally allowed me to accomplish things I would have never thought possible. I completed 2 college degrees in 5 years, raised my son as a single mother and saw him successfully complete high school, college and achieve independence as a responsible, loving, and exceptionally talented man. And yet, there are still days when I do not see all the good I have done; I only see what I haven't done. "Fitting in" is perhaps the most painful aspect of HFCD. We make up about 1.5-2% of Americans who suffer from chronic depression. "I can hide my depression so well that people around me have no idea what I’m dealing with unless I clue them in. What I wish everyone realized is that allowing yourself to reach out for help is half the battle. The other half is continuing to help yourself because depression can always be there waiting to trick you with these awful, untrue thoughts like: ‘You’re worthless,’ ‘You’re no good,’ ‘No one cares.’” Sherry Amatenstein, Psycom, online article)! This adds an additional challenge. Since fewer people can relate, the feelings of isolation are often intensified. I have been fortunate to have a small circle of friends who love me and give me the pep talks I need and the emotional support I need when I become overwhelmed. They may not completely understand what I feel; but they CAN see what I can't and won't let me fall. Even with that support; there are still days I struggle to remain positive and not fall apart. The world situation is adding an immense weight to the burden I normally carry. It has been SO much harder to fight depression and anxiety for me during the last few years. As a woman, I am still experiencing menopause symptoms while coping with all of this. Sometimes I just have to keep reminding myself of how much I am experiencing so I can stop being so hard on myself. I have always hated labels. I've never wanted to be put in a "category". I am beginning to understand that all of these "labels" are just starting points to help me understand, accept and love myself. We are all complex and unique individuals. I just want to be happy and keep becoming the best person I can be. I don't want to be mentally and emotionally imprisoned in this cycle of endless struggle, guilt and disappointment in myself anymore. Life is a journey of self-discovery that never ends. I just want the journey to be less painful. I want to believe in myself and be the person I was meant to be. I hope my words will help other HFCD sufferers find hope and purpose. Leslie Perkel
Therapist: Exit Stage Right
Recently I have had to face the hard truth that I have depression and I am at a really rocky stage in my life. So I did what most people do, I got a therapist.