Hello there. I am going to be sharing a few stories here on mental health and today I will be starting with my own personal MH relation being: Depression. I know lots of us struggle with depression, and I know a lot of us don't know how to cope with it. Hell, even when we do know it can still be a struggle.
This though, is to be informative for those who don't get it. This is to help others understand. Please note not everyone deals the same or goes through the same struggles when it comes to depression. I am only sharing my experience and personal views here. Info from my own POV as well as POV of others I've conversated with on this subject.
So in hopes to helping people understand and hopefully making a point to victims of depression that you're not alone and of course to help end this stigma around mental health... I bring to you my points on depression and how it is/effects a person and/or others around them.
1.) Being sad for no reason:
It happens... unfortunately enough. Dealing with depression seems to be a big package to carry uphill, yet the fact that we can allow it to make us stronger is absolutely fantastic. often times with depression we can get sad for literally no reason. Zero. over NADA. That is alright though, despite its burden, how could I possibly know its fine? "hey lady, its not alright, are you insane or something, pal?!" I could be, who knows? But yeah, its alright. because it is okay to not be okay. I get sad for no reason too, that is simply due to my depression. The question though, is "why?"
online defined psychiatry definition: Depression is often a result due to a chemical imbalance in the brain, a mental condition characterized by feelings of severe despondency and dejection, typically also with feelings of inadequacy and guilt, often accompanied by lack of energy and disturbance of appetite and sleep.
Depression also can be caused by trauma and can develop at any age and in any person... He does not discriminate.
I have dealt with depression for as long as i can remember and only have recently become intact with my feelings and practicing mindfulness. I feel like if it weren't for that I would not be here writing about this subject. perhaps I'd find myself writing about how much life is shitty, or how much id prefer to not be walking on this planet. I got o hopeless I realized I was really spiraling down. Dealing with depression is a huge challenge and can be very confusing. Imagine just enjoying something like a comedy or music, say even spending time with loved ones: friends, family, significant others, pets.... and all of a sudden you become sad or like a bug gets smashed and your heart just feels a little heavier. (the bug example may not be a fitting one for all, just mostly there to explain the fragility of this illness.) It's just this unnecessary wave of emotions that fall over you like an over weighted, wet blanket. When that happens its like you are you but not really. This things just makes a mold of itself over your body. Some people may notice and ask whats up, others may not. It is important to talk about this feeling but that doesn't mean you have to. especially if you don't know how to. I personally hate opening up, it is weird and I cry and I don't like to cry especially in front of people, no matter who it is. I do it anyways sometimes because sometimes we need someone to help us take off some weight. Sometimes its easier to just get a hug or maybe some food, a tasty drink? something and anything that is comforting to your soul and body.
2.) Numb Depression:
Sometimes we can become so down that we feel nothing at all... like pure numbness, to emotions that is. Depression is more than being sad, i mean its this evil overwhelming thing that if not properly dealt with can control, take over, ruin or if you allow it... take your life. Being numb depressed is being pretty much oblivious to how you are feeling.
I think the reason for this is that our bodies and/or our minds are not prepared for the drainage of energy especially when we are hyped up already and having a good time. Basically our bodies shut down our emotional category. Emotional files. whatever you wanna call your emotions as a group. It allows us to feel utterly alone despite being surrounded by people or even one person. This can happen a lot more often than you'd think it to. For me, when I have these days I am at a loss for coping mechanisms.
It is hard to know what to do when becoming numb depressed considering you aren't sure what emotion you are actually feeling. That is alright though. Just know when you are numb and become aware of being numb, find some good music or a good tv show to distract you, make some art. something that will give your feeling back.
3.) Depression and anger:
You may find yourself getting fairly irritable or easily angered when depressed. That is normal. It can also fall into that numb depression I spoke about right above this point.
Your body and brain is beyond tired. despite not having done anything if you hadn't... listen to your body. Sadness, much like a frown requires more work than happiness... like a smile: it takes more muscles to frown than to smile.
So, if you didn't know that... now you do. In fact it takes about 43 muscles to frown and only 17 to smile. I can understand though why people may disagree as smiling after a while can hurt but then again you're holding your cheeks in a way that takes less muscles, so that's less muscles to keep your face in that position, therefore.... less strength. Hence why it probably gets tiring.
Now apply that to emotion. Being sad drains so much of your energy, it drags you down and you become sluggish which leads to irritation and anger. Think of all the times you have been tired and you don't get sleep yet so you become irritable.... we need positivity to fuel us. Our energy. Like if you don't eat enough food, (which depression can cause either a loss of appetite or gain of appetite) you get "hangry" right? Then you eat, then it goes through your body, does its thang ("thang".... why do I say this?) and then your mood changes. Don't ask me the science of it or whatever. I only know the simple parts.
Depression can lead to irritation and anger. What is important is recognizing that so you can refrain from lashing out or even hurting you own self. No matter it be physical or emotional
4.) love/hate relationship with depression
Now I am no professional on mental health. (I think I stated that before?) however I have experience in it, and if me doing things like this can help others as much as its helped myself then that is really great. I mean, I want others to know you are not alone.
I, like many others, have a weird relationship with my depression. A love/ hate kinda thing. I am sure that sounds weird, "how can you love your depression and hate it? Why would you love something that makes you feel bad?" Good. Ass. Question. Despite the fact that I can sit here and say that doesn't mean I don't think the same question. (mostly why I added the question).
My depression has been apart of me for so long. It is not something I can just get rid of. Yes, I could take medication for it... but that won't make my depression go away, it would only calm the sea. I for personal reasons choose not to take medication (non personal reason, I don't do good with side effects). I hate my depression. I hate it because it drains me, it makes me ache, it makes me not wanna eat or eat way too much at 1 in the morning, it makes me angry, it makes me mean sometimes (and I am one of the most kind people you could meet) but depression is a bitch like that.
I love my depression, I love it because its made me who I am today. My depression has helped me grow and helped me learn to be different and to be more aware of others feelings (which can be hard enough being an empath and all, we will get into that another time.) My depression causes me a great deal of emotional pain, it put through physical pain at one point, but from that I grew and I still grow. It has helped me become the writer i am today. I started writing my feelings down as a kid, which is when my mental health started going downhill, and writing has become this part of me that is my serenity and my medication to calm my depression.
5.) How do I get rid of my depression?
You don't. Hard pill to swallow, I know, but you don't. You gotta learn to live with it and I think (for me) that is one of the hardest parts of the journey with depression. No one wants to "be sad all the time" though it isn't quite all the time, we all have highs and lows and sometimes the lows stick longer but respond to them. It may feel like a constant nudging thing but if you think about it and I mean really think about it, you have had good days if not at least good moments. If you haven't then I'd advise seeking help of some sort.
If you cannot afford help, that is alright... I can't either. however there are sites you can access with a community of people who also struggle with mental health. Here are sites I have used. a couple have done me better than others, we all have our own cup of tea... speaking of cups of tea
-7cups.com: you can get some free counseling, join groups that revolve around what you need help on and talk in group chats with others who can either help or get your mind off shit!
-Vent.com: also has categorized groups. you can join those groups and post on them as well and your feed will pop up other vents from people in the groups you join and basically, here, you can open up however you would like and please do not feel obligated to use a photo of yourself for your PFP or your real name.
-Headspace.com: this site wasn't really my cup, and beware there are pay options for some things on this site.
I can only suggest these considering they are the most insight of help sites I actually can speak on. You can also find these in your app store.
So, even though you cannot rid of your depression you can still help and work with your depression. Meet it half way. Do something distracting, get back into old hobbies, start a new hobby, write, read, make art, make music, cook some food, bake something, go hike, call or text someone you love. Reach out and be kind to yourself. Always remember it is okay to not be okay and you are not alone.
Thank you. xoxo.