It is not just a matter of feeling sad; discover an honest view of the mental, emotional and physical toll of clinical depression.
Before we start, I'd like to make two side notes. First, this article is based entirely on my personal experience with depression. Second, my personal experience with depression goes back about 6 years when I was first diagnosed with depression after leaving the military. That being said, let's get to the subject, shall we?
It’s around that time of year where many people in the world take a heavy toll with their depression. I am one of those many people. Being an individual with depression and educating others about depression is a personal duty of mine. You may ask yourself why, why does she feel so responsible to teach others about depression? Because of the stigma that comes with it. Depression is more then sadness and its not an out for those who have it either.
Five years old – that’s the first time I remember thinking that if I wasn’t around then everyone would be happier and better off. I remember seeing the commercials asking people to “adopt” one of the starving children in Africa and I felt, no, I knew deep in my soul that it was somehow MY fault that those children were starving. I remember thinking that if I ran away, then any problems my parents had would be gone. As I grew older, running away morphed into killing myself. Those starving kids in Africa, well, they were still somehow my fault and any problems my parents had were still my fault. If my parents were struggling financially or couldn’t afford something that my sister or I wanted, I just knew that if I hadn’t been born, then none of that would have been a problem. I never told my parents how I felt. I never told anyone. I didn’t want to hurt anyone by telling them. I never told anyone about my suicide attempts. I knew that no one would understand just what it is like to live with and battle Major Depression.
I'm so happy to be living a privileged life with so many opportunities. And no. I'm not rich. I do not have a net worth of up to a million pounds. But... I'm alive, I have a job, I live in a house, and I have food and clean water.
There's no escape from the emptiness that I feel. Nothing can conceal This Void, ultimately. Nothing can fill this gaping hole,
Black Dog has kept me company for 15 years. He first came into my life when I was studying Law. It was as if he knew he needed to be there. One day, I just woke up, and there he was, sitting at the end of my bed. He needed company so I stayed in bed with him all day. I fed him, gave him water and a nice comfy place by my side wrapped in thick, soft blankets. I tried to find a home for Black Dog but no one else would take him so I kept him, accepted him as my responsibility. My companion. My enabler.
Depression isn’t something I would wish on my worst enemy. I get so frustrated with myself at times for my lack of understanding of what is going on inside my OWN head, and I imagine I am not alone in those frustrations. However, as I was deep in thought earlier, trying to comprehend this latest tormenting depression spell, I was hit with a new perspective. It was like my “aha” moment. I am finally beginning to see a very important aspect of understanding myself and my life, which oddly enough, is that understanding this also encompasses an understanding that NOT understanding is okay.
Everyday is starting to feel the same. I feel like I wake up, go through my day, go to bed, wake up and repeat. It's getting to the point where I wonder if I can even take care of my pets, which worries me.
Neurons ripple through my mind, Ricochet from fact to fantasy. Rails leading trains of thought high jacked by invasive thoughts, manifested by my paranoia and anxiety. Heart rate races, tension builds forcing down my neck and shoulders. My eyes fixed open staring at the darkness of our bedroom. A place that should be safe now seems so painful. “Stop” the only word I could muster under this shroud of doubt. The word dissolves as each second passes; I glance over to her sleeping head. “She loves you, she would never hurt you.” My forever friends whisper gently into my ear, “Its right there just get it and stop this madness”, “Just a quick peak to prove she’s still yours?” A small moan released to reinforce that my next actions are nothing but distrustful.
Depression for me was a scary thing to deal with. When I first started showing symptoms of depression I didn't have a clue of what was going on, I just knew something wasn't right with me. My passion for the thing I loved and wanted to accomplish in life started to decline, I consistently dealt with mood swings, My appetite grew bigger and I became very isolated. During these episodes, I would become very mean to the people I love. It wasn't until years later that I found out that what I was dealing with was depression. I didn't talk to my family about it because I thought they wouldn't believe me. Many people who have friends/family members who deal with depression believe that it's in their head and/or seeking attention. This is not true, to help people better understand this disease we must ask why what, and how? Why does depression impact people? What is depression? and How to treat depression? Understanding these questions can help people who deal with depression to overcome depression.
Yes, I know you hear it all the time. You read all the facts and figures on depression. You see the commercials for depression medication, but if you haven’t felt it, really felt it, then it just looks on the outside like a person who is unreasonably sad. For those who have had others confide in depression, they end up confused when the person confiding in them has no real circumstances for sorrow. It could be someone who on the outside has everything any person would want to be happy, and we can’t understand why they don’t just focus on that and thank God for the wonderful things in their life so they can move forward and smile.
Well... my depression has gotten worse... It just seems to me that every time when my depression got lighter, I seem to get bothered and bogged down by things so easily which got me into depression again. So, I am feeling depressed again.