The Not-so Great Depression
I’ve been trying to write this blog post for over 2 weeks and as time goes on it becomes more and more challenging. I used to think it was writer’s block I suffered but it’s clearly the depression halting the thought process and creative juices. Trying to find the words and construct sentences that can then become paragraphs is very difficult for me.
I watched this video and, although it doesn’t fully convey exactly how I feel about depression (to be fair, I don’t think anything can ever truly capture the stark reality of depression to the most minute detail), it’s certainly a different take on trying to inform those that don’t ave/understand depression.
It’s hard to open up about depression without it looking like a cry for help, attention seeking, pathetic, a burden to people and being needy. It’s easy to say I’m depressed but it’s incredibly difficult to face up to what it actually means and the work I need to do to get by. Knowing what you should do and what you feel able to do are worlds apart. Menial things feel like mammoth tasks. Stuff as basic as shaving or washing a plate feel huge.
Understanding the impacts of depression is one part of the battle. I’ve been studying into it and tying it in with the way I perceive myself functioning and thinking. This piece, in particular, struck me. On top of understanding it, the need to identify triggers and alternative ways to deal with or avoid those triggers is another big job.
I believe I have been depressed since my pre-teens but just failed to acknowledge it. I was diagnosed with borderline depression when I was 16/17, took Citalopram for a short while before taking myself off them and assuming I wasn’t depressed and just tried to get on with things. I was officially diagnosed in 2015 after finally accepting the possibility after the death of my Mum knocked me for six and left me floundering in a world without meaning.
Thoughts of my Mum are a definite trigger and, where I should be excited for my wedding on Boxing Day of this year, I feel extremely anxious and depressed about it as my Mum won’t be there to see her youngest son on his big day.
Trying to function, by feigning emotion, is physically draining – I now how I should feel in various situations but in the majority of cases I don’t. The guilt of not being able to feel the way I know I should is also extremely draining. I may be wrong here, but the fact that I can acknowledge where I know I should feel something means that part of me isn’t dead; it’s just blocked behind my mental condition.
The only emotions I genuinely feel are those of a negative nature – anger, hate, sadness and the like.
To try and describe how I think and feel can’t really be done with words. What I can describe is the last few weeks – I’ve felt suicidal a number of times. Waking up in the morning has truly devastated me. Since childhood I have loved falling asleep in the bath despite being told how dangerous that can be – I can tell you the sadness I felt when I awoke having never even slipped beneath the surface for even a second. Feeling worthless and useless has been a day-to-day affair with me.
Two days after I was signed off work with depression I suffered a slipped disc. I’ve suffered with sciatica for the last six years or so and was diagnosed with a prolapsed disc about two years ago during my abdominal pain. What I couldn’t quite figure out was if the depression fuelled the pain or if the pain fuelled the depression. Lying around because I was struggling to move played right into depression territory as it led me to sleep, lose my appetite and affect my sleep. After being prescribed Diazepam to take for 6 days, my sleep was much better and my ability to move improved. Now that I’m off the Diazepam the pain has increased, my sleep has been poorer and as a result, the depression has worsened.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve come to learn who are true friends. I’ve also come to learn how destructive my behaviour and moods can be but I feel like a scene in a Scooby Doo cartoon where they’re running from the villain – I know what I should do and be, but I get nowhere as I’m just running on the spot with the same scenery going by.
For me, one that chooses the path of least resistance and an extreme need to stay within my comfort zone, I don’t see the point in carrying on as depression cannot be cured. I’ve read that those who are prone to relapse with depression, the chances increase exponentially each time. To me, that is not living. What good is that to those around me? I said before, that I’ve pulled the mask off of life and can’t unsee it. It seems futile trying to trick my mind and continue this existence. I don’t think the drugs are doing anything. I know that the only person who can help me is me. What if I don’t have the strength or willpower to help myself? What if a significant part of me simply just doesn’t want to?
It seems like a lot of pressure and responsibility to bear. And, to be completely honest, I really don’t know if I can or even want to do it.
This is how I perceive depression. A futile fight against oneself as well as, what seems to be, the rest of the world.