THROUGH THE EYES OF DEPRESSION
It took me a long time to accept that I suffered from depression. I
considered myself to be strong, confident, resilient and full of
positive self-esteem. It is true, all of the adjectives describe me but I
do suffer from depression. I thought if I admitted I was depressed it
somehow meant I was weak. I could not accept that I was unable to help
myself. I felt talk therapy or medication was for those who could not
function and since I was working, attending college and taking care of
my personal needs I was high functioning.
I suffered for so long, telling friends I would attend their events knowing that I probably would find an excuse not to attend or conveniently not feel well. I was not living I was sleeping long hours, suffering with headaches and exhaustion all because I could not accept the help that millions of depression sufferers receive every day across the country. In addition, admitting or accepting help for depression had a cultural stigma and is highly untreated within my race. I began to read about depression and quickly learned it can be hereditary and was likely to be a chemical imbalance in the brain.
There is absolutely nothing wrong with me and there is absolutely nothing wrong with you. I happen to take medication to help cope with depression and I have acquired others ways to deal with this daily disease. There is nothing wrong with getting help, please do not wait years the way I did. You deserve to live life to its fullest because tomorrow is not promised to anyone. Do you think something is wrong with you because you may suffer from depression?
The painful reality about living with depression is that you feel all alone. Even though you know people care about you, in the middle of the night when everyone is asleep and you cannot sleep, the reality sets in. If you believe in God, its just you and God. If you do not, its just you.
Depression is a daily struggle and seldom are there two days alike. Some of the thoughts that enter the mind of a depressed person, can vary in range. Many are assumptions about others, about their situation or just random thoughts. The depressed person makes assumptions that are most likely not true; and often times their feelings support the untruths. They feel alone most of the time because except for 1-3 friends no really understands what they are going through and most will not take the time. For the most part they conceal the fact they suffer with depression and probably only ONE PERSON in their life knows when to be extremely concerned if they have talked about their death and their pain is palpable.
The depression sufferers get tired of being depressed and taking their medication. The medication has side effects that range from headaches to upset stomach and/or dizziness. It all just seems so worthless and useless. But if you love them do not give up on them; it will hurt them deeply.
They are not asking you to be their therapist. They just need to know you care, are concerned and take this disease seriously. They already feel as though they are a burden to everyone. They keep their feelings locked inside because they don't want to push anyone away. Being rejected drives a stake right through their heart and sets off a series of unhealthy thoughts that deepens their depression even more. Depression is a debilitating disease with ripple effects that are spread far and wide.
If you know someone who is depressed check on them, even if its a simple text message, an email or e-card, but most of all help them feel they are not alone.
I have found that many people suffer from depression because of their
circumstances. Perhaps, a failing marriage has you down, or a child you
cannot seem to turn around, a prayer you think will never be answered or
a circumstance you cannot ever see changing. The time has come for you
to take bold and new action.
Make a list of the pros and cons and search your heart of hearts to determine what your next step should be. I believe that prayer does change things and often times if you take the leap of faith, God will meet you at your greatest point of need. Do not try to figure out every step, turn, roadblock or possibility.
Instead, take it one step at a time and you will eventually build momentum realizing the hardest part was taking the first step. Change is hard but, new found peace is worth the effort. In most cases, only you can change the circumstances because you cannot control how another person acts, reacts, or makes decisions. You do not want regrets in your life, "If only I did this","If only I said that." Life is too short, stop beating yourself up. God has a purpose for each one of our lives and we have the responsiblity to seek our purpose and fulfill our destiny. There are people waiting on you to find your purpose so you can make a difference in their lives. Its not always just about you!!
What will you do to change your circumstances and begin walking in your purpose?
Today I feel tired but looking forward to a blessed weekend. I will pray for my day, listen to uplifting music to soothe my mind and work on accomplishing at least two attainable goals. I will think positive thoughts and embrace with gratitude all that is good in my life. There is nothing perfect in life and trials and tribulations are meant to be teaching tools and ways to grow us up mentally and spiritually. I embrace all that I have with appreciation, a deep sense of love for GOD and I am thankful HE has brought me from A MIGHTY LONG WAY. I honor you GOD this day for all that you are to me... THE CENTER OF MY JOY.
A common phrase used when someone has suffered a loss or is experiencing
a difficult time is, "I understand what you are going through." This
statement is obviously made by a concerned and caring person whose
intentions are good however, unless you have experience chronic
depression first hand it is next to impossible to really understand how a
depressed individual is feeling. It can at times be indescribable to
them. For me, depression takes on many different faces. Sometimes it is
a sullen mood with sad eyes you think everyone notices, other times it
feels as though your heart is breaking on the inside; It can feel like
despair and make you think your better off not being here.
Depression also manifests itself in anger and you want everyone to forget about you and stop caring because you are sick of feeling this way. On your best days, you feel adequate and as if things are looking up. But on your worst days, you do not move from where you are and everything seems so close, yet so far away. You are hungry, but the kitchen is to far, you want to shower and feel the water running down you body but, you have no energy to get there; You start getting ready for work but, all of sudden everything seems to be in slow motion. You have to convince yourself why you should, or should not do this or that. The best thing you can do for your depressed friend, mother, sister, aunt, co-worker, etc., is to support them. You can do this by calling to check on them periodically, continue to invite them places even if 8 of 10 times they say "no". Try to not take their mood or behavior personally and give them time to act.
I can feel when a depression episode is trying to set in. It can last for 15 minutes, or 50 minutes; 2 days or 2 months. I am able many times to have 15 minute episodes because when the 15 minutes is up, I move. I either go outside, make a call, complete a simple task, listen to a song, start cleaning. This helps to shift the mind away from sad thoughts or feelings. A 50 minute episode may be harder to shake because it is almost like a fixation. I can usually breakthrough this episode due to a time sensitive matter. I will admit many people who suffer from depression are chronically late. I wake up with the intention of being on time to whatever is taking place but if I can getting moving after the 15 minutes I tarry which causes me to be late. The 2 day episodes usually occurs on my "off days" when I know I do not have to go anywhere. This is also where the "no social life" comes into play and you spend this third day trying to refocus and get back on track.
I have not experienced the two month episode often but, it feels like being in a dark pit or hole you cannot climb out of. It is a real time of despair and can be triggered by a "loss", bad news, unforeseen circumstances or tragedy. This two month episode is one for me that usually has a "trigger". The two day episode may or may not have a small trigger. Finally, the 50 minute or 15 minute episode is usually the day-to-day effect of this disease.
A depressed individual may have feelings of depression over a variety of issues and usually when they have "down time" to think everything they feel starts to surface. How will you begin to better understand someone who is depressed?
You have to keep moving forward
EVEN WHEN YOUR LIFE SEEMS FULL OF DESPAIR
EVEN WHEN IT DOESN'T SEEM WORTH IT
EVEN WHEN EVERYTHING AROUND YOU IS FALLING APART
EVEN WHEN YOU JUST WANT TO GIVE UP
EVEN WHEN YOU FEEL YOU CANNOT TAKE ANOTHER STEP
EVEN WHEN YOU FEEL YOU CAN NO LONGER COPE
productive task everyday, no matter how small it may seem.
thirty minutes. (Building up to 3x per week)
8. The eighth key to surviving depression is to expose yourself to at least 15
minutes of sun everyday.
down for no longer than a 24-48 hour period and then moving forward no
disease, there is nothing wrong with me and I have to try harder to turn my
dreams into a reality.