A Depression Mind wants you to know
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?
How will you begin to better understand someone who is depressed?