Depression - Inside A Sufferers Mind
There are many definitions of depression - low mood, sadness, anxiety - the list goes on. Many people who say they are depressed are having a "bad day", feel sad for some particular reason or just feel out of sorts. The reality for those who suffer clinical depression is much worse and I am writing this as a sufferer in the hope of giving an insight to anyone who is trying to support someone with depression. It is something that is difficult to talk about and it is even more difficult for others to understand the depths of despair a sufferer can feel. So here it goes........
My depression comes and goes in episodes, often without an obvious trigger. I know when a depressive episode is coming on, I become increasingly tense and irritable. I start to feel anxious and worried about inummerable things, both real and imagined. Slowly this anxiety grows to almost a panic, small problems and worries become massive and bigger issues become insurmountable.
In a few days this constant anxiety becomes an unbelievable hopelessness that leaves a huge feeling of emptiness and despite the support I have, I feel totally alone, just like looking in on the world from outside and not being able to join in. I begin to worry about the past, the present but I can see no future andI start to question the whole reason for going on.
The depression brings with it tiredness, both physical and mental, which often leaves me clumsy and confused. Strangely, I have learned over the years to become two people through a depressive episode - when dealing with people outside of close family and friends who know my "secret", no-one could guess the internal turmoil. It's a bit like being an actress I suppose, playing a role to the public but being someone else inside.
I am lucky to have a supportive partner and sisters but I try not to burden them, though I must say that my partner suffers the most from my irritability and misery. I also have my animals and as they always need to be cared for, I have no choice but to get out of bed on even the blackest days and that, of course, prevents me giving up entirely.
Slowly, the panic recedes over time, the length time depending on whether I have "braved" the episode out without seeing the doctor. It is a long process but gradually I return to a more level emotional state and life goes on in a much better way - until next time.
To all those who are going through any type of depressive episode I would just like to say be brave, be strong, you will get through it - after all, you did last time, right?