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The Agony of Depression

Updated on July 7, 2011

Depression! How I hate that word. You hear it every day "I'm depressed" meaning 'I'm sad' or "I'm very depressed" meaning 'I'm very sad.'

Isn't it ""depressing"" that people who have never been depressed do not understand. A friend, acquaintance or colleague is signed off work because of 'depression'. People cannot get to grips with how serious it can be. A broken leg, appendicitis, toothache all generate sympathy because it can be seen or it is a previously shared experience.

Depression is an invisible unknown. It is to them... 'sad'. We've all been sad and even very sad at times. So they think along the lines of "Why don't they just pull themselves together and get back to work?"

Depression is an illness, a serious illness. It can be a sudden onset or builds up slowly over weeks and months. There is no instant cure and, even with treatment it may take many months or even years before there is full recovery. There is even a school of thought that there is never a complete cure.

I talk with some authority on depression because I have been there...twice. Both bouts of depression varied in length and severity of symptoms. Although these were the two most truly terrible periods of my life and something I hope that I never ever go through them again I am glad they happened. Yes I am happy I suffered depression.

I am happy because I can tell you that there is a way back. It is not the end of the road.

Everyone experiences their own depression. Depression symptoms differ. No two are identical. Each has their own depths and pains. Words are not a salve to this very frightening experience. If you are comforting someone who is depressed four things are vital.

Patience

Understanding

Listening

And most important, Hug them.

It doesn't matter what age or sex they are...hug them. It is vital.

Never forget that depression is just a step, a teeter from the edge of no way back ever. A hug can really help.

As with the best of Blues songs and poetry.

A depressed persons world is far removed from the real one. My feelings were different at different times. One of the strongest was the wish not to exist. Not actually a suicidal thought (though I had those too), no this was the wish never to have been born or be thought about or to have done anything...really not existed.

The concept of time went down the plughole. To me a minute could seem like an hour at times and at others an hour could seem like a minute. Some people lose their appetites and literally starve. I did not. Others cannot sleep. I did. I slept for as long and as often as I could. In sleep I was happy and even nightmares were preferable to real life.

Before depression I had never experienced claustrophobia or agrophobia. Now I had both at one and the same time. I found myself weeping with fear in supermarkets and fast food joints. Outside I had the need to touch, to run my hand along walls and fences as I walked.

 

Photo By:  http://www.flickr.com/people/pagedooley/
Photo By: http://www.flickr.com/people/pagedooley/

What is Depression?

Depression occurs when an event such as a death, financial or marital problems gives the body's chemical mix a big jolt and causes them to become unbalanced.

Sometimes known as Clinical Depression or Major Depressive Disorder it can affect anyone at any time though it is more common in Women than Men and more likely to occur between the ages of 30 to 60.

Symptoms vary immensely but there is a common reversal to the norm. An active sex life may taper off to nothing, a gregarious person may be become a loner. a big eater may start just picking at food.

What is depression?

Schizophrenia

One of the lesser mentioned symptoms of depression is that it sometimes co-exists with Schizophrenia. Possibly not mentioned because not everyone gets it.

In my own case I did have some really unusual experiences. At times I was able to actually leave my state of depression for short periods and become 'normal'. Normal in so far as I seemed to be watching myself and waiting to return to my depressive state. Curious because at such times I actually wanted to be depressed.

Photo By:   http://www.flickr.com/people/burningimage/
Photo By: http://www.flickr.com/people/burningimage/

See A Doctor

There is a little advert whizzing about on the internet which is claiming to cure depression in three minutes. Don't waste your money.....it really is not possible. Depression is a clinical condition. There is no magic bullet. Look at other websites offering advice and suggestions. Some are genuine but others are written by people who have just been 'very sad'.

The one most important thing you MUST do is see a doctor as soon as you possibly can. An understanding doctor can make all the difference. The sooner you can be assisted on the road to recovery the quicker you will get there. Don't turn down medical help....because it will help! Time though is the great healer.

I really believed my life was over when I had depression. I came so very very close more than once. I thought I would never come through it but I did. You can too.

Now I am glad

It may seem a strange thing to say and I would not have believed it if someone had told me it would be the case but I am glad I went through depression. It allowed me to learn a lot about myself and about other people too.

I truly believe that I could never be depressed ever again but you never see that train coming till it hits you.

Comments

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    • Peter Dickinson profile imageAUTHOR

      Peter Dickinson 

      7 years ago from South East Asia

      Thanks Dave.

    • dkanofsky profile image

      dkanofsky 

      7 years ago from Bethalto, Illinois

      A wonderful detailed article about depression and how it can serve as a catalyst for other psychological disorders.

      When I was going through my worst depressive episodes I felt that my mind was imprisoned in a continuous and unrelenting cell of despair.

      Thank you for sharing this insightful information.

      Kindest regards,

      Dave Kanofsky

    • Peggy W profile image

      Peggy Woods 

      9 years ago from Houston, Texas

      Very good hub regarding an important subject. Glad to know that you have recovered and can share this news with others who may not realize that this is a disease needing treatment just like any other disease.

    • Shalini Kagal profile image

      Shalini Kagal 

      9 years ago from India

      So poignant - and yet your hub is a reminder that there is hope. I really do wish people were taught how to deal with those who are different, who have different experiences and who feel differently. Acceptance and as you rightly put it - hugs - can go a long way in removing those callous 'labels'.

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