Here's what depression isn't:-
It's not just feeling a bit down, or miserable, or sad, or unhappy. It isn't a temporary thing that lasts just a few hours or days.
You can't just 'pull yourself together', or 'snap out of it'. You can't just switch yourself on and off - there isn't a switch.
Things won't 'look better in the morning, when you've had a good sleep' (sleep is often impossible when you're depressed). Nor will watching a funny film or doing something you like or someone telling you a joke make you feel better (you have no feelings when you're depressed, and humour or even sarcasm go right over your head).
And what depression is:-
Knowing that people around you simply do not understand, especially if they've never suffered with depression themselves.
Feeling emotionless, frozen even.
Not caring about anything, even yourself.
Getting through the day and doing the normal everyday things that need to be done, by a sort of robotic action - just doing it, without really even thinking about it. And then finding at some point that you've done something like getting a bag of peas out of the freezer for dinner, and put them back in the fridge instead of the freezer, and having no memory of doing that. Or gone to check your bank balance online, only for your mind to go totally blank and you simply cannot remember your log in details. Or go to take your BP tablet which you forgot to take earlier, only to find that you've already taken today's but forgot to take yesterday's (it's a calendar pack so I know).
Having someone talk to you, then realise that they've stopped talking and are looking at you expectantly saying "well, what do you think?" and you realise they've just asked you a question and you have absolutely no idea what they've been talking about, you haven't heard a word they said.
Being unable to raise any interest in anything, and not even care that you can't. Also being unable to make a decision, even a simple one like whether you want a coffee or tea.
Not wanting to do anything or go anywhere and when someone asks you why, you just shrug and reply "I can't be bothered" or "I don't want to" - just a bald statement that you can't be arsed to pretty up or explain.
I WILL get through this, it WILL pass, I know that. But until it does pass, I'm just going with the flow. And others will just have to accept that.
You have described depression so well, Sooze. I had post-natal depression after both my children, for over a year each time. It was like being in a long dark tunnel. I can remember the feeling as I came out of it. One day, I could see a tiny pin-prick of light at the end of the tunnel. Over the next weeks/months, the light would disappear then reappear, very slightly bigger, until one day I stepped out of the tunnel into the light - and didn't step back. I hope you very soon step out of your depression tunnel. Sending love your way. xxReplyDelete
You described depression exactly like Harvey did when he went and got medication. It helps, but there are still some days that he has problems even with medication.ReplyDelete
I hope you had a lovely Easter.
Having a daughter that has depression, I recognize this all with her. It's horrible for her and has interfered with pretty much every relationship she has or had except me. I'm sorry for your experience.ReplyDelete
Very wise words, Sooze. Sending love. xxReplyDelete
You have described it perfectly.ReplyDelete
Until you've actually been there you really do not understand and most people that try to 'cheer you up' just have never been there themselves. Including my hubby unfortunately, he just doesn't get it. He does know I get totally ratty and sweary at him when he comes out with all the 'same old, same old' platitudes, but just cannot grasp why. Telling him to f*ck off is usually the cherry on top of a very shitty conversational cake.
Sometimes all you can do to try and help someone feel just a little bit better is to sit with them and just be there ... we are all here for you, sitting and checking in regularly. xx
It is exactly as you describe. Thanks and hugs.ReplyDelete
Having a hard time making decisions is a big one for me, and feeling dead inside. Everything is too much and I fake it a lot. Thanks for sharing this.ReplyDelete
BTW, I came here from John's blog.
You’ve summed it up perfectly. So true that people don’t understand it at all unless they’ve suffered it themselves. I’ve had lots of the ‘just can’t be bothered’ days myself. Sending you best wishes and hugs. We’re all here with you Sooze. Take CareReplyDelete
So sorry this has crept up on you again, and huge congratulations for having the courage and ability to write about it so well.ReplyDelete
Th "advice" which always p*sses me off is to "go and do something you enjoy". Well stuff that - if I felt like going for a walk, going out in the van, or sewing, I am not so stupid as to deliberately refuse to do those things. Depression means you cannot just get up and engage in previously much-loved relaxing activities.
I do not know what the magic answer is, but I do know you're not alone. xx