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I apologize for my lack of posts. To be honest, I just haven’t felt like writing. I don’t know how many times I opened up a blank page with the intent to write and then just froze.
Have you ever just felt “blah?” Has your mood ever made other parts of your life hard? If you have no idea what I’m talking about, you are very lucky! Depression affects more than 16 million American adults every year. Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) affects more than 3 million every year. I’m one of them. Depression is something I struggle with on a daily basis.
Not many people will admit to having mental health issues. The fact that it affects so many people but isn’t really talked about baffles me. Some people feel it is a sign of weakness but guess what? It isn’t called a disorder for nothing. Depression can be due to a chemical imbalance in your brain. It’s not something you can control! You can seek help though!
I called my mom the other day crying and told her I could feel myself slipping into depression. It’s a multitude of things going on but life has me overwhelmed and I needed to tell someone. I knew my mom had been through this before with me and probably could tell something was wrong by my lack of speaking with her on the phone so I opened up. Find that person you can trust and tell them if something is wrong. Don’t hold it in!
Depression is something I’ve been fighting for a long time. With all of my health issues, doctors could not figure out what was wrong, would see me cry because I was frustrated and label me with a diagnosis of depression. Eventually I did get depressed. I took my first anti-depressant pill at 12 years old.
Many people are against modern medicine and taking pills to solve problems but I remember once I started feeling the effects of the medication, I felt like a whole different person. I was actually happy and laughing. But when I forget to take a pill? I plummet. I cry. I’m not “myself.” When I’ve told friends, family, even medical professionals in the past how I feel.. sometimes their response is, “well, you look fine.” I’m not.
Depression needs to be spoken about more often. Mental health in general needs to be addressed on a much bigger scale in this country. When someone asks you how you are doing, why do we automatically respond with “good” even when we’re not?
Opening up on here, knowing that my friends and family read this, is a little scary but I hope it’s a step forward in helping others. If you need help, tell someone!
What is “normal” for someone with depression? Keep reading..
It’s hard to get moving
Mornings are tough. It is often hard to get out of bed and start the day. If we didn’t have responsibilities such as going to work or letting the dog out, we would probably would just stay in bed all day. Fatigue is very common with depression.
We sometimes seem flaky
I love going out and seeing my friends. I like date nights. I like going shopping. We may have scheduled an event quite awhile ago, thinking we would be up to it by that date.. the date that seemed so far away that is here now.. and then we cancel. Sometimes it feels impossible to get up and shower and get ready and be a functioning adult. I always feel bad cancelling and deep down want to go but literally feel like I cannot leave the house. We are doing the best we can and we’re sorry!
There’s nothing wrong
Why did I call my mom and start crying? Well, a number of reasons but mainly depression. There isn’t one particular thing “wrong” or anything that triggered it. There’s nothing you can do to “fix it.” Don’t think that someone who has snapped at you or randomly cries is just emotional or it’s that “time of the month.” Depression is something we cannot control and can’t just get over.
We feel guilty
That day I can’t get out of bed and only get up to feed the dog makes me feel bad. I feel bad the dog has been downstairs lonely all day. I feel bad I haven’t done anything all day. I feel guilty that my husband is at work and I’m home in bed. I feel bad I cancelled the gym date with my friend. I feel bad I’m gaining weight because I feel exhausted and lazy. This can lead to feeling even more depressed. Missing an appointment or sleeping an hour too long may send us on a downward spiral.
We’re good actors
Remember when I said that the automatic response to someone asking how we are is “good.” Well it’s more than that for someone with depression. We struggle to shower and get dressed and look presentable. We struggle with smiling and making small talk. Everything is exhausting but we do it so that no one knows there is anything wrong.
It’s hard to have fun
I know that sounds unbelievable. Just think about when you are really tired and don’t want to go out and do something. That is how someone who is depressed feels all the time. Once you are out and doing your obligation, it is hard to have fun after the overwhelming event of actually getting there. All you want to do is go back home and get back into bed. When we make up an excuse for why we can’t do something.. please don’t push us. Sometimes the fact that we even answered the phone to talk is the only thing we could manage that day.
We’re doing the best we can
Sometimes I cry for no reason whatsoever and can’t stop. I know it’s ridiculous but I can’t help it. If someone reaches out to you and says they are depressed, don’t minimize it and tell them everything they do have and to get it together.
I realize this may have been a “depressing” read but it is an important one. I know the man involved in the Las Vegas shooting had bigger issues than just depression but mental health needs to be talked about. People need to feel safe opening up.
Do you struggle with any health issues or mental health problems? Do you know anyone who does or suspect they do? Try reaching out to someone today if you need help or think someone does.