Depression is often referred to as the silent disease. Thousands suffer alone, seclude in the cracks and crevices of our lives. Trying to inch our way through every day in hopes of miraculously waking up one day to find we are cured. Each night we beat ourselves up and put ourselves down. We yearn for the day we no longer have to suffer, yet it seems so distant.
A few symptoms of depression
When many people think of depression, they instantly cast their thoughts to sadness. There is soooo much more to depression that just feeling sad all the time. We are consumed in every aspect of our lives by this treacherous demon.
Many times depression is cast aside as laziness. Outsiders only see our lack of initiative when it comes to doing daily tasks. I cannot count in one hand the number of times lazy has been used to describe my personality. Which hurts, considering there is so much more to me than my lack of action. I want to do things. I want to be productive. I want to be normal. I want to be like you.
Have you ever seen the kids show, Spongebob? Take Squidward and put him under Patrick’s rock. As we battle our depression, we often distance ourselves from everyone. Sometimes it seems we are in our own world. Completely alone. From the outside looking in, it is easy to state “you do it to yourself “. I promise you, we don’t. We want to hang out with our friends a family while enjoying being social. The truth is, having the energy to do much of anything when your mind, body and soul is drained on every level imaginable is impossible. You can’t see it, and maybe we hide it well, but we are extremely exhausted. All. The. Time.
It isn’t unheard of for someone suffering with depression to have poor hygiene. It isn’t intentional either. The lack of motivation we have to do things bleeds into our life of necessities. DO NOT PUT THESE PEOPLE DOWN FOR IT! Doing so could very easily push them over the edge. Trust me, they know. Constantly reminding them only makes them feel even more worthless than they already do.
We might sit and contemplate suicide or have ill thoughts of continuing our lives. It is times like these we realize how easily we could end this. You see, for most of us we don’t want to die. Our goal is to end the pain and suffering we experience day in and day out. After exhausting all of our resources and efforts, what is left? What else is there that we can do? Ending our life to end the pain seems like our last option. Sadly, some people take this escape leaving behind a mess of friends and family to mourn their loss.
Careful with your words
In my complete honest opinion, one of the worst things you can say to someone struggling with depression is “It’s all in your head.” Let’s think back to Harry Potter for a moment shall we? In Deathly Hallows, Harry is at King’s Cross with Dumbledore (that’s my cat’s middle name (; ) when he asks “Is this all real, or is it just happening inside my head?” to which Dumbledore responds “Of course it’s happening inside you’re head Harry, but why should that mean that it’s not real?” Depression is a chemical imbalance in the brain, essentially it is in our head. The effects we suffer are ever so real.
I might retract my previous statement. Telling someone struggling with depression to “Just get over it” or “Think happy thoughts” or even “Be positive” may be the worst. I believe I can speak for us all, if it were that easy, we wouldn’t be suffering still.
We need you to be there for us. This is not an easy task by any means since we are probably pushing you away. It is rather difficult to be close to people who just don’t get it. Hearing the happiness from others breaks us into a million pieces because we want to be like that. We just can’t.
So, why not just get meds?
At this point you’re probably thinking “Man, depression sucks. Why don’t you go get meds?” Please excuse me while I give a bit of a chuckle. Getting a prescription for depression is fairly easy, getting the right prescription is nearly impossible. When we head to the docs because we have simply had enough we cannot tackle this disaster alone, we become a guinea pig. I’ve been on 2 different meds (I refused to go further, most people have been on way more than 2) and neither of them were my knight in shining armor. Have you read the labels for these medications? May increase or worsen suicidal thoughts. We are already standing on the edge of a cliff and our “savior” might be the exact thing that pushes us off. I ended up in a situation where I was on a medication that was kind of sort of working when I lost my insurance. I could not afford the doctor’s appointment for a refill, so I had to stop taking my pills. I ALMOST LOST IT. I am not exaggerating in the least. I called my best friend who lives afford million miles away. She figured out the problem was the sudden stop of the prescription and she begged me to be strong for a few days and it would pass. I am so grateful I did. She saved my life that day. A few days later, I was feeling back to my normal depressed self and not my I’m done dealing with this self.
How do we fix it?
Personally, I sit every night and try to figure out solutions to my depression. I question why it is I, the unlucky one, who has been cursed with this demon. Did I do something in a past life? As a child? Then, I remember how my child hood was robbed from me. I remember how naïve I was when I fell for my first love. The hateful words he had said clouds my brain and my eyes swell up with tears. I’m happily married, but my past still haunts me. A troubling past is usually the core to almost everyone’s depression.
Some people swear by this or that, but the truth is there is no quick fix. If you’re going to beat your depression, you need to know one thing: it is not going to be easy. Even with all the obstacles, I urge you to not give up!
If you want to learn more about depression, here are a few sites to check out!
Remember: Don’t give up on someone who is struggling with any type of mental illness. We need support!