I didn’t realise this for quite a while after I was diagnosed. It is not as simple as other disease where there is a pill to take and it will go away. It’s complicated and takes everyone a different amount of time and a different type of approach to fight it.
For me it was a complete sense of hopelessness and lost in a maze with no exit.
I felt useless and as though I could do nothing right. I constantly told myself I was a failure at life.
I felt alone, even when surrounded by people. I wanted to be on my own, yet needed to know there were people out there thinking about me. I was a complete contradiction at times.
I didn’t know why I was living my life. It felt like a waste of time.
I struggle with all-or-nothing thinking and depression makes this a lot worse. I am a perfectionist in my own way. I like to do the best job I can do at anything I set out to try. So anything less than that feels like failure. I don’t know what caused it. I think it was a combination of a lot of things that culminated in a tipping point that I couldn’t come back from on my own.
I’ve had to work hard to tackle this way of thinking head on. I’ve been on medication. I’ve take therapy, including a year of CBT. I’ve completed homework. I’ve read books. I’ve read lots of online stories. I used lots of free online resources. It takes work every day. I just signed up to an online course for the next 6 weeks. I’ve added a list of resources to the bottom of this post that I recommend for anyone struggling with any kind of mental health struggle.
The hardest thing for me though is other people – my family included. No one understands really unless they have also been through something similar. It’s hard to talk about with anyone who doesn’t really understand. I’ve been lucky and had two people I can talk to without hesitation, but it took me a long time to open up and be okay with that. Therapy really helped as I could talk about how other people made me feel without worrying I was going to offend anyone while working through my reactions and the causes of them. I was then better able to articulate what I meant outside of therapy and stopped worrying about other people so much.
I still find comparison thoughts tricky to deal with. In order to combat this I had to give up Facebook for an extended period. I decided I didn’t need to know what my friends or old friends were doing every day and I would prefer to hear from them personally. I now only view it when something from running club needs a reply. I also purged my Twitter and Instagram feeds to get rid of anything negative or unhelpful – otherwise these resources have been fantastic. Blogging has also been a way for me to sort out my thoughts. I don’t tell people about my blog in person; I let people find it on their own as I don’t want anyone to feel as though they have to read it because I’ve told them about it. I want anyone who reads it to find it interesting and useful because they like the same things.
What I want to get across from this post is that everyone has difference experiences of depression. Don’t let anyone tell you how you feel is not worth the help and support you need. Don’t let anyone put you down or depression down as something to get over. It’s real and it’s life threatening. You are worth fighting for.
Resources I’ve found useful:
- Lift Psychology
- Depression is not Destiny
- Huff Post Lifestyle blogs
- Psychologies Magazine
- Hello Giggles
- Blogs – I use Feedly to keep them all in one place