I have lived with depression nearly half my life. I have times when the clouds have got so thick I could only think of one way to get out, most days I just have a fog but what have I learnt about depression and what do I wish other people knew about it?
Your not sad
Don’t get me wrong you can cry, but it isn’t like your particularly upset… it’s more this feeling, feeling of uselessness, feeling of failure, feeling of desperation. You can be sad but being sad doesn’t make your whole body feel like lead if you try to move, it doesn’t make you exhausted doing normal everyday things.
Even on my good days it’s still there lingering, I can be having the most amazing day and yet something is still there, my chest still feels heavy and having fun seems to take work.
I’m not saying depression isn’t extreme sadness but being sad for a couple of days is not depression.
I thought having sleepless nights was exhausting with a newborn but somehow your body does get through. The new born exhaustion is exhausting and does not help your mental health at all. This is a different sort of exhaustion.
It’s an exhaustion from pretending, imagine putting a smile on every time you leave your house. The physical exhaustion as getting out of bed feels like a marathon. The emotional exhaustion of not actually knowing why your feeling the way you do. The exhaustion of the battle in your head, having this constant argument with yourself in your head.
Depression is exhausting!
There is sometimes no reason
Sometimes there is a trigger to depression, maybe an event or a series of things that cause the depression.
Other times it could just be that your body just doesn’t make enough of the right hormones and chemicals in your brain.
My one pet peeve are when people just say
What has she got to be depressed about?
The answer to that is
- You don’t know what’s going on behind closed doors.
- It’s actually none of your business
- Sometimes she hasn’t but depression doesn’t look at your current life it can pounce on anyone it can just be in the genetic make up
Caring with someone with depression is heart breaking and you need support
One thing I learnt after I got out of my deepest darkest days was a new found respect for my husband.
He would get home from work, I wouldn’t communicate, I couldn’t communicate. He would be greeted with silence. Be greeted with the house a mess, dinner to prepare, I kept the kids safe and occupied but they would need changing and bed time routine. He would do the nursery runs before work and sometimes leave work early to help me. He gave up his dream job to be basically be my carer.
He watched as his wife was on self destruct mode and going on a downward spiral. He would wonder what he had done wrong, when the answer was nothing. He would be our rock. He would spend every waking minute he wasn’t with me worried that I would do something to make it end.
There was so much emphasis on me and my journey and nothing for him. He just had to deal with it.
He would live for the rare days I was functional so we could get some fun walks and fun family day trips in.
He held all this in knowing the stigma of depression and he didn’t want people to think less of me as a mum, as a wife and as a human.
It affects people on different scales
Not everyone with depression is suicidal, not everyone with depression self harms, not everyone with depression can’t hold down a job.
Just remember everyone handles depression differently. That is all 🙂
There is no cure only help
Depression isn’t an illness you can’t cure it. You can manage it, you can nurse it but you can’t cure it.
Yes I would say I’ve had a few times when the depression has lifted and gone, I wouldn’t say I was cured. As I sort of flitter backwards and forwards towards depression, constantly looking for signs so I can get help as quickly as I need to.
Pills do not cure depression they help you cope with depression, they give your brain the chemicals and hormones it needs.
Counselling doesn’t cure depression but it helps to talk to someone.
Eating different foods doesn’t cure depression, but different foods do help depression in different ways.
I’m not saying you will always have depression but there isn’t a magic pill, it’s manageable through a lot of help and lifestyle change.
Depression doesn’t define you
Don’t let depression define you. Don’t let it become your identity. I’d hate for people just to know me as ‘o that’s the mum with depression’ I’m not I’m me and depression is just there, it is not me.
Depression sucks, it sucks for those who have it and for those who live with it. It is a nasty parasite in my eyes. I want to break the taboo of depression as talking to people openly makes having it less tiring as your not always wearing a mask.
Not everyone sadly beats depression and this crushes me. Just remember to be there for people, and help those that care for someone with depression.
It is a hard path and a long path. You don’t just get over it. You can’t just be happy and motivated.
It’s knowing people are there that is the biggest help.