Beginning my second year with Major Depressive Disorder, I am still not leading a balanced life.
Now things are certainly much, much better than they were a year ago. I have hope and can see a way forward. Last year, I was up against the wall and saw NO way forward. It was all abyss. I was way past circling the drain. And yet I got up each day, and concealed my depression, thinking that is what everyone did.
Facing depression for the past year, getting it out in the open where I can keep an eye on it has made me much more confident in the future.
Heck, now I believe I have a future. What a magnificent discovery. And it is a future of my own choosing, not one secretly devised by depression and carried out by me under cover of darkness. Depression has suggested plans, and I have gone along with some hair-brained schemes.
Now I am turning the tables on depression, opening up it’s unhelpful thinking and seeing what is really going on.
Recently, I collected a series of keywords related to depression. As I read through the list, I decided that one way I can use them is to treat them as questions. I can answer them based on where I am today, and then come back to them in six months and see how I answer them then.
So here goes:
what are depression symptoms? – For me, it is a lack of energy, a lack of caring about anything. It is time traveling, all or nothing thinking and catastrophizing even the smallest of details about something. And sleep. It is figuring out how I can get away from everything at the end of the day.
clinical depression – Being admitted to 5 North, brought me into a clinical setting. This gave me access to Psychiatrists and skilled Nurses who began to give me tools that are still helping me understand my depression.
what causes depression? – “Nerves” runs in my family. Growing up, it was not something we talked about. It seems I am pre-disposed to the condition. Add to that circumstance surrounding my life and I have many times developed the perfect incubator to grow depression from a small bit of anxiety to full-blown Major Depressive Disorder (with suicidal ideation).
what is depression bipolar ?– There are days when I feel high, then low. I am not diagnosed as bipolar, but who knows what lurks in my mind?
what is a depression article? – I have written 295 articles, blog posts, about depression. This technique of journaling my thoughts has helped me see what I am doing and think in a clearer light. Doing it in public is helpful to me. Having hidden my depression from even myself for over 40 years, I need to get it out so I am not afraid of who may see my depression.
what does depression feel like?– It sucks! Depression does not feel like anything, it is a gray, murky existence, where time stands still. It is a struggle to get out of bed, to get through the day. And presenting a positive face (high-functioning or concealed depression) is totally exhausting.
what is depression-like? – For me, depression is substance abuse, without the dry heaves. It lures me into all kinds of secretive, utterly indefensible schemes, that start out as it is an idea, and slowly become mine. Worse, as I internalize depression’s ideas, they become mine. And I must defend them against outsiders who would show me that the ideas were not attainable.
what is depression in psychology? – I am not a Psychiatrist, but depression, to me is a huge waste of talent.
what is depression psychology? – I would think this is a Doctor’s chance to change how I think about events because, in the end, that is all I can control.
what is depression’s definition? – I am the definition of depression.
can depression make you sick? – I am sick of depression. Whoops, I almost wrote “sick to death” of depression. I hesitated because although I have had suicidal thoughts pop into my head, I have never acted upon them. And I hesitated because I was ashamed of having these thoughts, and I almost did not write this paragraph.
can depression be genetic? – My family history and the family histories of others show me that this is true.
what is depression caused by? – Circumstances, genetics, a sudden loss? For me, stress had caused the depression to flair up.
what is depression disorder? – I am a disorder, in that, I use unhelpful thinking to justify what depression is telling me to do. And then I hide what I am doing because depression and I are the only ones who know what I need. Everyone else is against me.
what can depression cause?– It caused me to live a lie for 43 years. And it is still challenging my ability to lead a balanced life. Big decisions, tiny decisions. It gets into every little crevice it can, finding ways to have me second guess what I am doing, thinking it can have me see it once again as a trusted friend.
what can depression do? – Depression can do whatever I let it. Hell, it had me retire early, it had me distance myself from trusted friends and it had me thinking everyone was against me.
what are depression and anxiety symptoms? – I wrote a wellness recovery action plan that outlines this and other related conditions I might exhibit if my recovery goes sideways. Having attended WRAP training, I have a toolbox full of ways to think about my depression that help to keep me from circling the drain.
what is depression treatment? – My treatment consists of 30 mg of Prozac daily, therapy sessions, a Psychiatrist, Peer Support, and all the reading I have done about depression. And let us not forget, I have successfully completed GSF 102: Advanced Host Training – SMART Recovery, along with two other SMART online courses.
what can depression lead to? – Depression can lead to suicide. For me, I am just too competitive. I want to see my 100th birthday. So, for me, depression has led to 43+ years of hiding my emotions, never getting close to even the ones I love. Depression made me a great reporter (just the facts), but a lousy empathize, never nurturing my feelings.
what is depression medication? – For me, it is Prozac. But for others, there is a myriad of medications out there to deal with the symptoms of depression.
will depression go away? – It has several times over 43+ years. My first deep, dark depressive episode ended when I began running. Not your once around the block, walk-run thing, but 3 to 5 to 7 miles every single day. By the following summer, my lost year was behind me.
will depression ever go away?– I realize now that I will always have depression. The fact that it is sometimes in remission does not negate the fact that I still have it. This is one positive that has come out of my facing depression. Now I know what I am up against. I keep it in the open and have stopped keeping its secrets.
what can depression and anxiety cause? – 43 years of denial? 43 years of achieving goals, then throwing them away. And 43 years of feeling guilty for just being me.
what is depression really? – Depression is like a person you really trust, but who is secretly undermining everything you are doing while patting you on the back and telling you can handle this. And then when the stuff hits the fan, depression has gone on holiday and leaves you to pay the bill.
what is depression really like? – People use the word abyss when speaking about their depression. I have used circling the drain. Depression is like you know something is not right, but you do not have the energy to do something about it. That is normal if it happens today, but not so normal if it happened again tomorrow, the day after that, and the day after that.
what is depression relapse? – The first few months after getting out of the hospital, the slightest backward slip had me thinking “oh no, I’m going over the edge again.” Reminding myself that the path forward was not going to be a straight line, did not immediately help. In fact, knowing that a year later does not always make bad days seem ok.
what is severe depression like? – Severe Depression is like me. Combine that with my need to hide it from everyone, including myself, and severe is not even close. I can appreciate the utter despair someone feels with depression and why some choose to end it. I cannot face that action; it scares me more than living. So, on I go, trying the best I can to live a balanced life with depression.
My concealed depression is written under the alias “Depression is not my boss.” I have certifications in SMART Recovery and am a Global Career Development Facilitator.
Last year, I was diagnosed with Major Depressive Disorder. If you know someone who might benefit from reading this, please share.
Your comments are always appreciated.