depression · mental health

Depression

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Depression is something most likely most of us have felt at some point in time.
It’s described as a low mood that can last a long time, the severity of this low mood can vary but in any form it generally can make day to day life more difficult.

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Severe depression
This is when depression takes over your life, you no longer love the things you used to enjoy, energy levels are low, self value and self esteem can be at an all time low and ultimately life doesn’t seem worth living and you battle suicidal thoughts.

Again I won’t claim to be an expert on depression here so for all the details on depression and the different forms it comes in click here.

Depression has the power to make you feel like the only person in the world feeling this amount of pain without a single scratch on you. In a room surrounded by people you feel as if you’re the only one there, all alone. Despite being loved you feel unlovable…depression has the power to take everything away from you without anyone having noticed a single thing, and all this can happen in a matter of seconds

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My experience

It’s often hard to put your finger on depression as it’s true it can be mild at times, a bad mood can start it or lack of motivation which lasts for a few days then fades. Or something may trigger it from an insult, possibly a break up, or even a bad day at work.

Depression can come and go but for most of my life I rarely remember a moment I didn’t feel this weight of depression holding on to me unable to shake.

For me I can’t quite remember how I got into the cycle of my ‘coping mechanisms’ but one pattern I picked up was people pleasing.
Now at first this doesn’t sound like a bad way of coping but I often lost myself in making others happy, leading me to losing my identity and being formed by others opinions of me. My sense of value was measured by what I could do for others disinterested in the treatment I got in return.
This over the years would build up in a feeling of extreme low self-value and though I wouldn’t show it feeling resentment towards those of whom I aimed to please.
Moving on this did eventually lead to self-harm starting from a young age, the simple thought that this emotional pain could possibly be outweighed by creating physical pain was an experiment I played on myself which I deeply regret as at the time and in the future it did give me a temporary form of release.

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The problem about living with depression is after a while it can comfort you, or you are so blind to it you don’t even start to notice that your actions towards others or yourself are becoming destructive. Being aware of your depression and admitting to it for me was the first step towards getting better, at least knowing it was there meant I was closer to wanting to get better, rather than clutching onto it like a comfort blanket unaware of what ‘getting better’ would feel like.

My story of course goes onto further diagnosis but for the treatment of depression (besides the medication I am on) through things such as CBT I learnt to be kind to myself, to try and work out my thought patterns which caught me in a constant downward spiral no matter how many times it would seem I improved. Also being healthier, taking pride and caring for my body helped as in some ways it can physically change your mood.
Surrounding yourself with friends who truly care and are patient with your recovery, trying to get back into doing the things I loved again and staying away from negative influences on my life.
Another big one was learning to not guilt trip myself so much, which when you are struggling to get better can really set you back. Focus on the end goal and allow yourself to make some mistakes, as it’s not always going to be a smooth ride to recovery, just make sure you’re taking steps forward and slip ups don’t mean that you’re going backwards it just means you are trying and becoming more aware of the negative grasp they have on your life.

Another poem I wrote on my journey…

Walls 

Who put these walls here?
How did I not notice them before?
I’d become comforted within my own restriction, occasionally dreaming of a day when these walls would crumble and I could see clearer again.
To see the world that I was missing out on, and even more so to see the person I’d prevented myself from becoming.
The person who’s existence lies within the shadow of a wall, which has finally started to crumble.

 ****

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