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Depression Is...
Posted by dirkgently1066
18th May 2016

I write a lot about depression but I wonder how many people really, truly understand what it is.

In the past, I have used metaphors to try and explain it. For instance how my brain feels like it is operating in fog or how I feel like I’m wading through treacle. But these metaphors only go so far.

I think it is fair to say that I currently find myself in the midst of a depressive cycle. This is not a couple of days of feeling down, it is a pervasive, persistent sense of low mood that impacts on all areas of my life. But what does that mean? Let’s get specific.

Depression is…

…sitting at my desk, surrounded by friendly colleagues, feeling completely and utterly alone…

…a knot in my stomach and a lump at the back of my throat that threatens to bring tears at any moment for no discernible, specific reason that I can point to…

…sitting down with one of my favourite games of all time, only to find that I cannot muster any enthusiasm to play it…

…just wanting to stay in bed and hide under the covers until the world goes away but dragging myself out, duty, as ever, winning out over feeling…

…reminiscences of the past turning from a happy memory to a sadness that those times have gone, accompanied by a sense that I will never be that happy again…

…scanning my brain, like a Windows search tool, looking for any and every possible instance that will prove my theory that those I consider to be close friends don’t actually like me very much…

…even if I accept that they do, feeling a compelling need to judge how much they like me compared to someone else and always coming out unfavourably, feeding my low mood and creating a sense of guilt at my self-pitying jealousy…

…realising that I actually don’t have that many friends…

…wanting nothing more than to say, ‘I can’t come in today, I have depression,’ then walking through the door and slipping on a mask of professionalism and control to hide the swirl of emotions and doubts lurking just beneath the veil…

…staring at the page for ten minutes until I realise that I haven’t read a single word…

…lacking the energy, enthusiasm or motivation to perform the most basic of tasks…

…just wanting to sleep.

This is what I am currently living with. I do not share this to illicit sympathy, rather to inform and normalise, not to mention the catharsis of writing. That I can recognise these issues, and understand where some of them derive from, is undoubtedly a positive but clearly they also need to be addressed before they get out of hand.

The anti-depressants have helped, to some extent, with my anxiety levels but as my psychiatrist told me some time ago, they will do nothing to affect thoughts, the root cause of my depressive episodes. For that, I need professional assistance. I feel no shame in this, but I have internally procrastinated about it for over 3 weeks. It is time for action.

As with all things, this too shall pass. I have come through this before and I shall do so again. In time.

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