Health

Dealing with Depression

Bad things happen. It’s just part of life.

Whether or not it is a consequence of our own choices, these bad things ultimately alter our lives, our choices and maybe even our character. But we, as human beings, are equipped to deal with these bad things.

We grieve, we fight, we cry, we hurt and we get over it.

Now, I have always considered myself to be a tough cookie. I’ve had my fair share of heartbreak and struggle, but I have always managed to bounce back and learn from negative experiences.

You win some and learn some. But never do you lose some.

Yet, deep down inside of me it felt like there was a volcano of emotion, just waiting to erupt.

It unsettled me to a point where I had to sit myself down and figure out what it is. Do I resent my parents for all the drama I had to endure as I child? Am I harboring hate in my heart towards past lovers that have broken my heart? Is it because I am unhappy with my body and lack confidence? Maybe I’m just tired?

I concluded that I was being silly and needed to get over myself.

But as the days turned to months and the months turned to years, all these emotions started bubbling towards the surface and eventually erupted into bouts of utter sadness, incredible rage, numbness, listlessness, emptiness, feelings of inadequacy and constant anxiety.

I also felt tired all the time. A kind of tired that no amount of sleep can cure.

Even at times when my life was perfect, I still felt all these negative emotions. I imagined it to be like this ball of darkness that attached itself to my leg with a ball and chain. There was just no way of escaping it.

Of course it affected everything. My work, my relationships and even how I viewed myself.

I loathed myself and fought with everyone around me. It was so hard to get up in the mornings and face the day.

It felt like I had NO control over my emotions. Like I was a prisoner in my own body.

I knew something wasn’t right. I remember thinking to myself “Am I mentally ill?”

I plucked up the courage and booked an appointment with my doctor. After I explained all my symptoms to my doctor, he did a quick check-up and concluded that I am overall in good health, but suffering from depression and anxiety.

I started crying. Like a baby.

Naturally my doctor was a bit taken aback. I told him that I feel like a less than whole person now. There’s something wrong with me. I’m defective.

Why can’t I just snap out of it? Why can’t I get myself together?

He chuckled sympathetically and calmly explained to me that depression is not a made-up thing and it’s not something to snap out of. It is a real disorder, caused by the brain’s inability to produce certain hormones which “normalizes” our state of emotional being. He assured me that it is nothing to be ashamed of and that it is actually more common than I think.

He prescribed me with anti-depressants and advised that I should start feeling better after a week or 2.

Sure enough, after a week I did feel better. As time went on, all the negative feelings disappeared and I became my old happy self.

So, moral of the story: if you find yourself in a deep, bottomless pit of darkness, you might be suffering from depression and you need to get help!

Signs and symptoms of depression:

  • Difficulty concentrating, remembering details and making decisions
  • Fatigue and decreased energy
  • Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
  • Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
  • Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness or excessive sleeping
  • Irritability and/or restlessness
  • Loss of interest in activities or hobbies once pleasurable, including sex
  • Overeating or appetite loss
  • Persistent aches or pains, headaches, cramps or digestive problems that do not ease even with treatment
  • Persistent sad, anxious or “empty” feelings
  • Thoughts of suicide, suicide attempts

What you need to know about anti-depressants:

  • You need to find an anti-depressant that works for YOU
  • If you feel that it is not alleviating your symptoms, you need to consult your doctor
  • If you experience any negative side-effects, you need to consult your doctor immediately
  • In some cases the symptoms of depression can clear up after the use of anti-depressants for a certain period of time
  • In other cases (like mine) you will need to chronically take anti-depressants

If you suspect that you or someone close to you might be suffering from depression, please seek help.

Depression is not a made-up illness and it is not something to be ashamed of.

It IS possible to treat and manage depression, whilst living a normal, happy life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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