I recently read this book and actually like it because on lot many things I can relate to it being a depression survivor. Here are the excerpts that describes my mental state perfectly.
Most of the days the thought that crosses my mind is “I am filled with disgust about myself, and may be that’s the problem where do you go when you hate your own company?” How do you escape you? Mostly to me everything hurts, everything still hurts. Why does the worst always get worse. I always think that I am stupid, I am laughable, I am worthless, I am empty, I am useless, I am a burden, I am waste, I am unlovable, I am selfish, I am awful: I should just not exist. Just some random thoughts I am sharing. Low self esteem is the biggest problem for people dealing with depression.
But yet I would say always dare to embrace darkness to stay functionally sane, like I do. There are thousands of people out there who are shadowed by this biochemical disorder called depression. And we all wish life wasn’t so worst.
I am in constant anguish. There’s a deep unexplained sadness that’s eating away at my hopes. It took me a long time to understand the nature of illness with since as a condition, depression is particularly stigmatised in Indian Society, not to mention widely misunderstood in general. Remember Depression is a common mood disorder and a serious medical illness.
The feeling is a shapelifter. Somedays it comes to me silently taking me by surprise- cold, unfeeling and blank, an infinite void disguised as a wisp of a smoke melting into the very air. Other days it’s a colossal monster that shakes the ground beneath me making me shiver with its every defeaning step in my direction. On the worst days it comes to me as myself, as everything I could have been and as everything I will never be: immaculate and completely without fault. It taunts and belittles me, obscuring my successes and highlighting my failures. This has been my constant thought process since long.
I’ve learned over the years that there is big difference between wishing you were dead and wanting to kill yourself. And that’s the truth with most of the depression survivors, they might say they want to commit suicide but in most cases they won’t harm themselves. You just need to understand them.
There is almost never an actual reason for this pain, almost never a concrete, upsetting thoughts that causes my tears. For me it began slowly- odd low mood, an occasional barrage of intrusive negative thoughts, a flurry of unexplained tears.
All the uncertainty and unease, that mild discomfort, compounded into an all-encompassing sadness, and my still childlike mind struggled to piece it together.
Since childhood, I was crumbling under the weight of self-created expectation. I was never good enough. I continued to do badly at school, no matter how hard I tried and sincerely went on to believe I wasn’t smart enough. I lived in constant fear of failing all my exams and having to repeat a year which eventually I did, I failed 9th standard and my fear came true.
Let’s get technical for a minute. Very often insomnia (the inability to fall asleep) and depression go hand in hand, and a disruption of sleep patterns is one of depression’s most common symptoms. And after long enough it becomes near impossible to determine whether it’s insomnia that’s causing the depression or the depression that’s causing insomnia.
I used alcohol and smoke as a crutch during depressive episodes. I wasn’t an alcoholic and I could stop drinking and smoking for months if I chose to. The times I drank and smoke, I only did it to hide from my feelings because it was too agonizing to confront them. People who are depressed abuse substances in an attempt to free themselves of depression, and in doing so damage their lives to the extent that they become further depressed by the wear and tear their abusive behaviour causes.
When depressive episodes come, it feels as though they will never leave, but that is rarely the case. A person experiencing their first depressive episode is more likely to attempt suicide, while someone who has lived through a few episodes has more or less learned how to cope with them, and more importantly recognized that they eventually end.
I still have days on which I wish that I simply did not exist. I have days on which I wish I had never been born, I have days on which I wish I would die in my sleep. I even have really bad days on which thoughts of suicide start to waft about inside my head again.
Health anxiety was and still is one of the most debilitating side effects of depression I’ve experienced. I am awkward in social situations, I don’t make much eye contact, I talk too fast. It took me a long time to realize that anxiety has taken over my life almost as much as depression has. Remember: Depression is grief Anxiety is fear. Isolation is one of the hallmarks of depression.
No one understands how I feel is in all probability the most frequently thought and spoken descriptor of depression of all time and I think that’s because it’s true. No one can truly understand how you feel because the pain you experience is unique to you. In other words you can buy happiness off the rack but sadness is tailor made just for you.
There was also a marked difference in the way I thought I was perceived when I told people I was clinically depressed. When I was sad, I was just sad- I was someone who was struggling under the weight of difficulties life was throwing at me. But when I was depressed, I was either damaged or a drama queen.
In its worst moments, depression affects your ability to love as well as to be loved, leaving you incapable of either. So it’s hardly surprising that some of depression’s greatest damage is in the realm of relationships. The truth is someone is never going to fully understand how you feel unless they’ve been through the same thing.
We wear ‘I’m okay’ masks, so no one can see how we really feel or ascertain the things that hurt us; we don’t show them who we really are, we isolate ourselves when we’re in pain and then we spend all our time wondering why no one gets us. They never get us because they have no idea who we are. How could they? We’ve never told them.
My life so far has been a roller coaster of highs and lows, happiness and friendship. But this is what depression does; it robs you even if joyous hindsight. It poisons your mind and obscures all the good in your life. All the positive alive moments of life seem like distant, long lost memories and all that you can see in the rear-view mirror is the pain you’ve left behind.
The more I tried and failed at being content the worse I felt because I was failing at yet another thing. Trying to be happy forever is like trying to stop water from slipping through your fingers. It’s not possible and the only way forward is to realize and accept it. The only fixture in life is change.
And lastly I would say : I remind myself if happiness is fleeting, then so is sadness. I also remind myself depression is weather, and I’m a weather-worn tree. I also remind myself even the worst storm pass. And finally I remind myself I’ve survived them all.
Thank you for reading lovely people out there
Have a depression free life.