Roughly 4.5% of the world's population suffers from Depression. So why does such a high number carry such a high amount of uncertainty and stigma?
There are two main types of depressive disorders. MDD (Major Depressive Disorder) and Dysthymia. The latter is a form of a constant mild depression that lasts a lot longer than the former. MDD can be anywhere from mild to severe, it may not last as long but it can certainly hit you harder at times. Without googling the symptoms of these although I'm sure it will be pretty darn close. Feeling unmotivated, fatigued and having a lack of interest in what once felt enjoyable. From feeling hopeless/helpless, unable to concentrate and an entire change in diet that I like to call (Depression Eating). Depression can attack different people in different ways.
Why are you depressed?
"Depression is being colorblind and constantly told how colorful the world is”
I'm sure we all love hearing that question: Why are you depressed?
Before I go into my story,
I want to say something that I've taught myself over the years. Everyone handles depression differently and we are not here to judge one another but to help people who are in need. The example I give is, someone in Grade 7 who just lost their 'love of their life' may be just as depressed as someone who just lost their parents in a car accident. There's no mathematical formula on how sad we're supposed to be. We all handle different situations differently and that's what makes us unique. We don't need to question someone's emotion, just validate them and help them get through whatever they may be dealing with.
What about me?
Maybe you've asked yourself, can you have both? That's where I fall in. I and many others like me have
double depression. Which, as it sounds is having the two disorders at the same time. Studies have even shown that having them simultaneously makes them both stronger than if had individually.
I've been depressed for as long as I can remember. We're talking single digits of age. At the time, however, at such a young age I didn't know what I was feeling. Mixed in with always being an introvert it can be hard to identify that there's something wrong in the first place. Looking back on it, it seems so obvious. Signs like:
Irritability or anger
Constant feeling of sadness and hopelessness
Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
Growing up I really just thought I was shy. They're many more symptoms that may show but those are just a few that I remember feeling.
What's it like?
“Depression is feeling as if the world is closing down on you despite nothing happening. Feeling alone despite being surrounded by people. ” - Me
The way I try and explain it to people around me is having a constant feeling of 'Meh'. Feeling down despite nothing going on. That's not to say certain things don't cause depressive episodes but Dysthymia for me is just feeling like crap 24/7 no matter the situation. The real problem lies when the MDD comes knocking on your already depressed life. That's where for me situations/events have an impact on my already fragile self. Whether it be losing a friend, a pet or just having an overload of emotions when MDD crosses paths with Dysthymia it can be nearly impossible to "hang in there" or "stay strong". This happens to me quite often where I'll just feel totally out of it and curl up in a ball in my bed.
The few weeks prior to the events that took place in my previous blog go check it out if you haven't already but I was unable to get out of bed for those weeks. I just felt hopeless and you can see the dangers it can lead too. Luckily, suicide attempts aren't always the result of what I call double depressive episodes. Sometimes you can ride the wave. That may feel like an impossible task but it's important to believe in yourself. We are stronger than we give ourselves credit for.
How it affects me overall?
I've lost a handful of friends from depression. My emotions take over and it drives people away, they may say it is for other reasons and friends and family will say if they were real friends they would stick around through thick and thin but you can't help but feel responsible. Depression also has a controlling impact on my life. I'm not kidding when I tell you that my depression is so intense it keeps me from working. The school route was never for me, but I've worked in the past and the few jobs I did have back in the day always turned my mental state into hell. I remember literally wanting to die every second of every day it was no way to live. I'm not exaggerating, the slightest change in my daily life/routine can cause my emotions to spin out of control. One moment I may seem 'content' the next a massive ticking time bomb of emotions. It's not easy to be around but luckily I do have a nice support system around me although as mentioned depression makes me feel alone regardless of how many people surround me.
I know this is very controversial but I truly do think I am just a 'depressed person'. I think my view of the world mixed in with my intelligence (humble brag) and thinking mind is a recipe for depression. Learning to live with it and control it is where my battle lies. Despite all that I wrote I'm okay being depressed. It makes me...me.
Depression is like a shadow that follows you around and then at night time when that shadow is no longer visible, it takes control. For me at least night time is always harder than the day time. Every day is different, some days you may be content while the others may seem impossible. It's been nearly 15 years that I've fought this fight and at times it seems darker but it is important to just love ourselves and take it day by day.
This picture describes perfectly how depression feels. A light that you know exists but seems so unattainable.
This article was more of a basic introduction to depression and how it affects me.
“I didn't want to wake up. I was having a much better time asleep. And that's really sad. It was almost like a reverse nightmare, like when you wake up from a nightmare you're so relieved. I woke up into a nightmare.” - Ned Vizzini
Thank you for reading as always check this out below if you would like to support my journey
- Thinking Mans Thoughts
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