Depression affects many people from different walks of life, and varied circumstances can trigger the disease, Occasionally we are so busy taking care of everyone else we cannot recognize when we ourselves need help, when we have been affected by depression.
The last year of my life I have living under the cloud of severe depression, and until this week I didn’t realize I had a problem. There have been many nights- more nights a week than not- that I have gone to bed at 7:30pm. This was blamed on the fact that there’s an infant in the home and I get up early every morning, and take my oldest to after school activities and lessons late into the evening. (One would think that would be enough to exhaust anyone!) However, paired with this there has been very little happiness, a world void of joy. Lack of interest in leaving my home, dissatisfaction in life’s victories, and general feelings of what I considered laziness. Of course there have been occasional laughs, a smile here and there, but very little reason aside from my children to get out of bed every day.
This week I was “forced” to go to a concert for my oldest friends birthday. When it was time to leave, I felt a twinges of sadness. I did miss my kids terribly while I was away, but or the first time in a long time, felt alive again.
The last two days I’ve felt better than I have in months. Happy even. I’ve realized what a drag I’ve been, that I have been in a haze of sadness and despair. I didn’t realize to what degree the infidelity and lies of my ex had impacted my life. The events that unfolded were the stuff of a bad lifetime movie, life altering, and a more unstable person would have done something a bit more drastic that what I did. I walked away. Hired legal counsel. Fought my battle. Felt pity for the poor girl who has newly fallen victim to his charm and manipulation.
Today, I am well. Perhaps my posts have seemed peppy, joyful, light-hearted. I can put on a good front apparently, and cope well unmedicated. However, I wish I had recognized there was a problem so I could have dealt with my issues instead of living in a fog of sadness.
To those suffering with depression: I urge you to get help. Now that I know what was causing my suffering, I am better prepared to face it head on if need be in the future. I hope I never have to feel that way ever again.
Some signs and symptoms of depression, copied from the Mayo Clinic website:
-Feelings of sadness or unhappiness
Irritability or frustration, even over small matters
-Loss of interest or pleasure in normal activities
-Reduced sex drive
-Insomnia or excessive sleeping
-Changes in appetite — depression often causes decreased appetite and weight loss, but in some people it causes increased cravings for food and weight gain
-Agitation or restlessness — for example, pacing, hand-wringing or an inability to sit still
-Irritability or angry outbursts
-Slowed thinking, speaking or body movements
-Indecisiveness, distractibility and decreased concentration
-Fatigue, tiredness and loss of energy — even small tasks may seem to require a lot of effort
-Feelings of worthlessness or guilt, fixating on past failures or blaming yourself when things aren’t going right
-Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions and remembering things
-Frequent thoughts of death, dying or suicide
-Crying spells for no apparent reason
-Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, please seek help.