Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Twice in a Month

Drastic I know.

Meds have kicked in, I feel real again.

Do you know what I really struggle with?

I struggle with letting people around me trivialising my depression. I let them say things like "be positive", "pick yourself up", "pull yourself up by your bootstraps", "onwards and upwards" and other stupid shite.

So many people know about depression but so few of you really know what it is.

So, in your words, what is depression? I don't want to run anyone down, I just want to get a feel for what people's perceptions of my illness are.

15 comments:

Jenny said...

I've never told anyone what it feels like, unless they're very very close to me. That way I don't get the 'just be positive' comments, which can be very hurtful. You're right, they don't understand, unless you've been through it you can't have the empathy. Go a little easy on yourself and take comfort in knowing that you're starting to feel better. Hope you keep improving.

Lynda said...

I perceive your depression (and any other person's) as something that I have only had hints of in my lifetime. I can say that at the times when my head has spun out of control, I can only then get a tiny perspective on how the brain can be over-ridden.

I do know that I hate reading that you are in the depths of depression and hope so much that this will improve for you. Make sure you get all the help you possibly can because you must beat this demon.

Ute said...

it shits me to tears when well meaning folk (usually my old's) say stuff like, "You think you've got it bad..there are people dying from hunger/AIDS/etc,etc in impoverished countries...think yourself lucky!"
Ugh...yeah, like I didn't know that???

It doesn't help ME for them/anyone to say someone is worse off than me...I already KNOW that!

You don't need that.

What is my depression like? It's hard to even put into words. It's like, when my dog died..it's like, the feeling I had when I had PND...it's like, a terrible sadness continually surrounding you... a deep,deep, deep heavyness on your heart. Your insides feel sick... everything seems so fucking worthless...helpless.
Death...that's what it's like.

Glad the meds have kicked in for you.. I've been off mine for about a month now. Cold turkey. Sucked for a bit, but seem to have managed lately. Fingers crossed 'n all that.
x

Anonymous said...

You know, to be honest, I really don't know what depression is, or how it feels. I might be the person who tries to make you "feel better" because I DON'T understand how it is, and say things to try and help or make you laugh. That doesn't make me insensitive - I just don't know HOW to support you.

I know it hurts you when people say these things - but if I were you, I would try to look at intent.

Are they dismissing your feelings?
Are they being rude?

Well, then - yes. Tell them to go fuck themselves.

But, if you see that they also don't know how to behave in the situation, and genuinely want to help (but lack the knowledge of the condition to really know HOW to help).... you might want to cut THOSE people a break when they say something to you that hurts you. Ignorance of the way it feels is not malicious.

Let them know that they hurt you, for sure - but.... please don't hate on them for not being able to empathise.

A lot of people love you, and will often lack the skill to let you know in a way that you will "hear" them.

Hang in there mate. If I knew the right words, I would say them.

Love, AKG

Anne said...

I've had hints of it as well. Sadness, no purpose in life, nothing to look forward, no light at the end of the tunnel.

I've found especially over the past few months for us that people don't think before they talk, they can't express themelves, the don't and can't understand and they come out with the most stupid things, Distance yourself as much as you can from them and be around people that are supportive and there for you.

Take care Jules.

Middle Child said...

My mother syffered real depression in cycles and it was awful to see how dep down she went and how brave she was knowing in her good times that it would return - in between times she was just wonderful - when she was depressed in my mind's eye she seemed to be littler physically - I would never trivialise her depression or anyones - and all I can say is what mum used to paste up on her mirror - "this too shall pass" - and months later it did...but iot was truelly horrible for her in those times - but I loved and love her so much - she was an amazing person as you are no doubt...

Middle Child said...

sorry anout all the typos

UncleHannah said...

I am very sorry to hear this. I have had debilitating anxiety and depression all my life and it is very hard to explain to someone who hasn't had it. Bottom line: I don't even try most of the time.

Sometimes the only thing to do is find a handful of sympathetic folk ...or even just one person who you feel comfortable with, and dismiss the rest.

With my own anxiety and depression throughout my life and then my daughter's recent diagnosis of epilepsy and other health issues, I've found myself spiraling downward continually, trying to pick myself back up, and often failing completely.

It isn't easy, as you know, and I hope you do have some folks that are empathetic enough to give you some good support.

Also hope you continue to feel better. Hugs...Hannah

AlleyCat said...

Hey Jules,

I am lucky enough to have not suffered depression. Ute summed up my perception of what it feels like (from listening to my dear one who does suffer from it) & in addition, when things get bad she feels there is no safe place emotionally for her, be it in her own room, at home, with me & she gets extremely anxious. She uses similar terminology as Ute.

I'm not sure if its a learned or taught behaviour to respond to negativity with positivity. It wasn't until I became a support person for a teen with depression that I learned that this is NOT how to help someone with D. After our friend suicided last year I went out & bought Matthew Johnstone's books "I had a black dog" & "living with a black dog". I had them in our office for our staff to read (also at our wedding in memory of) & they still live very prominently on the cabinet in the loungeroom for all & sundry to read.

I guess if people don't know & are genuinely trying to be kind, you have to forgive their ignorance??? If they know better, well, that is altogether an entirely different matter isn't it.

I hear ya.

Hugs to you & kicks up the arses of the bastards who do this to you.

Tania said...

From my experience (with PND) it's like being completely alone in a dark, dark place with no light at the end of the tunnel. The smallest things are a struggle and the simplest of comments irritate the hell out of you.

Sending big hugs your way!

Margaret said...

I think that depression is ones personal hell. My mum suffered from depression, she described it as if she was waiting for the police to knock on the door with dreaded news!! I could not help her, I wanted to, but how can one help when you dont walk in their shoes and know or understand what they are feeling, I emphathise with you, I thank God that I havent been there (yet) I just wish you better days and hopefully you will find your way back...

Tracy said...

I think depression these days is trivialised a lot, the word is bandied about a lot but not when it should be,

I do not suffer from or know anyone close to me who suffers from depression so I have no first hand knowledge but from what I have read it is an awful awful thing to have.

I do think in most cases, people who try to "perk you up" do not understand the difference between feeling a bit sad for a while and complete depths of despair depression actually is. Maybe some of them, if they are particularly close to you need to be given the information to help them understand just how debilitating it is.

I am so pleased your meds have started to kick in and that you are starting to feel better. Take care of yourself for you own sake and for your husband & kids who all love and need you.

Chris H said...

I echo all that Ute said. She hit it on the head.
Been there.
Hope you are feeling so much better now. Pills, thank god for pills.

Irish Daughter said...

There is no definition for IT.

People who suffer don't understand IT and people who don't never will. Thats life I suppose.

I myself, don't suffer from IT anymore. I live with it. My ex-partner has been suffering silently for years. He refused to accept it and along the line we've split. I hope he gets better and hope he realises that I have been living with it and tried and failed to help him also.

For me, its like watching a black cloud in the distance which you know will soon come towards you, descend and engulf only you. However, like all clouds they will blow away eventually.

I know this is an old posting but just had the time to ponder - another black cloud is moving on.

I'm sure you are under better weather now and hope it continues.

Love to you lovely lady. x

Lorraine said...

I was depressed and felt anxiety 24/7. I learned how to meditate to control the anxiety. (Do you feel anxiety as part of your depression symptoms?) I feel I am cured of depression now have been for a few years. it was hard facing the pain of facing reality. I mean it physically huiurt when i allowed myself to feel the sadness pain physically. It felt like my heart was breaking. But I prayed every time I had a "crying spell breakdown" I even asked God and Archangel Raphael to heal me. I swear it worked. I do feel anxiety from time to time and have to meditate it away. I was lucky to not have chemical depression but rather hormonal, PMs, Perimenopausal depression.