How to Recognize and Begin to Face Depression

When you’re depressed, the question HOW ARE YOU is like a test. You know the answer you want to give, but you also know the answer people expect to hear which just makes you more depressed that you can’t give that answer. But you say you’re fine anyway, even though a voice inside your head is screaming HELP ME, HELP ME, I’M DROWNING IN HERE.

When you’re depressed, you wake up in the morning hoping it’s raining. There’s nothing as satisfying as a rainy day to a manic because it’s like suddenly your mindset is the norm. Rainy days are supposed to be depressing. Just ask Karen Carpenter. Sunny days suck because you know that the non-depressed are out living their lives, throwing Frisbees to their dogs in the park, and eating lunch outside.

When you’re depressed, it doesn’t matter if it’s your head saying that you’re not worth as much as other people or if it’s true, you just know that you feel that way.

When you’re depressed, a pill doesn’t make it all better; it just prevents you from wanting to crawl out of your skin every time you feel down. That doesn’t stop your friends and family from thinking otherwise, thinking you’re cured and “normal” whatever that is.

When you’re depressed, you hate happy people. Truthfully, you’re intensely jealous of them because the truly happy are almost as rare as the Dodo.

When you’re depressed, you’re blessed and cursed with the ability to see the fallacy of almost any black and white argument. Nothing is clear and the depressed always see that. Never knowing if the decisions you’re making are the right ones. And once you are aware and dealing with your depression, you get to question whether every decision you’re making is being made by real you, depressed you, or drugged you. Because the truly manic will constantly struggle with his or her self-identity given how tied up it is in self-esteem.

When you’re depressed, sad songs truly do say so much. The feeling that overwhelms you when you hear a sad song, you almost melt into the words you feel them so intensely. But you also can’t help but curse the artist for having no clue what real sadness feels like. Depression may not have stopped you from becoming a multimillion dollar recording artist, but the rest of us struggle in how we relate to people, and sometimes that affects your professional standing. Some of us don’t reach for the stars because, no matter how hard we try, depression still pushes down with more intensity than gravity. To some of us, reaching for the stars is just living our lives and making it day by day.

Depression shifts your priorities.

When you’re depressed, your constant self reflection screams in your head all day long. Even during those manic high moments.

When you’re depressed, your ability to reach goals is tainted by the idea that maybe only a manic would attempt to reach a particular unattainable goal. Imagine being unable to impartially evaluate your talents – at times to deny the existence of any talent whatsoever, and other times to adopt outlandish goals that ride the cusp between dreaming the possible dream and dreaming the impossible dream.

When you’re depressed, you feel alienated from every person on Earth every minute of your life. When the other persons are blood relatives, the depressed see targets, scapegoats, and sometimes emotional and physical predators too. It is not unusual that the depressed one is the “trouble” kid or the “black sheep” especially if depression goes undiagnosed for most of childhood.

When you’re depressed, hobbies fall by the wayside. Most of the things you normally care about just stop mattering.

When you’re depressed, life isn’t a gift.

But when you’re depressed and committed to a consistent and approved course of treatment that may include some combination of medicine and therapy consistently applied, you can regain basic survival skills, re-learn self-preservation, you have the one thing someone who falls prey to depression needs more than any other survival skill: hope.

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