Depression Can Be Sneaky

Depression is epidemic in Survivors.  I suffer too.

It sneaks up on me sometimes. Most times I can feel it coming, oppressive, heavy and dark.  I should feel happy, what’s wrong? I whisper back that I don’t know.  It’s like lead. My arms are heavy and so are my thoughts. It takes such effort to move. Sitting in a silent house makes it easy to brood.  I turn off the music and sit.  Music usually lifts my spirits. Now its just loud noise.  The more I stay in the more I want to stay in and the harder it gets to leave.  My world of colors and laughing are blunted.  My hard won peace, gone. Energy gone.  Its not the loss of happiness, its the loss of vitality. Depression is tiredness and anger.

Depression is an illness of loneliness, feeling  isolated, of being alone, of being cut off from everyone and everything even when you are surrounded.  Depression is smiling because you are supposed to.

Depression tortures you every day with the idea that you suffer and somehow I ought to be able to do something about it and I can’t.  Over the years I have struggled with depression often.  Sometimes it is worse than others.  This time of year can be brutal for survivors.  I’ve been here to this dark place many times before.

Exercise, diet, rest….. As I remind myself, I remind you as well, sometimes you need more help and shouldn’t go it alone. Depression is more than faulty thinking. Call someone.  Talk to someone.  It’s not permanent.  I am going to do just that, first thing in the morning.  I will make myself pick up the phone.

Signs and symptoms of depression include:

  • Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. A bleak outlook—nothing will ever get better and there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation.
  • Loss of interest in daily activities. No interest in former hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex. You’ve lost your ability to feel joy and pleasure.
  • Appetite or weight changes. Significant weight loss or weight gain—a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month.
  • Sleep changes. Either insomnia, especially waking in the early hours of the morning, or oversleeping (also known as hypersomnia).
  • Anger or irritability. Feeling agitated, restless, or even violent. Your tolerance level is low, your temper short, and everything and everyone gets on your nerves.
  • Loss of energy. Feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained. Your whole body may feel heavy, and even small tasks are exhausting or take longer to complete.
  • Self-loathing. Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. You harshly criticize yourself for perceived faults and mistakes.
  • Reckless behavior. You engage in escapist behavior such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving, or dangerous sports.
  • Concentration problems. Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.
  • Unexplained aches and pains. An increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain.
  • When you’re feeling extremely depressed or suicidal, your problems don’t seem temporary—they seem overwhelming and permanent. But with time, you will feel better if you reach out for help. If you are feeling suicidal, know that there are many people who want to support you during this difficult time, so please reach out for help!

    Read Suicide Help or call 1-800-273-TALK in the U.S. or visit IASP or to find a helpline in your country.

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