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How do you experience depression?

This is a discussion on How do you experience depression? within the About Depression forums, part of the Resources category; I think I have one little story about depression that I will share in hopes that it helps others feel ...

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Old 06-13-15, 12:55 PM   #11
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I think I have one little story about depression that I will share in hopes that it helps others feel less hopeless.

It was about 20 years ago. My husband had gone away for the weekend. I thought I'd enjoy the solitude. I had a few drinks and started feeling anxious. Except I didn't know what anxiety was. So I had a few more drinks.

Bad move. The anxiety turned into self hatred and despair. I blacked out for a while - I don't think from the booze but from the first actual depression episode I was having - and when I "came to" I was about to commit suicide.

Then I got really scared. I called the local suicide crisis prevention hotline. From there, I found a decent doctor who prescribed anti-depressant meds for me, and I found a good counselor. I had tried a few psychotherapists and other counsellors, and none of them felt like a good fit. But I finally did find one, and I learned more about myself for the first time in my life in the two years I saw her. (I had to terminate counselling because it was a free resource and the max for seeing a counsellor there was the 2 years.)

Now I know the depression more; I am more aware of its triggers and its warning signs. I am older and have more resilience to me; I bounce back better. Not immediately always - but I do bounce back. I have learned ways to manage the depression that work for me - different ways work for different people.

So the moral of this goofy little story: depression episodes can sneak up on you and whomp you over the head. Booze and depression is a very dangerous mix. There is help out there - sometimes you got to try a few things to find it but don't give up - you'll find the help and management strategies that work for you.

Last edited by Forest; 06-14-15 at 10:21 AM.
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Old 06-13-15, 10:01 PM   #12
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I like this thread, good idea :)

Please describe how you experience depression.
For me, I feel like I am in a black, bottomless hole and that there is no way out. There have been some periods in my life where the only way I could explain it was that I felt dead inside. I did not see or experience joy in anything, I didn't want to get out of bed, I constantly wanted to cry, I hated myself, I couldn't see any positives in the future, etc. Sometimes I can be fine but something small will happen for a depressive episode to trigger. I also used to harm myself to punish myself and to ease the pain by replacing it with a different type of pain.

Also: low/no libido, tired, weak / no energy, lack of motivation.

How do you feel about depression? What is it like?
I think it is a horrible illness that I would not wish on my worst enemy. It is horrible because it makes you your own worst enemy and you cannot control it. It's like all light is sucked out of you and live in a dark rain cloud.

What challenges do you experience? Are there particular symptoms?
Key challenges would be how it affects me socially. I have a lot of difficulty making and keeping friends. When I am really depressed and anxious I also want to eat bad food as comfort.

How does depression affect your feelings and beliefs about yourself?
It has contributed (or even caused) very low self esteem. There have been periods in my life where I have thought that I am a mistake and am not meant to exist....as such, the universe it against me. I felt as though the world would be a better place without me.


How does depression affect your life?

I have largely learnt how to cope with it over the past few years. It doesn't affect my life as much as it used to... but I tend to invest myself in my work more than I should as a way of distracting myself from what is really going on in my life. It also has prevented me from having much of a social life.

How do other people understand your depression?
I honestly believe that the only person who understands my depression is my mum. Even then, it took her a good 7 or so years to come to terms with it and understand. Most other people either don't know or don't understand. I'm good at hiding it and I'm good at working things out on my own.

Do you feel that others understand?
No, that is probably one of the worst parts of depression. Also people do not understand how hard I actually work (and have worked) to try and not let it control my life like it once did. There are so many stereotypes around the illness and I hate it when people just think that people are depressed for attention or because they are weak. It is an illness that I cannot help because of a chemical imbalance in my brain (along with other things that have happened in my life). It is not something that I choose to live with or want to live with.

What is the worst thing about depression?
There are two things for me here.
1. People not understanding or trying to understand.
2. Feeling as though there is no way out.

Do you have any stories that express your feelings/experience of depression?
Not entirely sure what this question is asking... But I'll say that I have found a number of things that have helped me through. Firstly, I cannot explain enough how valuable effective coping skills are. To learn how to rationalise things and realise that a lot of things are really only just in your head, this is so important. I used to beat myself up over a lot of things and it took me a long time (and it was very difficult) to change my outlook on life. Nowadays, I try to tell myself that most things just aren't a big deal. One of my mottos is "in the scheme of life, it's not a big deal". So that helps me not dwell on things.

Music has helped me immensely. It makes me feel not alone and is a way of expressing myself, even though I didn't write the lyrics.

Poetry (i.e. writing my own) has helped me also.

Drawing. This, along with music, has helped me the most. If I get so worked up and depressed, the only thing that can calm me down and helps me vent enough is to draw. I draw things that are sad and fucked up and then add in lyrics. Funnily enough, I draw my best when I am depressed because I channel all of my emotions into it.

Animals. The love that you give and receive to animals is so miraculous. It's the best feeling in the world. If you have difficulty yourself, you know that you are loved and needed if you have pets. And they need you to, so that's a good reason for you to stick around.
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Old 06-13-15, 10:11 PM   #13
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I also just decided to add in my own question:

What have you learnt from depression?
I have learnt that people who live with depression are so remarkably strong. We live with a constant struggle and internal battle each day, yet we continue to fight. Fighting is the key.

I have also learnt that people who live with depression are so warm hearted, kind and empathetic. TTL is a clear example of this.

Even though it is a horrible thing to live it, it really does make us stronger in the long run. We can get through anything. If you can dig yourself out of a hole once, you can do it again and again.

Even though I would not wish this on anyone, I am thankful for the person that it has made me today. I am genuine, empathetic and kind-hearted. I am not in things for self-gain and I just want to live and be "normal".

I've also learned how valuable happiness is. It makes me annoyed when people take happiness for granted. One of my favourite quotes (from a korn song) that I always tell myself is: "All I want in life is to be happy".
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Old 06-14-15, 11:07 PM   #14
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Please describe how you experience depression.
It's a constant battle with myself to want to live and not end it. I feel like there is a war going on inside myself and I'm merely the observer and helpless to do anything about it even though I know everything that is going on. I know my thoughts are irrational but I still believe them. I'm helpless to stop it. And with each bout, it gets worse because there is more pain, more reasons to feel hurt, less reasons to live, and less resources to cope.

How do you feel about depression? What is it like?
It is worse than hell, especially when I'd rather be in hell than experiencing it. It can be a comforting friend in a strange way because it has always been with me that it has become a part of myself.

What challenges do you experience? Are there particular symptoms?
I want to isolate myself even though I feel so alone. I have no appetite sometimes and don't want to get up to face another day. I cry a lot and it gives me a headache from all the crying. My head and heart aches.

How does depression affect your feelings and beliefs about yourself?
I feel like everyone hates me and no one cares. Even if they do, I can't feel or see it. I feel worthless and there is no point in me living. I feel life is pointless.

How does depression affect your life? It destroys my relationships with people because they can't understand it and I get upset with them when they say things to make it worse. Things that I should be happy about, accomplishments, everything, all of it just mean nothing to me because I can't feel any joy from anything.

How do other people understand your depression?
They say things that minimize my pain like it isn't real. They try to give me advice that doesn't help and just makes me feel worse so they give up thinking I'm not doing anything to help myself when I'm fighting everyday just to remain alive. Basically, they don't understand.

Sometimes, I'd rather have cancer because depression is such an isolating illness where you feel so alone and no one understands you. No one would say some of the things that have been said to me if I had cancer instead.

Do you feel that others understand?
I only have two people in my life who I feel sort of understand because they've experienced it but not fully because their experience is very different than mine.

What is the worst thing about depression? Feeling so alone and alienated from people like no one in this world understands what you are going through.

Do you have any stories that express your feelings/experience of depression?
There is usually something that triggers my depression and if I can't stop it in time, if I spiral down too far, it can take me months or years to recover from it. And each time I get through it, whatever solution I used before doesn't ever work again. That just makes me feel even more hopeless each time I go through it.
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Old 11-27-15, 08:36 PM   #15
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Please describe how you experience depression.
Constant ruminating and monologue with loop arguments of the core question, "what is wrong with me"? Physical symptoms including anxiety, excessive worrying that feeds off depression, "how do I go on with daily life? How do I interact with people? How will people perceive this?".

How do you feel about depression? What is it like?
It's a terrible mental state that feels unending. First occurrence in early 20's was both situational with poor grades in uni, and envy on how other peers seemed to have their life together.
2nd occurrence was my first job loss in 2012. Depression set in about 3 months-5 months after job loss. Will I ever get a new job?
3rd occurrence was late last year to early this year after another job loss.
I now have secured a new job and start December 2015.

What challenges do you experience? Are there particular symptoms?
Very few understand and empathize, they either shake their head and treat you patronizingly and talk to you like they are on eggshells, or just completely abandon you in fear of potential stigmas associated with suicide and they don't want to be held responsible.

Symptoms include: recurring depressive thoughts, suicidal thoughts, half hearted/non-planned suicidal attempts, extreme emotional crying, emptyness, apathy, restless nights, over sleeping, over eating, over indulging, lack of physical exercise, lack of friendships, lack of basic meaningful human connections.

How does depression affect your feelings and beliefs about yourself?
Recurring thoughts such as, "no good, poor spirit, no confidence, no friends, no self esteem, no life, no future, why bother, I'm better off gone".

How does depression affect your life?
Perceived inability to move forward, or to enjoy life in general.

How do other people understand your depression?
Just a mood swing from a bad upset such as bad grades, job loss, relationship breakdown etc.

Do you feel that others understand?
Rarely truly do they understand the depth of it that depression isn't a light switch to flick on and off.

What is the worst thing about depression?
The seemingly endless cycle of "why me"?

Do you have any stories that express your feelings/experience of depression?
I sat in a coffee shop looking for someone, anyone in my phone list to talk or even text because I was extremely isolated; I hadn't a single friend. I drove myself to the hospital to check myself in.
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Old 07-05-17, 01:44 PM   #16
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I feel immense sadness and loneliness.

When everyone you know treats you like garbage it makes you feel unwanted, uncared for and sad.

Cant wait to push through this.
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