Having recently emerged from a bout of post-surgery depression, I thought I would try to explain what it feels like. It’s important to remember that not everyone has the same symptoms, so with that said, here’s my experience:
First of all, when I am depressed, I
don’t appreciate HATE to be told what the cause is and what I need to do to alleviate the problem. In all honesty, in the midst of my dispondency, I completely believe I have every right to not only own my bleak, despairing, and pessimistic feelings, but I am justified in having them in the first place.
The world is in chaos, morals are disintegrating, people are unemployed and hungry, common sense seems to be a thing of the past, the foods we eat are killing us, and it just gets harder and harder to see the good in all the bad. The weight of this is excruciatingly difficult to bear and, worse yet, I don’t see a light at the end of the tunnel. It’s a lonely, miserable place to be and yet, I don’t appreciate being “saved.”
“You just need to get up. Get outside. Make an effort. Appreciate what you have.” Though well-intentional, these comments are all so very poorly received. Most often they just make me irritable and angry. Truth is, I don’t see the value in “covering” up the reality of the situation. It is what it is, and it’s depressing!
Having been there, I can attest to the way depression completely and utterly takes over your mind. Small things can bring you to tears and you can literally wallow in your sadness. If you express it aloud, it can often times seem trivial and silly even to you, and yet at the same time, overpowering and unbearable. Having someone who listens without judgement, I find is helpful. In doing so, they are validating my feelings as real and it allows me to move ahead.
The good news is that once I rise out of this dark funk, though I still am painfully aware of the state of our world and the sorrows that surrounds me, I can also see acts of kindness, the beauty of nature, the love of family and friends, and the humor in everyday situations. The difference in clarity of thought is so dramatic. I am once again in the “land of the living.”
Despite what some may think, depression isn’t a weakness. It isn’t resolved by “getting up and out there,” or just by “snapping out of it.” It’s a medical condition. An estimated 19 million Americans are living with major depression. Twenty to twenty-five percent of the population will experience at least one major period of depression in their lifetime. Suffice to say, awareness is important. Google it, learn the signs. We all get depressed or sad at times but if it lasts longer than 2 weeks or keeps you from enjoying what you used to do, good chance you may be suffering from depression. There are natural and herbal remedies, as well as medications available to help in the treatment. Don’t always count on “luck,” for left untreated depression can lead to suicide.