Depression has taken over my life for the past month or so. This is the reason I haven’t been blogging. I have barely been able to get out of bed, let alone get on my computer.
I have suffered bouts of depression in the past, mainly minor depression. You know, occasionally feeling blue, sleeping too much, feeling slowed down and anxious. But now this time around my depression has been so severe, so grim; I’ve drifted into the realm of major depression, embodying all of the symptoms of the condition.
It seems once you are afflicted with this crippling illness, you would be able to immediately identify what’s wrong with you. Unfortunately for most people–I being no exception–it takes weeks, sometimes months to discover your life has been immersed into this dense fog. It took me about three weeks before a fleeting thought hinted at depression being the culprit of my debilitated lifestyle.
It’s amazing I did not try to figure out what was causing my sadness, irritability, tearfulness, insomnia, fatigue, loss of energy, restlessness, changes in appetite, loss of interest in everything, isolation from others, feelings of guilt and worthlessness, pessimism, lack of concentration, and thoughts of suicide.
Looking back, how could I have not realized my depression sooner? Perhaps my lack of concentration prevented me from focusing on my symptoms collectively. Maybe my pessimism just shaded my perception of my daily life.
It took my therapist officially diagnosing me four weeks in for reality to slap me in the face. Hearing the words come out of her mouth ignited this urgency for me to resolve my depression quickly. Suddenly, it became unbearable; I could no longer reside in this desperate space anymore.
But how do I get out? I have been in therapy for four months now dealing with the trauma and drastic life changes of my brain surgery, stroke and fibromyalgia, so how did I manage to slip in this depressive state?
Frankly, I don’t know.
The only thing I can do other than seek more medical treatment is to actively engage in self-care. I have to make it a point to go out with friends on a weekly basis. I must go to support groups to interact with others regarding all of my conditions. And I must do things I enjoy like visiting new places, trying new recipes, and most importantly, writing.
I don’t know if all of these things will work. But I do know that one does. And as someone has recently reminded me: when I write, even if just a little bit, I always feel better afterwards.