Depression comes in all shapes and sizes and ticks various different boxes. The thing with depression is a lot of people are quite good at hiding it, in fact, they are very good. How many times have you heard that sadly someone had taken their own life and their friends and family didn’t have a clue. Believe me, it happens and it happens a lot. I will try and talk about what depression looks like but there is no description that fits all people. It is also one of those things that is so difficult to understand unless you have experienced it yourself. I hope today’s post goes some way to show you what depression looks like, also it might help if you are starting to think that you may be struggling with depression and also highlight some things to the loved ones of people who are struggling.
It is so important to be able to understand; it’s a valuable position to be in and you can help more than you realise. You don’t need to be a psychologist to help someone. The biggest thing you can do is to listen…. just that…. listen. No interruptions from you just be there for the other person. It takes a lot to be able to say “I’m struggling” so stop whatever it is you are doing and just be there. Believe me when I say you can make a difference!
I have experienced a lot of tragedy, hurt, pain, and loss throughout my life. Rape, murder, physical abuse, homelessness, emotional abuse, financial abuse, the list goes on. The last major episode was when I was in an abusive relationship and spent 8 months sleeping on the living room floor. That ended with me being found in the garden with a knife in my hands; needless to say I ended up in A&E with the crisis team. So I know what it feels like to be so desperately unhappy to the point where you can’t take anymore.
We all have different limits but there is a level to how much we can take as an individual. This is why it is so important to try and recognise the signs if you possibly can. I hope that today’s post will also give hope to people struggling. After everything I have been through I can promise you that there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
I have achieved a first-class honours degree while in an abusive relationship, homeless and with a new baby. I have retrained in complementary therapies while struggling with fibromyalgia and other chronic health conditions. I set up an online mental health support group while struggling with PTSD which now has over 500 members. I have this month set up a not-for-profit community interest company while we are in a pandemic. So seriously if I can get through to the other side there is no reason why you can’t either.
|Emotions I Have Felt||Emotions I Now Feel|
|I felt unheard||I feel empowered|
|I felt judged||I feel strong|
|I didn’t feel good enough||I have self-worth|
|I didn’t feel worthy||I have passion|
|I felt left out||I believe in myself|
|I felt blamed||I have the power within in me to achieve anything I want to|
|I felt uncared for||I have love in my life|
|I felt unloved||I have compassion|
|I felt controlled||I have empathy|
|I felt betrayed||I have kindness|
|I felt unimportant||I have friends|
|I felt disrespected||I have my life|
|I felt desperately sad||I have tenacity|
It Can and Does Happen To Anyone
Depression, anxiety, etc can happen to anyone and everyone. It can creep up on you and it can hit you suddenly for all sorts of reasons. Today is the basics for people to understand that it affects everyone and anyone and you know what it is ok; it doesn’t mean you have failed at something, or you are not good enough. All that is bollocks. The more we talk about it the better it will be. We live in a crazy world and we all need help even if it is just a hug; we all have needs and we are all different thank God.
As nearly everyone knows depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It affects how you feel, think, and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. It is a cruel illness. It moves over you like a black fog until you feel like you are clinging onto a clifftop by your fingertips. The easy thing to do is just let go the hard thing is to climb back up. People are there to help you climb back up; you are loved more than you will ever know. There is always another option.
So I have written a list of things that you can feel or experience when suffering from depression. The list is just a way to make you think about where you are emotionally; do any of these things below resonate with you? If they do then please talk to someone. You can talk to your GP, a friend, a boss, the Samaritans, Mind, there are a lot of groups out there and I will be providing the information for all of these organisations on a separate page.
- Canceling plans at the last minute
- Believe you are a burden to people
- Eating all the time or not at all
- Mood swings that can last for hours or days
- Being emotionally distant
- Constantly needing reassurance
- Isolating to protect themselves
- Frequent crying
- Having an outburst over something that others would consider to be small
- Avoiding reality
- Pretending to be happy or okay
- Feeling incomplete and messed up
- Avoiding people and social interaction
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Increased use of drugs or alcohol
I am not going to end this post without some kind of self-help so please find below 10 ways you can try to help yourself get to a better place.
Things You Can Do
- Commit to plans, practices, habits, rituals, routines that are good for your well-being – even when you don’t want to.
- Allow yourself to feel a multitude of feelings without labeling it as wrong, bad or negative.
- Practice listening to your needs and discovering different ways of meeting those needs.
- Practice self-forgiveness for not being perfect, for forgetting, for your past, for what you don’t know, and for getting “off track: sometimes.
- Let yourself start again, over and over, as often as needed.
- Take care of your basic needs, stay hydrated, get enough sleep, move your body, and eat plentifully.
- Give yourself permission to rest, to take breaks, and to have downtime.
- Spend quality time with yourself: reading, writing, creating and getting to know who you are underneath who you think you should be.
- Use a lens of curiosity and compassion with yourself as often as possible.
- Remind yourself that you are as worthy as anyone else in life. Make yourself a priority in your own life.
I hope you find this post valuable. If you would like to leave comments or ask me questions then please do and I will get back to you as soon as I possibly can. I suffer with depression and have bad days just like a lot of others do. However, I will always be here and will continue to raise mental health awareness and continually fight to prevent suicide.
You can also email me here.
This weekend I listened to my own advice and I went outside to a wooded area, surrounded myself with nature and walked the dog with my daughter. Every day is precious and every day should be celebrated in a small way.
I hope you enjoy your weekend and I will speak to you again on Monday.
Love and Light