I’ve had 3 major bouts of depression. Each one started with a feeling like some sort of snap happened inside then I started to spiral down. It’s like an elastic band was wound up and it got to a point it was wound too tight and it snapped. So, anything that was held with that elastic band starts to fall. I would sometimes get a wave come over me suddenly out of nowhere that would drain everything out of me, and I could feel myself going down.
After my first bout with major depression I fully recovered and things went well. The second time it started the same way but, when I came out of it I didn’t feel I fully recovered 100%. The depression lingered in the background but I also started to have anxiety. The third time was a very slow progression back up and again I’ve never really being back to my happy self. So now instead of being 100% the best I can be is 70-80% but my anxiety is really high.
Breaking a leg, having knee surgery, getting the flu, or even grieving the loss of a pet (which I have felt many times) is not the same. The visible is acceptable, grieving the lost of a pet is understandable, but people have a hard to accept and understand depression if they haven’t gone through it.
I have lost many friends because of my depression. They would say “call if you need anything.” or, ”I haven’t heard from you in a long time”. Even family rarely called. My sister said, “why didn’t you call?” I would say under my breath they don’t understand, and I don’t have the energy to explain. When I am depressed making phone calls makes my anxiety levels go way up and if it’s not an emergency, I don’t make calls.
I have a few quotes about depression that I found resonated with me. They might resonate with some of you.
“Depression is the most unpleasant thing I have ever experienced … It is that absence of being able to envisage that you will ever be cheerful again. The absence of hope. That very deadened feeling, which is so very different from feeling sad. Sad hurts, but it’s a healthy feeling. It is a necessary thing to feel. Depression is very different.”J.K. Rowling
“I am so demanding and difficult for my friends because I want to crumble and fall apart before them so that they will love me even though I am no fun, lying in bed, crying all the time, not moving. Depression is all about ‘If you loved me you would’.
“Some friends don’t understand this. They don’t understand how desperate I am to have someone say, I love you and I support you just the way you are because you’re wonderful just the way you are. They don’t understand that I can’t remember anyone ever saying that to me.”Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation.
“Mental pain is less dramatic than physical pain, but it is more common and also more hard to bear. The frequent attempt to conceal mental pain increases the burden: it is easier to say “My tooth is aching” than to say “My heart is broken”.C.S. Lewis, The Problem of Pain.
Every thought is a battle. Every breath is a war, and I don’t think I’m winning anymore.
I tell people I’m tired but in fact I’m depressed. I tell people I’ll be fine tomorrow, but I know, tomorrow will be worse. I tell lies everyday and know, I’ll not be able to stop it by myself.
Losing your life is not the worst thing that can happen. The worst thing is to lose your reason for living.”Jo Nesbo
“I didn’t want to wake up. I was having a much better time asleep. And that’s really sad. It was almost like a reverse nightmare, like when you wake up from a nightmare you’re so relieved. I woke up into a nightmare.”Ned Vizzini, It’s Kind of a Funny Story
“If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation. Depression just is, like the weather. Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest noblest and best things you will ever do.”Stephen Fry
Stephen Fry’s quote is genuinely accurate. Never ask someone who’s depressed why. “Depression just is, like the weather”… “It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest noblest and best things you will ever do.”