“If depression is creeping up and must be faced, learn something about the nature of the beast. You may escape without a mauling” - Dr R. W. Sheppard.
Sometimes depression may relate to unfinished business from the past where unwanted feelings and emotions are kept at bay because they were too difficult at
that time to be dealt with – we literally depress our emotions and keep them at bay. We can then use different strategies to keep these unwanted feelings from resurfacing such as alcohol or drugs, keeping busy, moving from one relationship to another, working long hours to name a few.
As individuals our experiences are unique and so it is with depression. However, there are commonalities that define this challenging experience. The common experiences are: sadness and possibly suicidal thoughts, loss of self confidence and esteem, difficulty concentrating, inability to enjoy things, reduced energy, hopelessness, tiredness and its impact on sleep and diet.
I would like to bring this blog to a more personal element as a way of participating in knocking down the walls of stigma that are unfortunately part of our culture with regards to mental health. I’ve had my own experience of situational depression that occurred in my late 20’s due to the end of a relationship. There were many things that stood out for me in that period of my life (I had depression for about 9 months), but one I distinctly remember was the shock that I couldn’t walk it off. Prior to the time of my depression and I found myself going through a difficult time I would go for a walk and this would invariably sort my head out and at the very least improve my mood, but that just wasn’t going to happen when I was depressed. I was lucky because I had some motivation to try, but I know for many who suffer from depression even going for a walk is too much.
It was also scary because I realised that I didn’t know when or if it would end. As I stated above there are generalised themes that characterise depression but it’s still a personal experience. So for myself, I managed to function and drag myself to work, but I remember absolutely feeling no joy nearly all the time and all colour was washed out with a pervading greyness that replaced lives vibrancy. It was like beauty never existed and reality was the epitome of dullness and bleakness.
What helped me at the time? Seeking support even though I didn’t want to. Funnily enough I didn’t see a counsellor as I didn’t have the awareness for that kind of support back then. Instead I muddled through talking to friends, reading books about depression and maintaining basic day to day activities as well as allowing my feelings to have their day!
Below are a few websites that might be helpful. The internet has plenty of information.
May this day find you well