As someone with generalized depression and anxiety, I have been in the dark place of my brain many times. We all have bad mental days; those days you don’t want to get out of bed, do anything, and just lay there. But what are the ways you pull yourself out? What do you do?
Going to therapy has helped me immensely in many ways shape and form. I get to talk about whats on my mind, my worries, how I feel, but before I started going, I had no way to get out what I was feeling. If I was depressed, that’s the way I stayed; sometimes for days at a time, until the fog cleared in my mind and I could move on.
Depression looks different for everyone it affects. We all cope with the difficulties of life in different ways. Some are able to be productive during these times, some can only get out of bed to use the restroom. Coping can be done with drugs and alcohol, it can look like watching TV in the dark eating junk food, it can even look like taking a long drive by yourself in silence. Coping can be making yourself shower, go to work, go for a run, or even going to a social event to try to pull yourself out.
I have seen people around me go through their depressive states. I have seen them stay at home for weeks, I have seen them at work barely managing, I have seen them simply give up for a while. I have had friends and family physically act on their depression through self harm. I have had people try to self medicate with drugs of all sorts. I have had people in my life commit suicide. As a last attempt to feel happiness, someone takes their life. I don’t agree that suicide is selfish; it is the last resort to feel happy, to feel anything for that matter. Suicide is never the answer by any means, but I understand it.
I try my best to talk to people who I suspect are depressed. When I went through my major depressive episode, I didn’t ask for help, I put on my happy face, I did my best. No one noticed how broken I was inside because I hid it so well. No one asked me how I was doing until it was way too late. I never wanted to die, but I had those moments where I wanted to turn my car into oncoming traffic, to just be done feeling terrible all the time no matter what I tried mentally or physically. I was just tired. I was working out, eating healthy, distracting myself with work, smoking copious amounts of weed, but nothing was ever helping. The only thing that has worked for me is medication, and even with that I still have bad days.
I think I am an empathizer when it comes to depression and anxiety of those around me. When I see someone depressed, I get depressed myself. When someone is anxious about something, I take on that fear as well. I can put myself in their shoes long enough to feel their pain. My down side to this is that I take on too much emotion from others; so much that it affects me for long periods of time until I know that they’re okay. I don’t give the help they need because I get wrapped up in my own thoughts and feelings and can’t muster the courage to say something and help them.
While many humans have the mood swings, going from happy to sad through periods of times, I feel that their current situation plays a huge role in why they are depressed. Sometimes its a death of a loved one, a bad financial situation, a major break up or let down in their life; whatever had a huge toll on them and their emotions for whatever reason it may be. They can’t pull themselves out at the moment, they can’t see the brightness at the end of the terribly dark tunnel they’re in. You can’t. Your brain won’t let that happen yet. It won’t let you think of the good for a while; it makes you hurt first.
A break up breaks your heart into a million pieces, makes you feel alone in the world, like no one will love you like that again. It’s hard to see the brighter days ahead because you are so clouded you can’t even think straight. You can’t see yourself a couple of months from now developing feelings and dating some one new. You can’t see yourself going out with friends and rediscovering old hobbies you love. You can’t see the brightness within the darkness of the current moment. It’s all about what you do to help pull yourself up, to get back to being you.
I like to listen to music, watch something funny that I’ve seen a million times, eat hot Cheetos, lay in bed with my dog. I’ve become good at being depressed as bad as that is to say. When it’s too dark to see the light, I’ve learned to wait it out. It sucks, it really does. It sucks not having the ambition to get up and shower, or to change out of the clothes you’ve been wearing for two weeks. It sucks having no desire to even look at the TV and just sleep for hours on end, never feeling rested.
My depression is unique to me, everyone’s is. You can’t tell someone how to feel. You can’t put pressure on them to get better, do better, be better all of a sudden. You put more and more pressure on someone in that state and it only makes the situation worse. You make it harder to pull yourself up out of the darkness when someone keeps adding weight to you. My hope is that while reading this, if you’re in a dark place or not, it helps you. No one is truly alone in this world, there will always be someone there to help you no matter what your situation is. Talk to someone, lay in bed, do whatever you have to do; but always remember there is light at the end of the tunnel.
National Suicide Prevention Hotline: (800) 273- 8255