To someone who doesn’t know what depression is like, I think of it like a strait jacket. Its weight and inability to break free from it everywhere you go, all of the time. It is a powerful force that can feel impossible to fight because it is so strong.
I have only lived with depression for around a year now, but I have lived with anxiety my whole life (21 years), and although I feel I know a lot about the two diseases, I still feel it’s my fault I have them. I think this is because recovery from depression often rests on the individual. I mean…we know that exercise, eating the right foods, taking medication and going to therapy can help you feel better from depression. However, the therapists and support friends and family can help you with these things, but they can’t do them for you. No one can make you eat your greens, make you jog, or force the words out of your mouth during therapy.
Most people don’t understand how hard it is to live with depression, I read a post the other day were they viewed it as ‘selfish’. They believed we should all be grateful for the life we live and the good things surrounding our life…but it just doesn’t work like that when you suffer from depression. Even the people who know me best often get frustrated or confused when I struggle, because I’m not as engaged with their life as the average person. Sometimes I can’t hang out, I can’t “just get a job” or enjoy myself in a nightclub because I’m trapped in the dark side of my own mind.
Sometimes I think people are surprised that I have a blog and talk about my depression and anxiety because they see me a capable and confident. They just can’t imagine why I’d feel so bad, how counter-productive! But depression is so complicated, it infiltrates every moment and everything in your life. I can’t explain it any better than that.
Sometimes I think it is the very worst disease anyone can live with. Even cancer is recognised by others. Doctors can see it, target it, and fight it for/with you. There are treatments, charities, whole entire stores you can visit to buy a wheelchair or a special bra. I feel like depression kills people just like any other visible diseases do, yet newspapers won’t talk about someone’s death by suicide, unless it’s a celebrity, and people won’t get penalised or scrutinised when they write a blog about how depression is ‘selfish’.
I’m just so frustrated sometimes with depression and the lack of fight I’m offered. The only thing I can do is try to describe it so other people will understand depression a little better. Please share this post and comment your description(s). It’s not a perfect post, it’s a depressive post, but it’s real. Let’s try and spread the word as I guarantee that it is affecting someone you know, every minute of every day. It’s a jacket we can’t take off, and we’re drowning from it.