Depression, A War We Fight!

And I Don’t Mean Economic Depression

According to the Healthline, an “estimated that 16.2 million adults in the United States, or 6.7 percent of American adults, have had at least one major depressive episode in a given year.”

Healthline further states that a major depressive disorder is a “diagnosable condition that’s classified as a mood disorder and can bring about long-lasting symptoms such as overwhelming sadness, low energy, loss of appetite, and a lack of interest in things that used to bring pleasure.”

I suffer from major depressive disorder, I’ll just call it depression for ease of writing. I’ve had depression for roughly eight years. When I’m suffering a bout of depression, my world contains the elements in the above paragraph, except for appetite loss. I tend to eat through my emotions, which isn’t a good thing for my comorbidity conditions.

When I have a depression episode, my family suffers too. They worry about me, knowing I’m struggling just to function. They want to help in any way they can simply because they love me. My wife is a primary care health provider, so for her it’s of concern to her as my wife and as a healthcare provider. Unfortunately, there is really nothing they can really do, I just have to work my way through the episode. They do watch me for any signs of self-destructive behavior, normally without saying a word. I understand that completely and I love them all the more for doing so.

I am on anti-depressive medication, which can normally keep me as a “normal” as most people. But, there are times, such as the past two days, when the medicines can’t really help. It these times that the burden of struggling through the episode is especially difficult. If I was just “having the blues,” it would be a great deal easier for me. Unfortunately, that is not the case currently.

I try to use the tactic of distracting myself by, usually, wandering around online, catching up on my social media accounts, and writing blog posts (many that don’t get posted, because when I review them they don’t make sense. I’m not a great writer, I just try to make sense). I also have five cats and one chihuahua keeping me company. If I don’t try to distract myself, I just sit and stare at nothing as I get lost inside my head. I’d prefer that not happen. It just tends to make things worse.

I don’t know about anyone else, but when I am inside my head during an episode there is very little bright and cheery thoughts. My thoughts that are wondering around in my head are of things tinged in the darkness of depression. I can look at anything during episodes and see only negativity, regardless of the subject. This is not characteristic as I tend to being an optimistic guy. Take yesterday, I just wanted to cry. I know it’s okay as a man to cry, but it bothers me when I want to for no discernible reason.

I do see a therapist, but even a therapist can’t help until sometime after the episode starts, or ends. Plus there is no guarantee that a therapist can succeed in aiding in pulling oneself out of the episode. I see them trying and see my thoughts resisting. When my therapist doesn’t succeed, I feel guilty for failing my therapist and myself. Right now, all I can do is keep struggling and hope for a better tomorrow.

That’s it. There’s no more to say at this point. If you suffer from depression, take care and never give up working to get better. If you suffer from any mental health condition, may your days be all you hope for.

If you are having a mental health crisis, call your local mental health helpline, or call the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) Helpline at 1-800-950-NAMI (6264), Monday through Friday, 10:00 am to 6:00 pm.

Until next time