My experience of depression
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16-05-2017, 02:08 PM (This post was last modified: 16-05-2017 02:15 PM by Emma.)
RE: My experience of depression
LadyDay- I think that's very well put. Depression can stop you from even being able to get up in the morning.

I have and still do deal with depression. My wife dealt with it in her teens, and I've dealt with it far more recently and I'm still being treated for it as I think my case is probably somewhat chronic, though milder than hers.

My wife described it very well to me one time and I feel like the metaphor is apt in the way that I've experienced depression. What she found, and I was well, was that depression was like a voice (not a speaking voice, mind you) that "reminds" you that you are lesser than others in various ways. And it heaps those reminders on you incessantly so that they pile up and weight you down over time. It reminds you every time something bad happens to you that it's "probably for the better", or "you deserve it", etc. It reminds you that people wouldn't miss you if you died or left, or even that the people in your life would be better off anyway. It reminds you how much of a burden you are on other people. It reminds you of all of your screw ups in life and plays on feelings of guilt. It undermines the good things that have happened in your life- your accomplishments, successes, good luck, etc- by reminding you how people will discover you're a fraud, that you don't deserve the good things, that you got lucky but it won't last so don't get comfortable. Your friends don't really like you, they just say they do for "X" reason (it'll fill in the blank).

It's always there, somewhere. You can be listening to depression talking to you and not even realize it. It's insidious, secretive, subversive. While some of the things i described might sound like low self-esteem, it's not simply feeling bad about yourself or for yourself. It's much darker. And it does weigh you down and pin you in place and it drains your energy and motivation away. It can take a good feeling and destroy it instantly with its "reminders".

While it's not really a "thing" in its own right, it sure feels like it sometimes. It's just a part of your mind that's constantly turned against you- be it a chemical imbalance or whatever. That doesn't diminish its effect or the danger it poses.

My treatment has helped (I am on an anti-depressant). And so does talking to a therapist. Honestly, I think everyone could benefit from a therapist- whether you "need it" or not. For a long long time the depression I dealt with was unrecognizable to me as depression. I just thought that everyone felt like I did. I never experienced joy or happiness without a constant reminder of how I didn't deserve it or that it'll taken away from me soon enough.

It's awful.
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16-05-2017, 02:48 PM
RE: My experience of depression
(16-05-2017 02:08 PM)Emma Wrote:  LadyDay- I think that's very well put. Depression can stop you from even being able to get up in the morning.

I have and still do deal with depression. My wife dealt with it in her teens, and I've dealt with it far more recently and I'm still being treated for it as I think my case is probably somewhat chronic, though milder than hers.

My wife described it very well to me one time and I feel like the metaphor is apt in the way that I've experienced depression. What she found, and I was well, was that depression was like a voice (not a speaking voice, mind you) that "reminds" you that you are lesser than others in various ways. And it heaps those reminders on you incessantly so that they pile up and weight you down over time. It reminds you every time something bad happens to you that it's "probably for the better", or "you deserve it", etc. It reminds you that people wouldn't miss you if you died or left, or even that the people in your life would be better off anyway. It reminds you how much of a burden you are on other people. It reminds you of all of your screw ups in life and plays on feelings of guilt. It undermines the good things that have happened in your life- your accomplishments, successes, good luck, etc- by reminding you how people will discover you're a fraud, that you don't deserve the good things, that you got lucky but it won't last so don't get comfortable. Your friends don't really like you, they just say they do for "X" reason (it'll fill in the blank).

It's always there, somewhere. You can be listening to depression talking to you and not even realize it. It's insidious, secretive, subversive. While some of the things i described might sound like low self-esteem, it's not simply feeling bad about yourself or for yourself. It's much darker. And it does weigh you down and pin you in place and it drains your energy and motivation away. It can take a good feeling and destroy it instantly with its "reminders".

While it's not really a "thing" in its own right, it sure feels like it sometimes. It's just a part of your mind that's constantly turned against you- be it a chemical imbalance or whatever. That doesn't diminish its effect or the danger it poses.

My treatment has helped (I am on an anti-depressant). And so does talking to a therapist. Honestly, I think everyone could benefit from a therapist- whether you "need it" or not. For a long long time the depression I dealt with was unrecognizable to me as depression. I just thought that everyone felt like I did. I never experienced joy or happiness without a constant reminder of how I didn't deserve it or that it'll taken away from me soon enough.

It's awful.

Hug I'm glad things are getting better. You deserve all the happiness in the world--you are so worthy of it. I can't even imagine how hard depression must be to deal with. I have heard several people who struggle with it describe the toll it takes.

I always think of you like this beautiful butterfly. Leaving that old past and cocoon behind and flying about being free...and wearing amazing Lego earrings Big Grin

Hugs to you and your wife. I hope your journey through all of this gets better still.
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16-05-2017, 04:18 PM
RE: My experience of depression
(16-05-2017 02:08 PM)Emma Wrote:  For a long long time the depression I dealt with was unrecognizable to me as depression. I just thought that everyone felt like I did. I never experienced joy or happiness without a constant reminder of how I didn't deserve it or that it'll taken away from me soon enough.

It's awful.

Emma,

That reminds me of my Dad. He used to say "I don't like being happy because I know it will end." It took a long time to understand that. After he died I found a whole stash of tranquilisers and other meds hidden away in his desk.

Thankfully, I have had enough help to put the depression voice 'in the next room' and I can enjoy myself quite naturally, a lot of the time. A great happiness is that our daughter shows no signs of the inheritance and our granddaughter is a bundle of fun.

Yes, depression definitely is "awful", and is no good for anyone.

D.
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17-05-2017, 02:45 AM
RE: My experience of depression
(16-05-2017 02:08 PM)Emma Wrote:  LadyDay- I think that's very well put. Depression can stop you from even being able to get up in the morning.

I have and still do deal with depression. My wife dealt with it in her teens, and I've dealt with it far more recently and I'm still being treated for it as I think my case is probably somewhat chronic, though milder than hers.

My wife described it very well to me one time and I feel like the metaphor is apt in the way that I've experienced depression. What she found, and I was well, was that depression was like a voice (not a speaking voice, mind you) that "reminds" you that you are lesser than others in various ways. And it heaps those reminders on you incessantly so that they pile up and weight you down over time. It reminds you every time something bad happens to you that it's "probably for the better", or "you deserve it", etc. It reminds you that people wouldn't miss you if you died or left, or even that the people in your life would be better off anyway. It reminds you how much of a burden you are on other people. It reminds you of all of your screw ups in life and plays on feelings of guilt. It undermines the good things that have happened in your life- your accomplishments, successes, good luck, etc- by reminding you how people will discover you're a fraud, that you don't deserve the good things, that you got lucky but it won't last so don't get comfortable. Your friends don't really like you, they just say they do for "X" reason (it'll fill in the blank).

It's always there, somewhere. You can be listening to depression talking to you and not even realize it. It's insidious, secretive, subversive. While some of the things i described might sound like low self-esteem, it's not simply feeling bad about yourself or for yourself. It's much darker. And it does weigh you down and pin you in place and it drains your energy and motivation away. It can take a good feeling and destroy it instantly with its "reminders".

While it's not really a "thing" in its own right, it sure feels like it sometimes. It's just a part of your mind that's constantly turned against you- be it a chemical imbalance or whatever. That doesn't diminish its effect or the danger it poses.

My treatment has helped (I am on an anti-depressant). And so does talking to a therapist. Honestly, I think everyone could benefit from a therapist- whether you "need it" or not. For a long long time the depression I dealt with was unrecognizable to me as depression. I just thought that everyone felt like I did. I never experienced joy or happiness without a constant reminder of how I didn't deserve it or that it'll taken away from me soon enough.

It's awful.

Hug

I definitely know these dark, incessant thoughts that become ingrained and often hardly conscious. They seem so real it's hard to shake them off with rationality. You don't realize that they aren't right in what they're saying.

You, of all people, don't deserve any of that. I hope you get rid of them, so you get to enjoy being such a wonderful person. Smile You stand out to all the rest of us as someone incredibly kind, sweet, strong, caring and intelligent.

But yes, I think you are right it's darker than mere low self-esteem. And unfortunately it doesn't go away just because a million people tell you how great you are. But everyone who knows you on here will be more than happy to tell you so anyway Smile

"I believe that while not all people are essentially good, most are trying" - Adam Savage
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17-05-2017, 03:36 AM
RE: My experience of depression
(17-05-2017 02:45 AM)LadyDay Wrote:  But yes, I think you are right it's darker than mere low self-esteem. And unfortunately it doesn't go away just because a million people tell you how great you are.

Hi, LadyDay and folks,

I hope this isn't inappropriate/contentious on the support section.

Maybe mixing up depression with low self esteem is a muddle? People without depression can have low self esteem, and (I'm living proof) people with quite good self esteem can have depression. I have had up to 200 negative thoughts or more in one day. They just pop up and hang around, like a bad smell. But I know they are not me, they are the depression.

Indeed, one source of high self esteem is to have survived this hellish condition, even maybe holding down jobs or having a family. We start with a total handicap and scrape ourselves along somehow.

IMHO, survivors/sufferers of any kind of mental illness are the real heroes, and not weak or inadequate in any way. Also, those who don't survive are even more heroic, IMHO. There is no tougher call in this world.

D.
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17-05-2017, 05:23 AM
RE: My experience of depression
(17-05-2017 03:36 AM)Dworkin Wrote:  
(17-05-2017 02:45 AM)LadyDay Wrote:  But yes, I think you are right it's darker than mere low self-esteem. And unfortunately it doesn't go away just because a million people tell you how great you are.

Hi, LadyDay and folks,

I hope this isn't inappropriate/contentious on the support section.

Maybe mixing up depression with low self esteem is a muddle? People without depression can have low self esteem, and (I'm living proof) people with quite good self esteem can have depression. I have had up to 200 negative thoughts or more in one day. They just pop up and hang around, like a bad smell. But I know they are not me, they are the depression.

Indeed, one source of high self esteem is to have survived this hellish condition, even maybe holding down jobs or having a family. We start with a total handicap and scrape ourselves along somehow.

IMHO, survivors/sufferers of any kind of mental illness are the real heroes, and not weak or inadequate in any way. Also, those who don't survive are even more heroic, IMHO. There is no tougher call in this world.

D.

I completely agree! Smile

"I believe that while not all people are essentially good, most are trying" - Adam Savage
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17-05-2017, 07:35 AM
RE: My experience of depression
You are all so kind- thank you for the wonderful words. Blush

I agree, Dworkin, self-esteem is a different thing altogether. I only mentioned it because some people used to think that if you were depressed, you just had low self-esteem. I'm glad that we know better now, but I'm sure there are still some old hold-outs that people with depression just need to "buck up" or "be more confident" or some such. But you are right, it probably only muddies the waters.
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17-05-2017, 07:40 AM
RE: My experience of depression
If anything it's an education thing, or the lack there-of, for people who've not had to deal with any form of mental illness.

As before I'm very lucky to have a great support network, and luckily/unluckily it runs in my family, so many of us know the score prior to me going into my own personal issues, although people don't know and I think even worse, don't want to know about what it's like/how it feels.

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17-05-2017, 08:44 AM
RE: My experience of depression
(17-05-2017 07:40 AM)OakTree500 Wrote:  If anything it's an education thing, or the lack there-of, for people who've not had to deal with any form of mental illness.

As before I'm very lucky to have a great support network, and luckily/unluckily it runs in my family, so many of us know the score prior to me going into my own personal issues, although people don't know and I think even worse, don't want to know about what it's like/how it feels.

It seems really sad to me that people don't want to understand or have empathy. Mental illnesses are still physical illnesses when it comes down to it. Our brain is a physical organ, and our mind is our brain.
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17-05-2017, 08:47 AM
RE: My experience of depression
(17-05-2017 07:40 AM)OakTree500 Wrote:  If anything it's an education thing, or the lack there-of, for people who've not had to deal with any form of mental illness.

As before I'm very lucky to have a great support network, and luckily/unluckily it runs in my family, so many of us know the score prior to me going into my own personal issues, although people don't know and I think even worse, don't want to know about what it's like/how it feels.

OakTree,

Your last sentence feeds into the massive stigma over any kind of mental illness. I agree that people generally "don't want to know about what its like/how it feels."

I used to think this was just ignorance/disinterest, but these days I'm wondering if many folks do have an idea of how bad it is and just have to block it out for fear of some kind of contamination? In my youth, starting at 17, I had panic attacks/anxiety. I wasn't allowed to even mention it in my parent's presence and had to go to the doctors on my own. I went through a first marriage without mentioning it! My present partner of 37 years is a bit wiser and helped me to go to a hospital appointment. I was immediately diagnosed.

Its not just other's stigma, I think we stigmatise ourselves.

D.
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