If you search “Depression” on Google, I can guarantee that the majority of the search results will have something to do with the question “what is Depression?” This seems silly to me, as Depression does not look or feel the same for any two people. And even if it was the same for everyone, what would defining Depression do for us? Would it help non-Depressed people understand us? Would it help clinicians diagnose us? Would it offer us any kind of relief? I don’t think so.
***That’s not to say that I don’t believe in the value of diagnosis. In fact, being diagnosed with Depression (even by a shitty almost retired family doctor who didn’t care about my suicidal ideation) gave me an incredible sense of relief and hope for my future.***
If I had to define Depression, I would likely get overwhelmed and have a panic attack. I simply could not do it. For me, Depression is different every day. Every minute, even. But I can tell you about the bits and pieces that make up my Depression.
One of the biggest (and often times
worst) component of my Depression is not being able to let shit go. I am the Queen of obsessing over something that happened or that I did, to the point of insanity. I’m
talking being completely consumed by it. For example, I had an unfortunate misunderstanding with my
landlords a few years ago, which resulted in me (and my partner at the time) being forced to make a
midnight move. Now, for most people, this would
definitely be a shitty situation, and would undoubtedly cause some significant
stress, anxiety, etc.
|Photo by Live Life Happy via Flickr|
But for me, this event sent me spiralling into a nose dive. After enduring the actual ordeal of moving in the middle of the night, I should have re-grouped within a few days. I just couldn’t. I couldn’t move on. I thought about it all day, every day. I didn’t eat or sleep. I could barely leave the house. I was terrified to run into the landlords in the hallway. I had multiple panic attacks every day. And there was just no reason for it. It was crippling, debilitating. It almost resembled paranoia. I was paranoid that the landlords hated me and were out to get me. I was paranoid that I would see them in the hall and they would yell at me. It‘s funny how anxiety and paranoia seem to mimic each other.
(Note: This was also before I was diagnosed and began taking medication.)
I don’t remember how I finally overcame it. In time, I suppose, I simply slipped back into my old, regularly Depressed self. However, even now, with having my diagnosis and taking my medications as prescribed, I still experience this. It can be devastating.
I don't know if this is an issue that is unique to me and my Depression, or if other people experience this as well. But it is definitely a huge part of my struggle with Depression.