How to Keep Going When You Have Depression
Let me just say starting out - I am not a Doctor, Psychiatrist, or even a Counselor. However, I have gotten through 7 years of Major Clinical Depression. Sounds ominous, doesn't it? It is, but somehow I am making it with my sense of humor intact.
Here is my story; I started on this road RIGHT after I gave birth to my first and only child. Doctors would call how I felt Post-Partum Depression ...later to become Major Clinical Depression. I, however, called it Hell on Earth. I don't think there is much in this world as sad as when you have a beautiful, perfect baby and you don't feel a connection to her. Kind of like the stork brought her and no, you aren't sure what to do with her. You feel TERRIBLY guilty for not feeling that bond that everyone in the world has convinced you will happen, instantly, when she is born. Not only that, but you are irritable, and I mean IRRITABLE, all of the time and short-tempered with your spouse. Especially if said spouse is very sweet and supportive. The more you try to be nice, the meaner you are. The meaner you are, the more guilty you feel. The more guilty you feel, the meaner you are to those that love you the most. Catch the vicious circle, there?
Now, I am not talking about a little bit unhappy. I am talking about the world would be better off without me, unhappy. Unhappy as in, everything I do is wrong, unhappy. Unhappy as in, I will NEVER feel better than I do right now. Now, if that sounds scary to hear, imagine how it FEELS! Even if your logic tells you that you are not that bad of a person, you have never killed anyone, always tried to be kind to people and animals, never broke any laws, none of the good matters. Because believe me, when you are in that dark, DARK place, it is almost impossible to dig yourself out. Every insult you have ever heard about yourself, becomes true in your mind. Every weakness in your character becomes blown WAY out of proportion. And you keep beating yourself, down and down and down. Your loved ones are constantly trying to bolster your esteem. They tell you all that they love about you, how things will get better, how important you are to them. None of it matters. Because you don't believe anything good about yourself anymore and you are left thinking that they must be hallucinating to see any good in you. How misguided they are to love someone as worthless as you. How they would be so much better off if you would just run away, or lay down and die.
Now, I have always been an outwardly cheerful person. Always ready to tell a joke or make someone laugh. You get in the habit of faking it to the point that you really don't feel the pain anymore. In fact, there isn't much feeling left in you at all. Your heart is in the deep-freeze. At least, that is how I was. While that does help with any emotional pain you have, it is horrible anyway. Because any JOY you might have had is frozen too.
I am not saying that all is roses and rainbows now, but God Bless Therapy! And a big apology to Tom Cruise (NOT!), I have to say, Thank God for Psychiatric drugs too! I really do believe that without both, I would be dead right now. And whether it is true that my family would be better off with someone else as Wife and Mom, for some reason they want ME! After all of the Group Counseling and Drug Therapy I have been through, there is one thing that now springs to mind about getting help. EVEN IF YOU DON'T FEEL GOOD ENOUGH OR WORTHY OF GETTING HELP, TRY.......AT LEAST FOR THOSE THAT LOVE YOU, IF NOT FOR YOURSELF! I don't know about you, but I would never have went for help on my own. I wasn't worth the hassle, I thought at the time. With the Psychiatric Drugs, they try to get you in the right frame of mind to ACCEPT help and to TRY to help yourself. Then, with the Counseling, they try to help you retrain your brain. Because when you have Depression, beating yourself up is easy. Trying to find good in yourself and believe in it, is HARD! But, if you can make a habit out of thinking bad thoughts of yourself, then, with work, you can make a habit out of thinking GOOD thoughts about yourself.
Now, don't get me wrong. This is a totally simplistic view from someone who has been through it. And is still going through it. It might even sound hokey to some.(Probably someone who has never HAD Depression.)
However, there are millions of people that can relate to my feelings, even if the situations are not exactly identical. It doesn't matter. Misplaced guilt and the deep feelings of worthlessness that come with Depression is a fact of life. And in some cases, a fact of death. Before my Depression, I could not conceive that anything would be so bad that I would want to end my life. With Depression.....well, LIVING was the hard part. Please, if you are going through anything like I did...if you are dealing with those same feelings of hopelessness, then sit down and make a list of everyone who loves you. And tell yourself as many times as it takes, "All of these people see something good in me and they can't ALL be wrong!" If you feel like you can't trust your own feelings, then trust theirs.......and ask for HELP! Trust ME on this, life can only get better. And whether you believe it now or not, it DOES get better with help. (P.S.) If you have no money and/or are worried about money, don't be. There are PLENTY of free or low-cost counseling around. Call your local hospital and ask. It can't hurt and it WILL help.
Disclaimer: I am a regular person telling MY story. Do not take my advice as if I am God. Seek Treatment with Professionals if you think you have Depression. Thank you
Engage further with Jude through her online blog: www.heyjude.name
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