Tag: sharing

Don’t leave me alone when I am depressed: Reaching out

pexels-photo-167964“I just want to say somethings which have been on my mind. I feel I should explain what I need from you sometimes, because I don’t think you necessarily understand. You know if I had been physically ill, you would have asked how I was doing. I was really mentally ill when we met the other day. I was feeling like crap. I was in hell for the next few days. I don’t blame you. I know I isolate myself. I know I become distant when I am depressed. But you need to realize that my depression is an illness and I can’t always control it. I went to the doctor a week ago, I am back on medication and I will be starting therapy again. I know it’s not easy to deal with someone with depression but I don’t want you to leave me alone when I am sick. That’s when I need you the most.”

You want to be left alone yet you don’t want to be left alone.

Depression has a cruel way of making sure we distance ourselves from friends and family. With your mind working against you, choking you with negative thoughts, communication is hard. You don’t feel like talking to anyone. You’re either irritated or angry or simply non responsive. You get set off by the most trivial of things. Or you simply want to go hide in the deepest darkest hole and never see anyone anymore. So it gets impossible to reach out.

We tend to isolate ourselves, and then it’s easy to think that we are forgotten by those we thought cared for us. It hurts that someone doesn’t want to deal with us when we’re like this. The feeling of being abandoned takes over.

Lately, I’ve been feeling this about a certain person in my life. I was angry and disappointed but I love them so then I thought, wait a minute, let me see what it must be like for the other person. Of course, some of them might just not care at all. But maybe they don’t understand what we are going through, or why we are acting distant. May be we need to tell them, if they care to listen, about what’s going on.

I also feel that people are not comfortable talking to someone with mental illness because they don’t know what to say. I think that this stems from not having enough knowledge, and so it’s vital that we put out as much as we can of what’s it like for us living with a mental illness. So people who do care can understand better and help us through our struggles.

My depression is telling me “no body cares”, “they are happily ignoring you”, “they aren’t really your friends”, I will not listen to it. So I texted the above message to the person, and now I wait for a reply. I don’t know how they will react. But at least I made an effort to reach out, it took a lot to do so but I knew I had to for the sake of my relationships.

 

Depression creeps up on you

Now, to give you a little background, I am writing this blog because, first, I always wanted to write one, no surprises there! and second, I did not have anyone to share my stuff with. To be honest, I had gotten used to not sharing anything I was going through and that became normal for me. For many years now, I keep everything in the strong hold of my own mind. But it was a couple of weeks ago that I came across a TED talk by the psychologist Guy Winch called Why we all need to practice emotional first aid (https://www.ted.com/talks/guy_winch_the_case_for_emotional_hygiene) , and I realized that I needed to open up and share. As it has been difficult, almost impossible for me to express myself to others, I thought well why not write about it?

So, here I am, sharing my story, and looking forward to listening to others’ as well. For years I have tried to get myself out there, but the fear, the fear of people not understanding, the fear of being seen as weak, the insecurities, have stopped me from sharing.

In the spring of 2013 I was diagnosed with major recurring depressive disorder, anxiety and OCD. However, I have been suffering from depression since my teens, but I was oblivious to the fact and did not have the courage to accept that it was a problem.

I know to where I can trace the beginning but that would be going too far for an introduction. Staring from my first year while pursuing my undergraduate studies, in 2005, I starting losing interest, became chronically anxious, my grades went down, I felt sad, always. I had no energy and I did not want to take initiative to do anything. I kept ignoring it, reasoning that it was simply my laziness. It came to a point where I became so scared inside, so unsure of myself, that the moment I was asked a question, my heart would start pounding, I would start trembling, and I fought to not let it show, to stop my throat from getting dry. This happened now on a daily basis and finally in my third year, I crashed. I failed my exam, I closed myself up, stopped talking to everyone, locked myself in my room and just started studying to retake the exam. Even then, I thought not of depression, I was too blind to the demon who had bought this upon me. And it would take me another six years to finally accept the fact that all was not well, that it wasn’t just a case of blues, and that I couldn’t shake it off and that I needed help.

A lot has happened since, and I will share more in the next post.