Have you ever been depressed?
Depression might feel like looking at the sun but shivering inside, not feeling the warmth in your heart, not feeling the heat on your skin.
Depression might feel like seeing the bright blue sky, but feeling a storm brewing inside of you, your head full of thick, dark clouds and you are scared of what's going on right now, of what it's yet to come.
You wonder why it's devastation on your planet, why everything is lifeless, no colour, no light, no sound! Where is the joy, the laughter? Where happiness is gone? WHAT HAVE I DONE? WHAT'S WRONG WITH ME?
Depression can affect anyone, at anytime. Anything can trigger depression - everyday life stress, relationship problems, difficulties in the work place, redundancy, retirement, parenthood, bereavement, loss, health problems. Sometimes depression can be deep-rooted, adverse childhood experiences can have life-long lasting consequences.
Admitting to be depressed it's a hard thing to do! We live in a world where others' "happiness" is posted everywhere. Social media laughs down on you if you don't have the perfect holiday, the amazing boyfriend, the clever child, the dream job. There is pressure, there is competition to have it all, to reach perfection.
I know it from my own experience with depression that people get scared when you talk about it. Friends will stop texting, they do not want to know that you are overwhelmed with sadness, that you don't want to get out of bed or that you do your job or fulfill your responsibilities feeling like a robot. You start to feel different than others, rejected, abandoned, worthless. You feel alone, so alone and isolated!
You might start having sleepless nights, panic attacks, anxiety. At this point, things can escalate, you might turn to alcohol or drugs to numb the pain, you might start thinking that life is not worth living. Or you might start to fake it, dismiss what you feel, pretend to be happy. After all, you want to belong, you want to be accepted, to be connected. You might think that buying a new pair of shoes or a handbag will do the trick, having a haircut, buying a red lipstick, getting a new boyfriend. Anything will do, as long as Planet Dark is left behind!
For a split second, you might feel better, but deep down inside there still are feelings that are not explored, unprocessed, not integrated. Out of the blue, you might start feeling low again, because there are unresolved issues, bottled up feelings. Untreated depression will come back like an uninvited, unwanted guest. It will sit with you at the table, will go with you to bed, asking you, demanding you to do something about it. And you might be scared, so frightened, angry, frustrated and resentful, thinking that this guest will never leave, that you are cursed to never feel the sun on your skin, to never see the blue sky or hear the songs in the trees. WHY ME?
You might be stuck in a vicious circle, you might start buying shoes again, but you might start feeling that old tricks are failing. You are so, so scared! Your heart is racing, your mouth is dry, you're covered in cold sweat. WHAT DO I DO?
Maybe it's time to face the music! Seek help, find someone who can help you with your feelings. Depression can be managed, recovery is possible! Learn what happiness is for you and stop comparing your life to others', we all have hidden skeletons in our cupboards! You are not worthless, you are not different, leave the shame aside, let yourself be brave! Start re-writing your story, impossible is nothing!
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About Gianina Ardeleanu
Integrative child&adult counsellor, with a special interest in adverse childhood experiences. I worked with and helped people experiencing common mental health problems like depression, anxiety and panic attacks.
I am being inspired in my writings about my own experiences and from my work as a counsellor. Therapy is a gift and it can change lives!