Are you constantly feeling sad and you don’t know why? This feeling is common amongst people who are depressed but might not know it. Depression is so common that it is frequently referred to as the ‘mental cold’ illness. If you think you are experiencing symptoms of depression, or you’ve been clinically diagnosed with it, right now you’re probably searching for some help, guidance on treatment options or you just want to talk (or listen) to someone who gets how you feel. I know, I’ve been there.
In case you don’t already know my name, I’m Maria. I’ve dealt with depression for years and through my research, community outreach and personal connections, I know a lot of other people who are dealing with this common ‘mental cold’.
This is an introduction to my experience with depression. I’ve seen many people deal with depression and the most common conversations I had with them were; feeling very alone because no one understood them … some of my friends and acquaintances were even desperate to get off medication as they were slowly becoming reliant on it to feel ‘normal’ (yes, I put normal in brackets because being on anti-depressants, I’m not sure how normal you can feel). Anyways, others were just angry at the world, wondering how so many other people are so happy and enjoying their lives, and they were just sitting, letting there mind go to a place of pure frustration… after all, how can I be so unhappy and why can’t I let myself live a life of happiness like everyone else seems to be able to. I felt this way all the time.
These are very common feelings and the more that we, as people dealing with depression, can understand that our thoughts are more common than we assumed them to be. The more we can understand there are others out there who ‘get it’, the faster our recovery could be. Opening up to the possibility of normality brings a whole new stream of positive thoughts into the picture.
The thing is that a lot of people don’t necessarily know they are depressed, or they don’t want to acknowledge it. The saying ‘ignorance is bliss’ is common with people who are dealing with any mental issue, and often we feel that it is better to simply ignore the obvious signs than come out and deal with it. The problem is that when we do ignore the signs, we often amplify our depression to a point where we make it very hard to help ourselves.
Long-term depression is extremely exhausting, it takes everything out of you and it definitely is demoralizing. The fact that I’m writing this to you tells you that you aren’t alone, you aren’t abnormal, and you have other people who get it. You have an issue and you can deal with it. Depression can take a toll on every aspect of your life and the longer you let your current state of mind continue; the harder and harder it can be to change it.
For those reading this that aren’t sure whether they are depressed or not, here are a few telltale signs…
- You feel sad in the mornings
- You’re scared to be alone and often over-socialize
- You’re desperate to be around people that are overly happy
- Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, and/or helplessness
- Feelings of hopelessness and/or pessimism
- Insomnia, early-morning wakefulness, or excessive sleeping
- Irritability, the inability to concentrate and restlessness
If you feel like you are depressed and you have a lot of these symptoms, please don’t mistake my advice for a doctor’s advice. If you need medical attention please go, especially if you’re having suicidal thoughts. This website, and my experience with depression comes from a place where it was manageable with strong will power, a community of people who ‘got me’ and access to several treatments that I found throughout the years.