When you hear a person say “I’m feeling depressed” or “I think I have depression” what’s the first thing that comes into your mind?
For a lot of people the “depression” is looked at the same vain as being sad, emotional or alone. In my opinion, this is the worst misconception about DEPRESSION. Depression is not just about being sad, emotional or alone. That is not the end all be all of depression.
First of all, if you feel that you’re experiencing depression you better get professional help to get a proper diagnosis. Do not be afraid to see a psychiatrist to have yourself checked. Do not let the stigma of depression stopped you from seeking help. For years I felt I was experiencing depression. I am turning thirty-two years old this year and it took me more than 2 decades to seek professional help because I was looking at depression the wrong way and I was afraid of the stigma that going to psychiatrist means you’re crazy or nuts. As of this writing, I am already seeking the help of a psychiatrist who diagnosed me as suffering from bipolar II disorder and depression.
Going back to the misconception about depression. Attributing depression to only feeling sadness is wrong! When a person is sad there is a reason for it which, more often than not, can be pointed out by the person himself.
When a person says he/she is alone this is sometimes confused with being lonely. Being alone means a person is actually just by himself. It can be a choice. While feeling loneliness is not a choice. It is the feeling of being misunderstood and left out by others.
A clinically depressed individual cannot specifically point out the reason for his/her depression. I describe it as feeling empty, lonely, useless or without a purpose, broken, and confused. The sad thing is that we could not point out what makes us feel those ways. We know that there people around us who are willing to help and there are good things in life. But our brain tells us the opposite.
We feel empty inside and that void cannot be filled up with anything. We do not have the concept of seeing the glass half-full or half-empty. We just see the glass as empty because we don’t feel we have enough of anything. The presence of good things in life does not make us happy anymore since our brain is saying that there’s a box inside of us that can never be filled with anything. So people cannot just say “Stay positive!” because we can’t see anything positive. We do not have the proper perspective in life. What we can see are things that are present in our lives but are not enough to make us satisfied and happy. That is why, more often than not, if you ask depressed people what makes them happy the response will be “I haven’t felt genuine happiness!” More importantly, we will always say we are just “FINE”.
Depressed people feel lonely. Some depressed people have family, friends and partners to support them through their struggles. What’s the problem then? We feel lonely because people do not really understand what we feel inside. Professionals can understand us but, honestly, they are not the ones we want to have an understanding. The people close to us need to have the proper perspective with what we feel which is nearly impossible. Our mind is jumbled with thoughts and ideas which cannot be explained to anyone except for people with the same condition also. However, it’s dangerous to have two people with depression talk about what they feel since it can only remind themselves of what they are experiencing which is the worst case scenario.
Worst, if a person who is depressed feels comfortable talking to a family member, friend or partner, the depressed person ends up getting brush-off since they cannot be understood by the people around them. More often than not, the words coming from other people will not make the depressed person feel better. In short, the support we received is not the ones we want.
Of course, sometimes the negativity will only make us feel toxic to other people which leads them to ghosting or abandoning us. When normal people do not understand what we feel we brush off the positive things they say which ends up making us toxic and makes the people supporting us give up or just end with a motherhood statement of “Stay strong!”
In addition, depressed people feels guilty for burdening others so the result is that depressed people would avoid the people supporting them because we do not want to be burdens to them. We do not want to bother others. Hence, we feel lonely ate the end of the day because we have our own world that nobody could understand except professionals who have no close ties with us..
USELESS OR WITHOUT A PURPOSE
Depressed people feel useless or without a purpose in life. We often use the phrase “What have I achieved in life?” or “I am not good at what I do” or “I am of no use in this world!”
We feel worthless in this world because we feel we cannot do anything right. In addition, it has been scientifically proven that clinically depressed people can easily lose interest with things. Also, you can hear depressed people say “I can’t/don’t want to do anything today!” For other people they are lazy but that is one of the symptoms of depression. We lack the drive to do anything, even the things that would make us “happy”.
Depressed people also experienced the endless quest of finding a purpose or goal in life. Most likely, that goal is either impossible, improbable or will never be achieved because depressed people do not have the drive to start or work on anything.
Thank God I have a bipolar II disorder and I’m using my hypomania episodes to work on the goals I want to do at the expense of my limited energy of course but still I’m learning to manage disorder right now.
When you feel empty, lonely or useless, the end result is that we feel broken. Since we are not “normal” we are broken. Some people, like me, builds up the resolution to get fixed but there are still many out there who don’t want to get fixed or are afraid to get helped for reasons I mentioned earlier.
Just an advice, if you feel any ounce of depression get yourself checked. In my own experience, I felt liberated when I learned that I got bipolar II disorder and depression because I know now what I’m facing and I am now learning how to deal with my condition. Knowing is half the battle.
The mix stew of emotions I mentioned earlier leads depressed people to be confused with their situation. I can tell you that there are a lot of things going inside our head right now which are unexplainable. This could lead to us experience anxiety and stress.
More often, we are confused on what to do with our situation since our condition renders us without any proper perspective on things. We do not see the light at the end of the tunnel. We are lost souls trying to find our way out of our current situation but do not know how, when or where to start with.
That’s why I believe seeking professional help is the first step to be healed. At the least we could answer two questions: 1) What is our medical condition?; and, 2) Why are we experiencing this? Knowing the answers to this two questions will lead us to at least a direction in our lives. The answers to how, when or where will follow. What is the most important thing to know first is our mental health condition and the reason for the existence of our disorder. This will at least reduce the things we are confused with.
I hope that this blog will give you a better understanding of depression from the perspective of a person who is currently experiencing it. It may lead to more questions. Even I have a lot of questions. But those will be answered on my subsequent blogs.
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