Living With Depression

I had spent a year struggling with the distressing issues in my life. I was dealing with a feeling of exclusion and not being able to communicate in a group of more than 2-3 people. The more I tried to fit in, the more I failed. Soon there were frequent breakdowns which became more frequent with passing days. In no time, I reached a state where it was getting difficult to get up from bed in the morning and there was not enough energy to engage in the world around me. I cried without any reason and avoided meeting people. The chest used to feel exhausted with pain and finally, the entire physical, emotional, and energetic system seemed to go under lockdown. And it seemed like a slow death.

Living with depression can look like wanting to spend days altogether in the space of comfort, which is mostly the room where the person lives. The everyday basic struggle can look like just getting up from the bed and reaching out to the bathroom to brush teeth. Getting up can be literally like picking up different parts of the body and holding them up together. The strange exhaustive feeling in the chest feels as if the heart is tired of all the pain. The different aches and pains in the body make it even worse. Either there is no sleep or a lot of it. Body metabolism can go for a toss. If the person in depression doesn’t feel understood for what he is going through, it may further worsen the situation. Meeting someone and putting up a smiling face can bring down anxiety. The pieces of advice coming from the environment may not be doable which further drives shame into the system. The person loses interest in living his life, which may lead to self-defeating thoughts, questioning the reason to live, and attempting to harm oneself.

The reason to land up in such a state can be different for everyone but it almost feels the same to be in what is termed as a Clinical Depression. Depression is different from “feeling depressed” or “feeling sad”. Often the term is casually used whenever there is a prolonged sadness due to some specific incident. Depression is the result of many incidents that have continued to make us feel in a certain way. There is a pattern in our thoughts and emotions which works destructively towards our feeling of self (self-esteem, self-worth, self-love, ego identity). Depression is a serious illness that cannot be altered with positive thinking or trying to pull out from self from the closet. It needs medical intervention at times and continued support from an MHP working in the domain of thought and emotion. The biggest support can come from the family or the people with whom a person dealing with depression lives. The family members can provide an extended safe space where the person can be himself. Receiving assistance in the day-to-day chores towards self can be most helpful and comforting. Most importantly just being understood for what a person is going through can be – Hope.

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