How it really feels to be ill with depression!
Depression is such a widespread and widely talked about ailment. Many people experience it once or twice throughout their lifetime while some live with it permanently. Yet so many of us don’t fully understand what depression is exactly.
The word “depressed” is thrown around so much in conversation, and is even misused from time to time. Thus it’s very understandable that confusion surrounds the subject and in truth the only reason why I am familiar with the subject (despite not being an academic expert on the topic) is because I experience depression chronically.
The best generalisation I can use to describe depression is that it’s a lot like being ill with a bad flu, except what makes us feel unwell is painful emotions. The emotions are not similar to every day stress or sadness but are instead overwhelming feelings of complete hopelessness, combined with oversensitivity to the degree of both feeling and interpreting everything as a personal attack.
Depression also comes along with physical ailments too, which include fatigue, chest pain, headaches, migraines, the flu and insomnia. They are only a few of the things that can attach themselves to depression. As a child I went through a stage where I got constant boils due to my body being extremely rundown. That was when I was going through a particularly traumatic year of my life. To this day I still get acne and skin infections, which include the occasional boil. My skin problems worsen during times of depression or anxiety.
Sleep disorders can occur alongside depression, and often the much needed depression medication can exacerbate the problem. The most common sleeping issue associated with depression is not feeling tired enough to sleep at night, yet feeling groggy and sleepy during the daytime. When people are depressed, daily tasks which involve keeping both themselves and their environment clean can also become more difficult than usual. The reason for this is that hygiene and maintenance aren’t once only jobs, and need to be done various times a day. When our mind is intensely focused on curing our depression it is very difficult to keep up with everything else we need to do.
Depression is a serious illness that must not be taken lightly. It is important for us all to understand that when a person is depressed they are not merely stressed or sad (as far too many dictionaries have defined the meaning of the word).
Perhaps the most dangerous part of depression is where we feel a strong sense of hopelessness and helplessness. This is when we lose all interest in our life, feel that there’s nothing to live for, and have a desire to simply die as a way to escape our pain. In extreme cases people do indeed act upon that desire and commit suicide.
Whenever you or someone else you know is depressed, it is crucially important to recognise that they need help. Consulting a good doctor who is qualified in the area of mental health is absolutely necessary, as are various support lines that are widely available. Once the person gets therapy and a prescription of medication they can usually pull themselves out of depression rather quickly.
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