what is depression?

After telling people in work that I’ve been diagnosed as depressed, I got some weird reactions. One person acted like it was the end of the world for me and asked what the company could do for me. I replied that I’ve felt like this for about 10 years, so there’s no point acting any different to me just because the root of my attitude problems has been identified.

After writing the above paragraph, I think I’ve figured out the point at which it started! I “lost interest” in school around age 14 or so, and since then, my life has sort of spiralled downwards. Interesting.

Anyway – this post is to try and describe depression as I understand it.

When some people think of depression, they think it means “aw, you’re sad? there there”, and think it’s something that can simply be gotten over. Some people think it’s a matter of simply snapping out of it. I remember people actually telling me that!

Depression is a sort of mental exhaustion – you do not feel the drive to do anything, and even if you do want to do something, it’s hard to dredge up the energy needed to get it done. I go to sleep every day at 10pm, and get up between 6am and 7am – I good 8-9 hours sleep – but I am always tired.

When I was 20-24, I used to carry knife blades around with me and cut myself a lot. It’s hard to describe why I used to do that – I don’t have a clear reason, and didn’t, even then. The reason I would give then was that it made me “feel alive”. I’m not sure anymore if that was true.

What I do know, is that even though I was not actively trying to commit suicide, I would not have minded if one of those cuts went a bit too far.

I think the reason I stopped cutting myself was that I realised that even though I did not care if I was alive or dead, some things interested me. A flimsy reason to live, I know, but that’s all I had.

Hmmm…. lost track of my point.

The last few days were a very low point. I found it especially difficult as we had some guests and I had to at least act interested in things. It’s depressing being depressed (pun intended!).

I’ve been going to doctors for years, trying to find out why I am so tired all the time. I never got a definitive answer. It just took a few minutes of talking for my present doc to spot it.

One Reply to “what is depression?”

  1. Been there, done that, and there is light at the end of the tunnel, spend a few months on Prozac, get your body chemistry back on the level, and trust me, at the other side, life’s a rosy place – I found it just takes a nice girl, a nice car, travel and good friends to make the world a better place.

    Just don’t do a Gareth O’ Callaghan from 2fm and remind everyone that you’ve had depression every ten minutes 🙂

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