When we have depression, we often have to cope with dark thoughts and scary urges. These thoughts can seem to come on with no warning. They can feel completely overwhelming. Living alongside them is exhausting and at times very scary.
Because people rarely talk about dark thoughts and urges, it can feel as though we’re the only ones in the world to struggle with them. But we are not alone. Stigma might keep us quiet, but we are definitely not the only ones to have ever felt like this.
Impulsive thoughts are sudden, involuntary thoughts, which tell us to do something. We could be cooking tea, having a shower, or walking down the street, and a thought pops into our head saying we should hurt ourselves. They can be very sudden and very loud. They’re often really scary because they make us feel out of control.
Intrusive thoughts are thoughts which enter our brain and try to take over our thinking. We don’t ask them to appear, they just do and we struggle to squash them down or get rid of them. They can be violent or distressing, and can enter our head at any time, without any warning.
They Enter Our Dreams
We hope that if we survive the day, we can finally have a break for a few hours while we sleep. But sometimes, even sleep isn’t a break. I can be a struggle to get to sleep in the first place, because the thoughts and urges can be scary and overwhelming. The thoughts can enter our dreams or cause us to wake up during the night. It’s exhausting. The more tired we become, the harder it can be to fight against the thoughts. It’s a vicious circle.
It’s exhausting to live with these thoughts. They can leak into every part of our lives. It can feel like we never get a break. Others are able to wake up on a morning, get dressed, eat some breakfast, and go to work. We wake up and before we even get dressed, we have to battle thoughts to stay in bed, harm ourselves, or isolate ourselves. It’s as though we spend all day every day standing up to a bully, on top of trying to do our usual ‘life’ tasks.
We Don’t Want To Do What They Say
Dark thoughts and urges can be scary and overwhelming. Often we don’t want to do whatever it is they’re telling us to do. It can feel as though we are trapped between what our thoughts and urges are saying, and what we want.
We Get Worn Down
The thoughts can wear us down. It can feel as though they are constantly battering us and all we want is a break. We can hold the thoughts off for a while. But when they continue for days or weeks on end, it becomes harder and harder to avoid them, or stand up to them. We get so tired.
We Just Want To Get On With Life
We don’t want these thoughts. We just want to be able to get on with our lives. It can be incredibly frustrating – we do everything we can think of to keep ourselves going, and to keep ourselves safe. We try to eat well, sleep well, exercise and socialise. But whatever we do, the thoughts and urges still seem to affect us. We want to shake them off and get on with life, but we can’t.
Dark Thoughts Don’t Make Us A Bad Person
We can very easily fall into the trap of feeling like a bad person. We feel horrible and ungrateful because we don’t want to hurt our families and friends. We might feel as though we are lucky to be where we are in life and shouldn’t be having the dark thoughts that we experience. We aren’t bad people and it’s not our fault that these thoughts appear. Depression doesn’t care how old we are, how many friends we have, what sort of job we have or where we live. Depression doesn’t discriminate.
There Is Help Out There
We don’t have to cope with these thoughts and urges alone. There is help available. There are a number of different treatment options available in the UK.
If we feel as though we are in crisis, we can reach out to different support lines. If we are feeling particularly unsafe, it’s important that we go to A&E or ring 999.
Please help us to help others and share this post, you never know who might need it.