It’s not always easy to explain what it’s like to live with depression. Sometimes we can’t even understand it ourselves.
A dark presence
Depression can hit us suddenly or it can creep up on us gradually, as if it’s been watching us from the shadows. We can feel as if it is stalking us.
A sinking feeling
It’s as if depression is climbing unseen into a lift with us, pressing the ‘down’ button, and taking us on a downward journey that we don’t want to be on.
The bully in our brain
Depression is a bully. It makes us turn against ourselves, bombarding us with criticism, self-doubt and anger, and attacks our self-esteem and confidence.
Reversing night and day
Disrupted sleep is a common effect of depression. Our rampaging thoughts can keep us awake at night, leading to us feeling like zombies during the day – desperate to rest, and low on energy and enthusiasm.
Our brains might be fizzing with desperate thoughts, or deadened by sleep deprivation and exhaustion. Depression can play havoc with our memory and concentration. We feel vague, like our brains are full of fog.
The recovery rollercoaster
Recovery means different things to different people, but it’s rarely a smooth journey – more like a rollercoaster, with frequent dips. Finding coping strategies, managing our symptoms and spotting signs of a relapse are all part of the ride.
One step at a time
It’s hard to be patient when all we want is to feel better. We can set ourselves goals that are hard to achieve, then beat ourselves up for not achieving them. Coping with depression is all about taking small steps – doing what we can when we can, and not being hard on ourselves when we can’t do anything.
Don’t give up
Living with depression is really hard. It’s draining, exhausting, soul destroying… But we can get better. Things change. We just don’t know what’s round the corner. We need to be kind to ourselves, keep hoping, and never give up.
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