Imagine carrying a really heavy backpack that you can’t put down and having to walk up hill with it. Depression is a heavy weight that consumes every aspect of your life. Your relationships, your work, your social life. Everything is consumed by this heavy weight and it feels like there is no escape from it.
It can stop you from sleeping, or make you sleep way too much. You’re constantly exhausted no matter how much sleep you get. Your mind is battling itself, telling you that you deserve the bad things that have happened to you or that you deserve bad things to happen to you.
Self harming behaviours such as hurting yourself, substance abuse and deliberately pushing people away seem like a good idea at the time but they only push you further into depression.
1 in 4 adults suffer from depression and with that being such a high percentage you’d expect it to be taken more seriously. The constant sadness or numbness completely engulfs you and you feel like a burden to everyone around you.
I often wonder what my life would be without depression. Would I have more friends? Would I be more successful? I don’t know. All I know is that I have a serious mental illness that is often trivialised by both society and the media.
Luckily, mental illnesses are being made more aware of and with education of these illnesses I do think that recovery is more feasible than it was in the past. In the past, people were treated to horrific conditions in what they used to call ‘asylums’ and people with depression or other mental illnesses were seen as dangerous and a threat to other people.
This is still an issue in the media, with mental illnesses being demonised with depression / mental illness being portrayed as a cause for violent criminals. It’s important to know that people with depression are not to be feared, and perpetrators of violent crimes are such a low percentage of people with mental illnesses. People with mental illnesses are much more often the victims of violent crimes, but the media tends to ignore that.
Depression is a constant struggle in my life and I hate to say I’m “battling” it because its less of a battle and more of a way of dealing with it. Medication and therapy can help but because everyone’s depression manifests in different ways it can take a while to find the right treatment for you. Although this can be disheartening, its so important to keep trying. No matter how many ups and downs there are, there are so many reasons to live and the bad times won’t last forever.
My biggest advice for those struggling with depression is don’t suffer in silence. Speak to a friend or a family member and try to see your GP as they will help advise you on the best methods to treat your depression.
If anyone needs further help, check out my resources page or contact me for a chat. I’m no professional but sometimes a friendly chat can really help. And remember to look out for your friends, depression has a lot of silent symptoms that can be hard to spot but just being there for a friend who seems to be struggling can make a massive difference!
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