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Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Depression Is Forever

Sometimes I forget just how bad it can be. How completely and utterly full of despair I can become. How out of control I can feel.
Image via Flickr by Murat Harmanlikli
It had been so long. Of course, I have never been in full remission with my Depression, but for a long while now, I had been very stable. Until recently. Until I felt that all too familiar rush of anxiety, hopelessness, and unstoppable tears.

Having just started a new job in December, I was running into some problems at work. I was stressed and worried about my future in this new role. I’m not sure if it was due to the time of year, the pressure of a new job, or the general build-up of work-related stress, but I had a meltdown. A meltdown that lasted about a week.

I didn’t sleep. I could barely eat. I had constant stomach pains and headaches. I was scared to go to work, or even leave the house. I became paranoid that I was going to get fired, and that my partner wanted to leave me. I cried at the drop of a hat. I thought my world was ending.

The logical part of me recognized that this was an episode of Depression. I had experienced it many times before, and it was just a matter of time before it ended. But as the hours dragged on, I slowly lost touch with logic. I began to think that this would last forever. I felt hopeless, ashamed, and guilty.

I tried to hide it from people at work, which was fairly easy because they don’t really know me well. I tried to hide it from my mom, but it didn’t take long for me to seek comfort from her. Worst yet, I tried to hide it from my partner. I knew that he didn’t quite have an understanding of my illness yet, how it can creep up on me with no reason or warning, and how quickly it can consume me. I thought it would just be easier to suffer in silence, and save him from the trauma of seeing me this way. Well, that didn’t work.

It wasn’t long before I could no longer contain it all. I blurted it all out – my irrational fears of losing my job and him leaving me, the fact that I hadn’t slept more than a few hours in the past three days, along with the tears that had built up behind wide, terrified eyes. He reassured me that he wasn’t going anywhere, that I was simply over-thinking things. I agreed, but I didn't believe him. Finally, after what seemed like an eternity (which was really a few days), I was normal again (normal being subjective and self-defined).

This is a prime example of how Depression never really goes away. I will have this illness, this sickness, this disease, for the rest of my life. It’s easy to forget just how bad it can really be. You can go a long while without any major symptoms, but they will always come back. And it’s usually when you’re the least prepared.

My advice to you is to enjoy every moment of the good times, and to always be prepared for the bad times. I don’t mean that you should live in constant fear of your Depression, but don’t ever let yourself be ambushed by it. For some of us, Depression is forever. Don't let it fool you into thinking it's not.

Much love,

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