Yes, I am writing my blogs to help other people who suffer from depression. No, I’m not cured of depression. Yes, I had a depression relapse the other day. No, my depression will never be cured. Yes, you CAN feel better even though this is a lifelong issue!
I’ve been suffering from the effects of depression and anxiety my entire life. Ever since I was a child things were not right with me. I never knew that I had something wrong until I became a young adult. My life and experiences were different for me than everyone else. How could I tell? Let’s just say having to run out of a laser light show when I was 17 years old because I was having a “heart attack” is not something my other friends were doing. It was fun times for my friends talking me out of those “spells”. Yep, they loved it.
The above incident was not a depressive episode, but I am including this story in my post today because I am considered to have a dual diagnosis. I have depression and anxiety/panic at the same time. For me, the depression set in after I ran out of that light show and I went home for the night. The embarrassment, the despair that I can’t enjoy my young life, the loneliness because I will NEVER be invited to another laser show with my friends, were all bombarding me. I was a failure. A nobody. Who would want me around?
Fast forward 20 years. Yes, 20 years. I’m okay today. It took a long time. I don’t want to discourage anyone from seeking help, but I would be lying if I told you that this disease evaporated into midair right after I started getting treatment. To be realistic, I have to tell you that it took a lot of hard work, determination, and a desire to LIVE. Somewhere deep inside me I wanted to live. Not until I recognized that I wanted to live did I start to get better.
Depression lies. For a lot of people it tells them that they want to die. It’s easy to believe it because it speaks so loudly in your mind. It’s not your fault. It’s a problem with your brain. When you search and search inside you mind, try to see that one tiny spark that says “Hey, you want to LIVE.” It may speak softly. It may look dim. But under the muck and yuck, it’s there. It’s called your soul. The energy that is “you”.
So, I had a relapse. It happens to me all the time. After 20 years of hard work and countless doctor visits, I still struggle with this horrible, horrible disease. It takes me down sometimes. I can go along for a while, operating in the “okay” zone, and then out of nowhere, BAM! I’m down.
There are two differences for me today versus 20 years ago. First, my depressive relapses don’t dip as low as they used to. I get more on the blue side with low energy. There is a feeling of hopelessness that lingers about trying to tell me that life’s too hard. I recognize these symptoms and accept them for what they are. Symptoms of a disease that I suffer from. I don’t take it as the “end of the world” like I used to when I was younger.
Second, I know that these depressive episodes do not last forever. It used to be that a depression would last days, weeks or months. Only to subside for a week and then return. Now that I have been treating my disease for a long time, the relapses don’t last as long. I go 3 days depressed perhaps before I’m back on my feet again. That’s a huge improvement!
Why am I telling you all this? Because I want to let other people know that depression/anxiety/panic are diseases that can be managed fairly well. There is really no cure as far as I know. However, there is hope. Life can get better. I’m happy with the progress I’ve made so that I can be a decent, functioning individual today.
Depression/anxiety/panic disorder are, in my experience, diseases of management. If you keep at it, your symptoms can be managed. I think it’s important to know this. If you have family or friends in your life that want you to stop being this way it’s hard for them to understand. It’s probably not going to ever leave you. But it can be managed.
This blog is just my experience and opinion. Please know that I am not a doctor, or scientist. I’m putting my real life experience in this blog in case you can identify with my point of view. If not, just pass it over.
I hope that if you are suffering today, that you start to feel better soon. I really do. Take care of yourself. God bless you.
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