Information on Clinical Depression
Real Clinical Depression is a debilitating illness coming in episodes of varying levels of severity.
Real depression is way more than just feeling down and is not something people can just snap out of. It tends to work side by side with Anxiety. Somes you can be Depressed because you are anxious and sometimes you can be anxious because you are Depressed.
I took this saying from a blog I read which was written by a Depression sufferer and I really like it as it's so true:
"To be clear Depression is not sadness. Sadness is when you break up with your significant other - real and normal - depression is about destroying everything in your life including your will to breathe. It's about painful, physical symptoms along with a persistent psychological reality that can drive people to death"
Clinical Depression is a condition that can be incredibly difficult for anyone who has it to cope with on a day to day basis and also incredibly difficult for family and friends to understand or live with someone who is Depressed.
Real Clinical Depression is much more than just going to the Doctors and saying you feel a bit down. It is absolutely crippling feeling of dread and doom with seemingly no end that is very difficult to step away from and that actually makes you feel that you have gone crazy.
I first suffered from depression as a child, I didn't actually know I was suffering at that time as I was going through childhood abuse and at the same time was coping with my parents' divorce and being bullied at school.
The second time I suffered was after I had given birth to my daughters as their birth was the trigger in adulthood for me because I worried so much about them due to my own suffering as a child. Once I had it as an adult I realised that they were the same feelings I had felt all those years ago.
I went onto suffer another 3 long episodes of Clinical Depression after this first one.
So How does severe Depression actually feel?
- It's a constant feeling of dread and doom, like there is a black cloud following you round and it will never go away, some days this is so severe that it is difficult to get out of bed or even move. I was regularly frozen to the spot in my darkest moments, like I had ground to a complete halt.
- Anxiety often becomes a partner to Depression, the two conditions go hand in hand. Not only do you feel very down you also feel very anxious with it and that can become an unbearable feeling.
- It's a complete lack of motivation to do anything at all and everything that you used to enjoy now holds no interest or enjoyment at all. It is also very difficult to actually start anything, almost like you are completely unable.
- Even the smallest task such as taking a shower is genuinely like climbing mount Everest, It seems impossible to do even the simplest things and this inability to do what you once could causes great anxiety.
- Black thoughts fill your head all day long and also while you are asleep giving you shocking nightmares. These thoughts can be very frightening and are usually what you fear the most. They feel real and it's impossible to stop thinking them. I can remember feeling an actual sting in my chest every time I had a black thought.
- Your thoughts and feelings may actually scare you and you may think you are really going mad. (You are not by the way these are just stages of the illness)
- You worry constantly that you will always feel like this and will never recover which can make some feel suicidal. It just seems endless.
- You feel completely out of control of yourself and your thoughts and feelings
- A feeling of complete emptiness, I could sit in a room full of loved ones and feel completely alone
- A feeling of being so fragile that at any moment you could shatter into a million pieces
- The lows are so low that it actually becomes a very real physical pain. I could physically feel it in my body.
- Not wanting to mix or see anyone at all, a real need to be isolated.
- A strong feeling of guilt about everything, even silly things I found like telling my kids its bedtime when their bedtime came round and then feeling guilty that they wanted to stay up and I didn't let them. When I say guilt I mean shocking heart wrenching guilt, not just a fleeting thought.
- Not being able to watch the TV or read magazines as anything negative watched or read played on your frayed nerves making you feel worse. I was so sensitive to feeling and feeding it anything more to scare me or make me feel worse that I dare not look at anything I might see that might have something bad in it.
- You become a slave to the Depression, it controls how you are going to feel, rather than you.
- An inability to relax anywhere
- Problems going to sleep or staying asleep (I hated this, I used to dread my family going to bed in case I was still awake)
- Awful physical symptoms such as extreme panic attacks
The above is to name but a few, real depression is much more than just feeling down and sufferers will be unable to just 'pull themselves together'.
Depression is not the whole person, it is just a part of them and the real person is still there, just locked away for a time underneath the symptoms.
It can be really hard for them too. Like many mental disorders the sufferer looks the same but knows they are not and know they don't feel right. Remember the pressure is on them to continue with life as normal is just expected by loved ones as they can't see the illness.
If you suffer from depression, try to speak out if you do need time out, if you broke you leg you would accept that you need time to rest it to recover and it's the same with depression. It is a real illness and in order to recover you need to accept that it is there and take time out if necessary to become the person you once were.
Once well, there are steps that you can put in place to ensure you stay well.
A rule of thumb for Depression is :
"It feeds off itself and takes up lots of time"
This means that the more time you can spend completing simple tasks and taking your focus away from your Depression will begin to break its hold on you and move you into a different more positive place.
If I could just say one final thing it would be to not ever lose your hope or give up. Depression does go away and it can be defeated, it is possible to emerge from its symptoms and become the person that you once were again. I survived all four episodes .I spent 15 years on Anti Depressants. I have now been Depression free for many years and take no medication. It can be done and I am living proof that you can do it no matter how bad you are. Keep your hope and your inner fight that is very important.