What Depression Looks Like

Anyone can experience depression whether it’s situational, like the COVID crisis, chronic pain or illness or having a mental illness. I have Bipolar Disorder I, which means although my moods can swing from highs to lows, most of the time I’m depressed. I was first diagnosed at 19 years old and sought advanced treatment at 28 years old after my father committed suicide. Below are a few examples of what depression has looked like for me.

Your family sends someone over to check on you since they haven’t heard from you in days/weeks

Sleep for 22 hours a day

Don’t shower for weeks

Can’t remember when you ate

Your mailbox is so full the postman stops delivering mail

Emotional eating or buying

Feel deep guilt over lying to family and friends for years trying to hide your depression

You are numb, empty inside

It’s been eight months and five new prescriptions and still no improvement

The doctor tells you if you cancel another appointment he will fire you and you almost drive off the freeway on the way home

To depressed to take your medication no matter how bad you want to

Fall so low that death must feel good

Don’t know what day it is

Drink to much

Have a detailed plan on how you will commit suicide

The normal mood is depressed, your taking medication just to get you above the line to normal happy

Taken over 50 medications or combinations of medicines

Had 21 Electro Shock Treatments

Spent multiple weeks, multiple times in Psychiatric hospital

Divorced because husband didn’t believe you were depressed

Cut off contact with everyone in an effort not to have to explain what’s going on or where you were

Lose your job on the third day because you can’t get out of bed

Don’t fill your prescriptions because you can’t drive one mile

These are a few examples of the struggles I’ve had with Bipolar Disorder for almost 40 years. The blessing is I have an exceptional Psychopharmacologist and Therapist who I’ve been seeing for over 30 years. My doctor has been tough on me, never allowed me to make excuses, and taught me how to explain my feelings in an effort to prescribe the right type of medication. He strongly recommended I seek out therapy which I did and have never looked back.

Therapy doesn’t help control my depression but allows me to process the anxiety, guilt, and emotions I have from being depressed. I also process my traumatic background with her which helps me clear any unresolved childhood events.

There is light at the end of the tunnel, sometimes you can’t even see a glimmer but there’s always light at the other end.

Please don’t try to deal with your depression alone, even if it’s situational depression, like a death or divorce, everyone needs emotional support. Go talk to someone.

Keep a log of your feelings by day the best you can in order to share those raw emotions with a Psychiatrist or Therapist. Raw feelings will help get to the root of any issue much quicker than going to an appointment saying I’m depressed without clear examples.

If your general physician is prescribing your medication and you are still experiencing depression please seek out a professional with specialized training. A general doctor doesn’t have the in-depth knowledge of medications or about ongoing depression to get you to the other side.

In Health,

Melinda

4 comments

  1. I have an AMAZING psychiatrist who finally got me balanced out on the right medications, and working with an equally great therapist
    It will all take time to heal, but I’ve made the right steps and continue to do so
    Bad days are fewer than now

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ve been good for about a year now, it took all five changes and several dose increases but we got there. I take a large combo of medications every day but now I’m in a good place. Stress plays a big role in my health too so I have limited news to only one hour a day and go to bed before bedtime in order to unwind. After laying in bed resting for an hour my mind is clear and I can go to sleep without all the chatter in my brain. So glad you’re doing great now.

      Liked by 1 person

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