Over the last month I have come to understand what depression is. I always thought that since I had an intimate relationship with anxiety, that would be it and I’d always be anxious when I was stressed, and never depressed. Not the case.
Though I must say that so far, being depressed is much better than being anxious. Anxiety is caring too much, and depression is not caring at all. It’s so much easier to not care. My moods have been really up and down, so I haven’t hit the huge depression spiral yet, which is good. I’m getting some help this week from my naturopath and a counselor to make sure that I don’t get there, or that I have some tips and tricks to deal with it if I do.
The first thing that I noticed was my memory. I sent an email to a coworker thanking her for something she did, but it turned out it was actually something I did. Losing my phone more than usual (which is impressive, just ask my boyfriend). Losing my agenda for a whole month, only to find it in a grocery bag on the floor of my pantry.
My attention has also been bad. I feel like my brain just doesn’t work anymore. I can’t concentrate for very long, and I can’t hold a number of complex ideas in my head at the same time like I used to. It sucks.
During my times of being depressed, I’m extremely sensitive to auditory stimulation. The children being loud, or anything other than angelic drives me nuts. But when they do things that would have before given me anxiety, I just sit there and ignore it. I don’t care. Any group of people around me is pretty excruciating. Talking with more than one person is too much.
Then there’s the sadness. Crying at work. Sobbing at other inappropriate times. A bit of hopelessness. Feeling blah.
I know that one of my coping tactics is exercising outside. Since I have a broken foot, that’s just not an option. I’ve been trying upper body workouts at home but it’s really not fun. That’s not my style of exercise, but I have to force myself to do it or it’ll be bad news.
I know that another one of my coping tactics is self-care, and I’ve been kind of bad with this one, but I have realized it and I’m trying harder. This is painting my nails, reading books, saying no to social situations that I know will make me feel worse.
It’s been interesting experiencing a different kind of mental illness. It’s weird how I feel that it’s not me in control, the same as I feel when I’m really anxious. I’m glad I can recognize what is me and what is not me. The rationalization really helps. I can’t imagine what it’s like for someone who never heard about depression, and the symptoms, and how to find help. I feel lucky that I have support in place – people who can keep an eye on me and know what to do if I can’t help myself.