The Subtleties of an Illness: Depression

This past month and a half has been pretty darn difficult for me. Depression descended and stole all the beauty of the lovely fall season.  It terrorized me and made me feel helpless and without hope. I was close to losing my compass in life.

Depression does this by altering my thoughts, behaviors and feelings. It is powerful, life altering; so  sadly and tragically that it can kill by suicide. During depression my feelings are mistaken and flawed. Instead of knowing that I am capable of meeting life’s daily challenges, I feel overwhelmed by them. Getting dressed, for example, is an achievement. What? Why? With depression all little decisions are magnified and threatening. Choosing what to wear on a ordinary day is fueled by anxiety that whatever I choose, I will choose wrong. The negative thoughts that occur with depression are very real. Frequently, those  negative thoughts whisper that all is wrong with my life and my family’s life.  The thoughts and feelings attack my fundamental beliefs and values.

With beliefs and values shaken, depression is left to achieve a stranglehold on my mind.

Sadness pervades.

And I feel especially saddened for those who lived with depression before effective medications were realized and discovered. It was harder to live with depression back in the decades of the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s.  People with depression, or those who had had a nervous breakdown, were thought of as weak, or lazy or both. Lacking in character. Deficient.

Today we have become more open-minded. We know depression is an illness. Before long scientists will uncover exactly what gets tangled in the suffers brain. And luckily, we’ve found new medications that can be life saving.

My new medication will become active in about 3 weeks. Please understand that 3 weeks to me sounds like an eternity.

Understanding families and friends do ease the experience of depression, but In the meantime, I will endure and live through a bit of hell.