Sunday, December 29, 2013

The Realism of Depression

Sometimes in life, when we fail to understand something, we fail to "believe" it is real. Take for example depression. I have suffered with chronic depression since high school, and unfortunately, after the drama of high school is over, the depression doesn't necessarily get any better.

When I would have down times, and even now sometimes when I do, people would tell me to just look at everything I have to be happy for and quit focusing on the negative. But, unfortunately, it isn't that simple. That's like telling someone who is sick with a cold to just quit focusing on the illness and be happy and healthy. People who would often have the best of intentions would say things like "it's all in your head." Well, that may or may not be true, but either way that wouldn't make it any less real or less painful. Mental illness is just as real and can be just as hard to deal with and physical illness. Sometimes it's hard to recognize something you can't physically see as really existing.

I wish I could simply focus on all the great things going on in life and just be happy. But, as much as I try that, I can't. Depression doesn't even just mean that someone who is depressed is sad and doesn't see happiness in anything. There are times when I am very happy, for example when spending times with my wife and baby girl. They are the loves of my life. And I know how blessed and lucky I am to have them. But, then, there are still times when I feel down. And these down times don't really have any explanation.

For this reason (and many others), depression can be extremely difficult on the loved ones of those who suffer from it. Those around that person, particularly significant others may feel that they aren't making the other person happy and that their isn't anything they can do to help. It may be very true that their isn't anything they could do to help, but that doesn't make it their fault. And that is something that everyone who suffers from depression needs to make sure those around them understand. As I failed to get help from my depression early on, it continued to spiral and be more and more difficult on my wife.

Not really understanding depression myself and thinking I just sucked at life, I didn't seek help or try to figure out what was going on. Finally, after deciding (which much insistence from my wonderful wife), I sought help. I was diagnosed with both Manic Depressive Disorder & Bipolar Disorder II. Among other things, I've been put on some medication (which I was very against, and was part of the reason I didn't see a doctor earlier), which seemed to help quite a bit. I still have times when I feel like a complete failure, or a sense of complete uselessness. But it definitely hasn't been as often or as regular since seeking help. But then there are times where I still feel really down, these times are especially as of late.

I don't sleep hardly. I can't focus on anything. And ironically, one of the best ways to deal with depression is to exercise, workout, etc. But, because I don't sleep well, I'm always too tired to work out or really do much of anything for that matter.

I don't know why I feel so down. Am I unhappy with my job? Not necessarily. Am I unhappy with my marriage or family? Not at all. Maybe I need to make some changes in my life. But I don't know what these changes are. And I continue to make decisions that I think will make me happy and move in the direction I want my life to go. But then I still find myself being less than completely satisfied with life. So I continue to seek help and try to figure out what is going on or what I need to do.

2 comments:

  1. Thank you for the blog man! I feel depressed myself pretty often, but I don't think I can diagnose it a sickness in my case. What I found that helped me is exercise, specifically weight lifting and yoga. You said you can't sleep well, does that mean you can't fall asleep easy? In my case I noticed that on the day I lifted I slept well. So maybe if you tried to lift every other day, even if you were tired and you hated, it would help your brain be saturated with endorphins and your body tired so that you would fall asleep easier. Try it for two weeks, it helped and still is helping me to stay happy.

    Hope you'll get better man! S novym godom bratan!!! :)

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    1. Hey budydy! Thanks for reading my blog and for commenting. Exercise is something that any "professional" will tell you is key to helping with depression. Not only is there the obvious health benefit, but it is also something that can give you a break and get your mind on something else. Going to the gym has always been an important part of my routine. So much, it used to annoy Ariana when we were dating because I'd have to plan dates and such around the gym. :)

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