Depression,My Cozy Anchor
Updated: Nov 24, 2020
Depression, where do I begin? There are so many ways to start a blog on this topic. Depression can develop after a loss, it could appear seasonally and/or strikes out of nowhere. It’s often described as an uncontrollable feeling of sadness, despair, guilt, shame, etc. We disconnect from others and so much into our own experience, that the world feels it is moving at a different pace. Depression can be a mental quicksand for most. The more we try the further we can fall in and so it is easy to give in. My goal for this blog is to further label this emotion while breaking a particular stigma it comes with. Along with some suggestions on alleviating (not fixing) this cycle.
It’s all too common to hear clients (and frankly even myself) deny the label of depression - it sounds like this: “I am not depressed, I can get up in the morning, go to work and still function”. (Thank you society for making us believe there is only one form of depression, and it looks like the person who does not get out of bed). This is a common yet dangerous stereotype, it leads to the misconception you are not depressed since you are still a functioning human. My concern is when we are barely functioning and coping by dismissing the impact of our emotions; we are promoting a build-up until it worsens. Yes, depression may consist of struggles to motivate oneself. However, there is much more to consider.
There are different forms of depression. For example, Dysthymia (Persistent Depressive Disorder) is described as experiencing a constant but moderate intensity of depression that lasts for at least 2 years. A grey cloud over your head while still being a contributing member of society. The “FML vibe” a client once called. Accepting every wrong thing that happened throughout your day because “well that's just my life”. Mild lack of motivation and hindered sense of self “What's the point why try” comes into play.
Guilt (the quicksand of depression)
Guilt can occur when/if we become aware of our behaviors during a depression cycle. We witness our work being impacted and/or relationships forming a disconnect. This can cause us to feel guilty, saying to ourselves, “I am not worthy, it's all my fault”. When we experience guilt in this way, it can make us feel as if we are not entitled to anything, including self-care because “I do not deserve it”. Here is the pattern: awareness of a relationship disconnect due to depression symptoms → self-blame for the disconnect → little to no self-care → increased intensity of depression symptoms. Around we go, because without self-care, we fall deeper into our funk (just like quicksand), it’s easy to understand why most of us struggle to break this cycle.
Since depression ranges in its severity, what I am about to propose may understandably feel challenging to some. To make this clear the answer is not to “fix” but to alleviate. Little things go a long way. Depression is a mindless heavy cycle. With that being said, pushing yourself to care for you even 10 minutes a day can help dramatically!! By doing so we are giving a chance to break a cycle. With some practice, a new cycle can begin to form. For example, if you love to go running putting your sneakers by the door as a reminder for self-care is an inch closer. The next time around, put them on and walk around the house, and so forth. Please be patient with yourself.
Also, I promote tools like journaling to help learn from each episode. Here’s a question to help you get started: “How do I behave when I feel down?”. From there you will have some insight on you and ways to better manage in the future. I often tell my clients “Let’s not judge ourselves on how we feel, but rather what we do with that feeling”. Consider a holistic approach to making yourself well - what are you eating, how well you're sleeping, and maybe discuss with your doctor about antidepressants. Antidepressants are one of the safest medications on the psychotropic market. More to come. Thanks for reading.