Excessive sleeping. I’ve completely slept the clock around. A recent stint was for 14 hours. These days, I’m usually in bed between 8 and 9 pm. Although, it has been as early as 7 on several occasions.
Constant fatigue. Just the effort it takes to get out of bed, or brush your hair seems mountainous. I simply do not have the energy to do the everyday tasks that I used to. After work, the thing I want most, is to sleep. I’m too tired to cook, so I nuke a frozen dinner. I’m too tired to make the bed or change the sheets. “Oh well, maybe tomorrow” seems to be the normal phrase for such things. If it wasn’t for my little dog, on the weekends, I would not bother to get out of bed. Often on the weekends, I will spend the day in my pajamas and robe. The effort it takes to get dressed is just too much. If I need to get groceries, but that would mean getting dressed. “ Oh well, maybe tomorrow.”
Disinterest in things that usually bring you joy. I have many things at home that can occupy my time. I crochet, sew, garden, write, and do various crafts. I also have a house that needs a LOT of TLC. But what do I do instead? If I can, I sleep. If I can’t sleep, the smaller the amount of energy it takes to do something, the better.
Isolating yourself. Even though going down to the local burger joint and ordering dinner, is the easiest way to get dinner, it also requires me to be seen in public. If I can avoid people, I would rather do that than risk having to interact with anyone. I grocery shop only when I HAVE to and then, I go very early in the morning when the stores are less crowded. I have NO social life, because I isolate myself. I don’t go out, I do not accept invitations to outings. I stay home. In my pajamas. And sleep.
Lack of concentration. I can forget what I’m doing, just about WHEN I’m doing it. An example: I am sitting at my desk, writing and think that I need to pull that magazine out so I can reference it in my writing. I turn toward the drawer, open it, and have NO idea why I opened it or what I was going to do. Sometimes it will come to me but other times it doesn’t. I forget to do things that I tell someone that I will do. I was NEVER like that. If I said it would get done, you could count on it.
Persistent thoughts of hopelessness, sadness, or emptiness. I wonder about my choice to live alone. Being alone… My life is very blessed, but the feelings of emptiness creep in. We all have a past. My youth was… interesting. I find me berating myself for decisions I made 30+ years ago. I beat myself up about things that happened long ago.
What does each one of these things have in common? They are all symptoms of depression. This list is far from complete, but it will give you an idea of what it’s like to have depression. Depression is much more than sadness.
Depressed people become very good at hiding their symptoms. We put on a brave face, smile and go to work, or take care of the kids, or go out to dinner with our spouse. Outwardly, we are fine. No one would know the internal struggle we are having.
This is the reason so many people that are depressed and commit suicide are never found out by their loved ones until it’s too late.
This is also the reason that I write about it. To bring depression out of the dark and into the light where it can be acknowledged and talked about. Where the person affected can get the help that they need.
Depression is an illness. There is no shame in it. Let’s get real here, people. This is Real Life. In real life, people become depressed. It happens. There is no reason to sweep it under the rug, to hide it.
If you or a loved one is having symptoms of depression, please seek help. Talk to your doctor, a friend, a teacher, just TALK to someone.
If your friend or family member is showing signs of depression, TALK to them. Listen to what they say about how they are feeling. Sometimes, just knowing that there IS someone that cares, is a comfort.
Depression is the #1 reason behind suicide. If you or your loved one needs help, these phone numbers are where you can get help for yourself or that loved one.
The Suicide Prevention Hotline, available 24/7 is 1-800-273-8255
Is talking to someone too much for you? It was for me in the past at times. There is a Crisis Text Line. Text 741741 and you can text with a counselor.
You can even TWEET with a crisis counselor at @800273TALK on Twitter.
As always, thank you for joining me on this journey. ❤ Penny