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Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Depression and why it scares its sufferers so much.......

I’ve suffered clinical depression in the past and, I have to say, it’s the most soul destroying illness I have ever suffered from.  Forget the myriad of other ailments that hound me daily – they can, and are, dealt with with barely a pause.

But clinical depression is just a never ending treadmill of darkness and feelings of utter despair.  I’ve suffered two bouts of it in the past; one I tried suicide, timely intervention of family saved me – the second was four years of self harming that started out helping me cope, but ultimately ended up as just another mindset controlling me (and a permanent addiction that I continue to fight every day).

I swore then that I would never suffer from it again; I couldn’t.  But the trouble with clinical depression, as opposed to general depression, is there’s no outside trigger for it – no bereavement, divorce, house move, job loss or myriad of other factors that set it off. 

Clinical depression is instead, according to the GP who explained it, a lack of a certain enzyme in the brain that keeps your moods even.  When that enzyme is too low or missing, then the depression that follows is acute and, as there is no external factor causing it, unending unless treatment is given. 

My first bout lasted two years and the second one lasted over four; indeed I’m still on the antidepressants because I’m too terrified to come off them in case it reoccurs as bad as before.

Of course it’s still there, for the most part it just bubbles under the surface; whenever a doctor asks me how I’m doing in that area I reply that it’s like the results of when you mix water and oil – the oil sinks.  

There’s the clear safe water on top, but the disgusting goo of black oil is still very much underneath and still a threat.  So long as I remember that and stay fully aware of the risks, then with luck and a fair wind I can stay out of the black goo that will suck me down once more. 

I'm one of the lucky ones though in that my husband and daughter and my own late mum were, and are, so supportive; and that is an enormous help to anyone with depression.

Whilst clinical depression remains a threat, it doesn’t make me immune from the other kind of depression; and that’s why I’m writing this particular blog.  Indeed, all depressions are debilitating for the sufferer and shouldn't be treated lightly.

In my particular case, my father in law is in end stage bowel cancer, there is every indication its spread to other parts of his body; yet we’re all still acting as if everything’s fine, and pretty soon he’s going to feel better and be able to get about again. 

I think I’ve mentioned before I hate lying, not only because my own father is a pathological liar, but also because I'm terrible at it.  Yet here I am lying through my teeth because, though he’s completely aware he’s dying, my father in law refuses to accept it – and what he doesn’t want to do, he just doesn’t.  

My husband has his own current....obsessions that are driving me a little bonkers, and that’s all I’m saying on that one.  My daughter seems down about something but won’t say what and so, to a certain extent (and like so many other depressives), I feel like my life is spiralling out of my control once again.  That's not a good thing; that can lead to many horrible knock on effects.

Luckily these days I know the signs and so, on the whole, I can fight my way back to the surface before the dark oil of severe depression sucks me in.  I have bad days; days when the effort of getting out of bed, cleaning my teeth or even eating seems too much to even think about.  Days when sleep seems a good substitute because in my good dreams my late mum is still alive, my health is excellent and I am so very happy. 

Of course conversely sometimes I have real doozies of nightmares instead; ones where the world is ending, just like in the movie ‘2012’, and I am fighting to save everyone I love.......but failing miserably.  I’m sure Freud would’ve had a field day with that one.

Naturally the real world is what's most important; so I force myself to go through the motions and try to get over the bad day and start again the next morning.  I'm fairly certain that this time it's a passing phase brought on by outside sources; of course that doesn't make it any less frightening.

My Irish grandfather told me once that into every life a little rain must fall, so we can appreciate the sunny days.  And, if we get a downpour, then it just means a heat wave’s close behind.  Well, so far, I can only assume that someone ‘Upstairs’ is mistaking me for Noah; all I can hope for is that eventually they realise the mistake and the deluge stops.

I'm holding onto the hope that all the worrying problems around me right now, that's triggering the depression, will pass. I try not to dwell on it all for the most part; but I do worry that that black slick is creeping up on me once again, and I'm beginning to really worry that I might drown if I'm not very careful.

So, if you know someone who’s suffering from any kind of depression then, please, cut them some slack; don’t tell them to “pull yourself together”, “pull your socks up”, "snap out of it" or any of the old chestnuts that imply they’re putting it on and should just get over it already.  Depression is a very real, very deep, dark and horrifying place – we sufferers would love to be anywhere but here; because in this murky gloom that’s full of our worst fears, we’re all scared of the dark........

This is Simi, thanks for reading..........

1 comment:

  1. This Article could and will save lives...
    Y A
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