Depression is one of the most common mental illness and it cannot be equated with sadness. Depression is a constant fight with yourself and then losing it again and again.
Depression and feeling gloomy
You wake up in the morning and you know something is not right. You don’t want to get out of the bed, you feel gloomy and want to stay in bed forever, and then you get a call from a colleague or classmate asking where you are. You try to drag yourself to brush your teeth and while brushing you think what is the purpose behind living everyday like this. You try to feed yourself cereal till the time you start weeping and give up. You text them you are sick and lie in bed again.
Just when you are staring blankly at the roof, sadness pours into your head.
“Are they going to fire me?”
“Do they even need me in the office?”
“I am useless, they don’t need me”
Then you feel gloomy again, you are having a monologue, the negative self talk that makes you feel useless, unworthy. You make an effort to get up and force-feed in the afternoon, only if you have energy left to do it.
Nights are another battle, either you sleep too much or can’t sleep at all. If you sleep, there are nightmares or dreams that are unexplainable. If you don’t, you have your demons out in your mind again. The internal monologue begins-
“They don’t need you, You are useless”
“No wonder why they aren’t promoting you”
“Your cat died because you are a bad parent”
“Your boyfriend cheated on you because you are ugly”
Your mind becomes a bully at night; you can’t even punch this bully in face. You don’t want to do this all over again.
Coping mechanisms: a ray of sunlight
“How could the therapist ask me to look at brighter things when nothing is bright at all?” – You think about this every day.
If you take medicines, sometimes you wonder if they actually work or not.
What are these brighter things? Are these the same advice I get from judgmental people? Like go out and have a drink!
No, they aren’t. The ray of sunlight comes after a dark night. Similarly, brighter things are the small efforts you make for your survival. You got up to brush your teeth and ate half bowl of cereal- Good job! You can try eating next meal at least half. You don’t have to eat a three course meal, just eat something because it is better than eating nothing at all.
You had your medication after a meal! Amazing! Remember you used to gather strength to visit your therapist; you are actually doing a progress.
You missed the day at work but they called to ask about you. What does that mean? That means they care when you aren’t in the office. You contribute to your workplace.
What can you do to cope up ?
Start setting small goals every day. Like feeding your dog on time, watering your plants a day. Start a journal. Write your negative thoughts down and try finding roots of those thoughts. Talk to yourself, you are the only person who can understand yourself better. Remind yourself of your achievements. You finished your assignment on time, cleaned the side table, good job! Take your medication after eating meals. When you can’t get up, start playing your favorite songs on the phone. Try making yourself feel better by asking yourself what you can do to be happy.