Staring Down The Dark Tunnel Of Depression

This isn’t a coping post.

It’s not even an encouraging one.

It’s just an honest to goodness example of what it’s like to stare down depression in its ugly face.

It sucks. It beyond sucks. It’s like an endless train tunnel where the light you thought you saw at the end continues to get further away.

Depression is quite distinguishable from sadness and even grief. Depression sucks you in and gets you into a mindset that you simultaneously loathe but don’t want to change. You feel the sadness and maybe even grief. But you are lost in it, unable to move through.

Apathy becomes second nature. Do I have food to eat? Really don’t care. When was the last time I showered? Hell if I know, ain’t taking one now. Deadline at work? Really could give a rats ass…. Yeah it’s ugly.

What is Depression?

The DSM-V states the following symptom criteria for a depressive episode.

5 or more of the following are present for the same 2-week period.

1. Depressed mood for most of the day, for more days than not, as indicated by either subjective account of observation by others.
2. Diminished interest in pleasurable activities
3. Poor appetite or overeating
4. Insomnia or hypersomnia
5. Psychomotor agitation or retardation
6. Low energy or fatigue
7. Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
8. Poor concentration or difficulty making decisions
9. Suicidal thoughts and ideations.

The symptoms cause clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational or other important areas of functioning.

Other clinical criteria were omitted but if you’d like to see the full list click here

Depression can have many causes. It can be a deep root that extends all the way back to childhood. It can be fresh from a new, painful experience. Biological ailments can also look like depression- thyroid issues and postpartum depression to name a couple.

What To Do?

If you are finding yourself in this dark place, much as I am tonight, you’re not alone, and it’s OK. This will pass, you may just need to help it along… which can be the hardest thing to do.

This weekend I got out of the house. I packed up the munchkin and headed to our local Sears, which is closing, so there are huge deals on whatever is left. It wasn’t necessarily retail therapy, but I just needed to get out of the house.

I forced myself to do laundry and clean. I sure as hell didn’t want to, but I know leaving the laundry to pile during my work week never works out well… so I forced myself even though I could have just sat on the couch.

I showered… and it felt good.

I’ll be calling a counselor to seek help this week. I’m lucky that my insurance at work covers it. But I do know many counselors have sliding scales. There are also hotlines galore for services and immediate help.

The National Crisis Line comes to mind if you are struggling with thoughts of harming yourself or others.

If you have a doctor, they are also a good resource. I will also be bringing this up to my doctor next week as I have thyroid issues that can quickly mimic depression. My gut is telling me this is not thyroid related this time, though.

And lastly… talk to someone! You don’t have to suffer in silence. I have a wonderful husband who lends me his ear every time I need it. He may not know how to fix the issue, but he wants me to feel better and is loving me through this. I hope you find your ear. It might be closer than you think, but it takes bravery to reach out. The first step is usually the hardest.

So if you are staring depression down right now, know that my prayers are with you. I pray you pull through and whatever caused you to be there is healed.



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