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Living with depression

AbeautifulchaosAbeautifulchaos Member Posts: 4 Connected
edited August 2017 in Guest blogs

Nicole runs the blog A Beautiful Chaosa mental health blog dedicated to reducing the stigma and supporting those who battle with mental illness every single day.  She has shared her experiences of OCD with us and today she talks about life with depression.

I'm Nicole. I'm 18, and I struggle with depression. Contrary to what a lot of people believe when they think of someone with depression, I'm not bed bound. I have left my house today. I've eaten, and I've washed, yet I'm still very much depressed.

You wouldn't look at me twice if you walked past me in the street because depression isn't like a broken leg or bleeding nose. Depression isn't always visible which often means that the individual struggles and suffers in silence. Their pain is going unnoticed. I know this feeling all too well.

At first, it's just another bad day. You kid yourself it will get better, but it doesn't. Nor is the next day or the day after that. Soon the days become indistinguishable. Heaviness is filling your body, clouding your judgement and spilling over your mind. You wonder if you will ever feel like your usual self again.

woman with red hair sitting in countryside on a sunny day

And then there's the stigma. It's a daily occurrence to hear people say they are 'depressed' over the most trivial of things. This trivialisation makes it feel impossible to reach out and get support. Fear of appearing weak, being judged or doing it for attention are just some of the many reasons those struggling with this deadly illness decide to fight it alone.

You silently think to yourself how lucky those people are not to know what depression feels like.

Depression is a disabling and destructive illness that takes the life's too many individuals every year. No one tells you what it feels like to be crying your eyes out for days on end yet when asked 'what's wrong?' You have no words because even you don't know what's wrong. No one tells you what it feels like to lose joy and passion in all the things you once loved.

No one tells you what it feels like when you feel like you will never be happy again.

You get used to putting on a play every single day. Blending in with everyone else. Faking a smile and making excuses for why you can't go to that party or meeting become a daily occurrence. It's not that you don't want to do to. Hell, you'd love to go. The depression is telling you not to. It's shouting and screaming at you, telling you, you are not worth it. You're a burden. No one likes you anyway. Without any weapons, depression always wins the battle.

But it doesn't mean that depression has to win the war.

Depression is an illness. Just like any other physical illness. It has symptoms which can have a significant impact on the sufferer's life. Unlike my asthma or any cloud/ flu, I have ever had there isn't a stigma attached like there is with depression. No one thinks I'm ill for attention when I have the flu. But this isn't the case for depression.

close up image of woman with red hair and glasses

Let me tell you something about people living with depression. No one with depression wants to have depression. Most people think depression is simply just sadness. It's far more than that. It's guilt, feelings of worthlessness, isolation, hopelessness and anxiety. I like to think of it as the emotional equivalent of watching paint dry.

That's just the emotional symptoms of depression. Depression can also affect sufferer’s physical health too. Personally, I suffer from headaches, fatigue & changes to my sleep pattern.

Do you think anyone who had the choice would decide to feel that way?

I'm slowly coming to the realisation that the symptoms of my depression are just as real and credible as any other illness I may have. I'm not weird, and there isn't a fault in my personality, I have an illness. That illness is called depression.

It's about time everyone else starts to understand the reality of living with depression away from the misconceptions that are portrayed in the media and TV. Which is why I'm writing this post for Scope and why I'm so passionate about raising awareness of mental health through blogging and being the editor of a magazine all about mental health.

Together we can change the misconceptions and understanding around depression.


Tell us about your experiences of mental health.  Do you think there are misconceptions about depression? Is there a stigma around mental health?

Replies

  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 689 Listener
    edited August 2017
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • Casadog16Casadog16 Member Posts: 3 Listener
    I live with depression - as an adult in my 40's , yet for me the hardest thing I have to do right now is explain this to my parents who are 'old school' when it comes to mental illness. Yet I also don't want to worry them as we live many miles apart; and I also don't want them coming to visit. (My house is s big mess. Depression has made my ability to tidy, worse than ever. I know from experience they will judge me.) We have agreed to meet on neutral ground roughly half way between our homes. Yet what do I say? This now scares me too. It could go drastically wrong . 
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 689 Listener
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Member Posts: 7,732 Disability Gamechanger
    Hi @Casadog16 just try and be honest with them, tell them from the heart how you are feeling. There's a blog post here through MIND about how to explain depression to loved ones.
    Scope
    Senior online community officer
  • vectisgal1vectisgal1 Member Posts: 11 Connected
    Everyone with depression are strong people and not worthless.  My sister has depression to the extent she was going to take her own life.  She became depressed from being constantly belittled, over critised and demeened by a bullying line manager.  My sister had to leave her job as she couldn't stand it any more,  and despite reporting the bullying,  the bully remains in her job and management made it out that my sister had mental health problems.  Whats even more distressing is that it has happened to other good people.  The same statements "maybe this isn't the job for you" " you may need help with your mental health" all utter garbage!!!!  Its disgraceful how strong people are treated and You are all right when you say LIFE IS DEFINITELY UNFAIR! I just hope that one day people will be taken
     Seriously but I know that the bullies in power will always win! Stay strong my lovelies,  you are so worth it! 
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 689 Listener
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • TopkittenTopkitten Member Posts: 1,070 Pioneering
    Government policy has dictated that Cancer is THE ONLY serious illness worth worrying about. People having other supposedly non-serious conditions like MS, ME, Depression, etc are all being left out in the cold to suffer alone.

    I know my perception of treatment has been influenced by the depression I have suffered for 8 years non-stop but it's still unfair. I know life isn't fair but that makes it no less harder to deal with being trivialised.

    I don't think I will ever know again the quality of not being depressed because mine has descended to the severe level since I accepted my physical condition and my physical condition is permanent, progressive and untreatable. Just knowing you will only ever be able to manage the symptoms is depressing enough in itself.

    I do so hate it when depression is trivialised though.When I hear trained psychiatry professionals suggesting that breaking up with a BF/GF or just being turned down for a date can cause depression I get more than a little annoyed. Yes, they make you sad but no, in themselves, they will not send you into a depressive state unless there is something more fundamentally wrong with your life. If simply being spurned by a girl or woman was enough I'd have been depressed every day for almost 50 years because it has happened so often, lol!

    Until people generally stop believing that simply because those in government, public service and the health service say something is true with no understanding of the actual truth nothing will change.

    TK
    "I'm on the wrong side of heaven and the righteous side of hell" - from Wrong side of heaven by Five Finger Death Punch.
  • [Deleted User][Deleted User] Posts: 689 Listener
    The user and all related content has been deleted.
  • Sam_ScopeSam_Scope Member Posts: 7,732 Disability Gamechanger
    Just taking another look at this brilliant post by @Abeautifulchaos during our mental health week.


    Scope
    Senior online community officer
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