When I started this blog, I wanted the connections that I made here help guide the blog posts that I write. I didn’t imagine that it would happen right away, but sometimes it does just that when you least expected. I’m just going to see where the idea and direction of this blog post goes in the following paragraphs.
The last few days I found myself talking about depression cycles (or as some call them depression episodes.) To me, the two are one in the same, I think it depends on your psychiatrist and what they call these cycles/episodes. For the sake of this blog post, I will call them cycles.
To me, my depression cycles are defined by the deep feelings of depression that lasts more than a week (some doctors would say two, but hey I am no expert.) My depression cycles always bring out the worst parts of what I like to call depression me. It starts when I have trouble getting out of bed or doing the simplest of tasks.
There is the not eating and feeling hopeless every second that I’m awake. The strangest part for me when I am in a depression cycle is that I’m tired, and yet I have no reason to sleep. I know its bad when I go days without sleep. Instead, I just lay there for hours on end lost in an endless abyss of my depression. The worst part is that the depression cycle keeps me from leaving my house.
Depression for me has always been the hardest thing for me to deal with, and I don’t manage it well. I fail to fix the problems that make me depressed, and then I feed the depression by not getting out of bed or eating. It gets worse. I do nothing about it, and that is the worst part of my depression cycle.
I wanted to talk about one of my worst depression cycles with this blog post.
It started in 2007 and didn’t end until 2009. It would be one of the worst three years of my life. In late 2007, I was diagnosed after a failed suicide attempt, a psychiatric ward visit, and release. Around New Year’s 2008 I ended up once again in the psychiatric ward. I honestly don’t remember most of 2008, and I can count on one hand how many times I left my house that wasn’t a hospital visit.
There were many hospital visits in 2008. Several occasions I was taken by police car to the hospital from my psychiatrist’s office. There were late night hospital visits, but most of the time they released me if I had a “safety plan.” I must have been a convincing writer because most of the time the hospital released me.
Other than that, I spend most of my time in bed. I played video games when my concentration allowed it (although I have played video games my whole life so it doesn’t take much concentration) and I ate only when I had the energy. I was distant and I always felt hopelessness daily. I remember the bad things, like falling through a glass table after taking a double dose of my sleep medication. It wasn’t until late 2009 when I finally came out of this cycle, the longest of my life, and it wouldn’t be the last.
Why do I write about this? The goal I started out with was to share my experiences over the last ten years since my diagnosis. Do you know why my depression cycles lasted so long at the beginning? The simple answer I let depression control me during those times. In my journey, I have had to learn the hard way when it comes to depression.
If I can impart wisdom about depression cycles it’s this: always have a plan to get better, do the little things like getting out of bed, making your bed and eat some breakfast. If you can get out of the house for ten minutes, or more if you can. Seek help and work at making the help you receive work in your life. Listen. Listen to what your psychiatrist or therapist is telling you.
I am not saying do all these things, and that it will all be better. You have to put in the work. It took me years to get to a place where I could function as normal as possible, and still, I don’t function all that well well. But, the more you do can mean working towards getting out of the depression cycle.
I think in the future I will write more on this subject, and depression will always be a topic to be discussed in this blog. I would like to know your thoughts on this topic. Please feel free to leave comments below.
Photo Credit: James McGill