A sign of Depression – A Messy Room

There are always signs in my life that my depression is in bad shape. There are the easy ones to look out for like not wanting to get out of bed in the morning, and also staying there all day. I can tell that things might be turning for the worst when I fail to take a shower for a few days. Generally, when I am failing to take care of myself, there is a good chance I am really depressed.

There is one sign that isn’t always an easy one to spot in my life because it is more subtle, and it is the mess in my personal space, my room. The mess that happens is usually over a period days or weeks of neglect. The mess begins to pile up with small things at first. My desk becomes a makeshift bookshelf with all the books that I pull off my bookshelves for school or for pleasure reading begin to tower over me when I sit at my desk.

I fail to pick up my dirty clothes from the floor and a pile starts just next to my dirty laundry basket but never inside it. I start to see water bottles half drank on my headboard and my desk. When I get packages the boxes start to pile up in my closet to such a point that it is overwhelming.

My research papers in different folders from semesters current and past with the research folders for my current literary works are strewn all over the place. On my desk. On my bed where I sometimes spend time writing and researching at night. I only use half of my huge bed so the other half usually has books, clean clothes, and folders strewn in piles. Lots of folders.

My life becomes a complete mess and it is a sign that things need to change. One thing that I have learned is that the messier my life is the deeper my depression can go.

Looking at my messy room, I feel like spending the rest of my night cleaning. But that would most likely be counterproductive for me right now because I wouldn’t get enough done tonight to justify the actual cleaning. I will have to set aside a day this weekend to some wintertime spring cleaning.

I wanted to spend the rest of this blog post breaking down why a messy life is a sign that my depression is starting to get worse. When I am normal, I am a clean and organized person when it comes to my personal space. I prefer things to be organized and neat. It is a lot like my writing. I am overly organized when it comes to my writing. Every chapter has its place and I feel better when things are written exactly the right way. When I have better control my personal space is clean and organized. I make my bed. I put books away in their rightful places.

So why does my personal space become so disorganized and how do I let it get that way? It starts with a little thing like not really feeling like I had the energy to do a simple task like putting my books back on the shelf. It starts with one and then another before long a semester of studying and writing has everything spread out all over my room. I start to not feel like making my bed. I start to take my laptop to bed to write because it is a comfortable place, but I know this wrong. I take books and research work bed, a place that isn’t recommended to do for good sleep hygiene.

At night I prefer to overlook a mess pushing it aside until it grows to where I am today. I get really annoyed at myself for letting the mess in my personal space get this bad and at the same time ready to reorganize and prioritize my personal space again. I know things are changing with my depression as the season gets colder and I see less sunlight. For me, it comes down to getting things right in my life to keep my depression from spiraling out of control.

I think it will be different this year. I can already tell that two days into what is always the worst month of my life, November, that I have a better grip on my depression. I am a few weeks away from my 10-year diagnosis/suicide anniversary. I have been better at getting through my depression so far even on the bad days. I can write here when things get bad because writing has been so therapeutic for me. I am working on trying to complete my memoir by the end of this year at least a first draft. I have hope that I will be able to sell my screenplay.

All this together gives me hope that things will change for the good, and for the better. I can use my writing to really focus my life each day. It has been a really tough week and yet I have been active with my writing. My depression has certainly taken hold again. I have had one day this week where I let it control me, and it was a tough day. But I am going inward and choosing to write about my life. Here and in my memoir.

Always keep fighting.

J.E. Skye

Photo Credit: Jesus Hilario H.

36 Replies to “A sign of Depression – A Messy Room”

  1. I completely can relate to this – thank you for writing about it. Although I am OCD by nature, I know when it comes to self-care, like being able to get out of bed, or shower regularly, things are okay. But when that goes away and my mind is consumed with the spinning thoughts of depression and suicide, I barely have the energy to do anything, including eat. All I can do is write. That is the saving grace for me, as well. I hope the bad days will pass for you soon. And for all of us battling this disease on a daily, hourly, basis. Keep up your excellent work.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for sharing. I have been okay yesterday and today. The depression is there but I got out of bed and drove to my favorite writing place. So I will continue to fight.

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  2. Oh the signs. The never ending build up and the crash of stuff to the floor because the pile grew to high! I sympathise. Another sure sign for me is my facial hair. I am bald and have a Goatee. But when the darkness creeps in, my hair grows on top, giving me the “Old man horseshoe” look. The very fill Amish looking face hair growth also!

    Brave man for sharing so much.. It’s hard to write these things. Thank you for sharing them!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. This is such a real and honest post and I admire it greatly. Your openness to share this with the world will be a driver to help you keep the depression at bay. Writing helps me relax, to get my thoughts down is a real stress reliever, sometimes I don’t even care if it makes perfect sense or not if there is something that drives me to write the words often just flow and it feels really therapeutic to get them out. I’m looking forward to following more of your journey.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you for taking the time to read my post. It’s amazing the power that writing has in our lives. I have always turned to writing but not like this, it has taken everything I am to write about my life but it really is therapeutic. Thank you for sharing some of your own experience.

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  4. I can relate to that, too. I’m usually the one looking after all the household things in my relationship, at least organising that they get done by either me or my boyfriend. When my mood slides downwards again it gets too exhausting. The same with personal care. I love taking hot baths but when I’m depressed that seems overwhelmingly strenuous… Yesterday, I finally took down the laundry that had been up on the rack for more than a week (which also entails that I didn’t wash anything in that time) and picked up all the clothes lying around everywhere. So, I completely understand the intimidation a messy room can be.
    I feel a lot better when it’s clean, my Asperger’s loves neatly organised places, but somehow the messiness is paralysing sometimes. Another little factor where my depression likes to feed itself. Schedules help – when it’s not too bad already – and by now my boyfriend picks up the signs and makes me clean up together with him. I have no idea how my room would look by now otherwise.

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    1. Thank you for sharing your own personal experiences with depression and messy rooms/lives. Its great for me to get feedback from people that understand what I go through because it is the same for them. Again thank you for sharing.

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  5. I can totally relate! I will go weeks and everything is in its rightful place but then that ONE time I don’t have the energy to put something away, it kind of has a domino effect and next thing I know: a huge mess. It’s very frustrating.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Keep holding on and look for that little light. Mine has 4 paws and fur. Can’t begin to count the times she’s pulled me back from the brink.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. Just to echo what others have said, this is completely relatable. I am by nature very organized and I know that things aren’t going well when my apartment is in disarray. Thank you for sharing

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I am the same way. I used to be so type-A personality. Things needed to be neat and clean. When my depression got bad, that all ended. It seems like you are quite insightful and you know your signs well. That is good. I hope you start feeling better soon.

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  9. It’s important, that you start knowing these tendencies of yours, like how you felt and how you behave, when you have your relapses, but, it’s even more important, that you learn to examine yourself, look back into your childhood days, and try to find out, if there are things that’s happened back then, that’s causing you to experience what you’re currently experiences, because i was diagnosed with bipolar too, and started taking those meds, and, i’m pretty sure that they’re all, ineffective, and it wasn’t until i’d figured my own past out, that i was declared “cured” by the psychiatrist who’d prescribed the meds for bipolar to “treat” me…

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    1. I am working on looking back on my past, including my childhood, to find out the causes of being Bipolar. I agree that figuring out my past will really help me look forward. I am not sure I ever will be cured however. It’s good to know that it is possible. Thank you for sharing.

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  10. Good share. Made me look around my office though. I’m sure I have something witty to say under all of these mountains of papers. Taking your lead and cleaning up now. Maybe I will feel better. Keep those fingers typing. I know you’ve got a lot left to say. Take care.

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  11. I understand about the connection between the messiness and depression. I’ve been there and done that. It has gotten to the point where when I feel depression, I clean because the chances of it making me feel better are so strong.

    I am so glad you have a better handle on your emotions this year. A huge step forward.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Trouble/not getting out of bed and not showering (which I struggle with daily) are my red flags, too. I’m glad to hear that you have a better handle on your depression this year. Write every day if you can.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I am writing every day. I feel better at night because of I feel productive. I am writing articles ahead of time so that my day consists of school and writing. I am determined not to let my depression get out of control this year especially with an important anniversary coming up

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  13. I can relate it to the most of the concerns. Even though i feel relaxed at certain phrases the next thing strikes big! Depression may be a sign for writer ??

    Liked by 1 person

  14. I can see myself in your post. I have the strong urge to throw away thing I do not need and to clean; I somehow have the felling that this way I can control my negative thoughts and feelings better. I do not want depression to win and as long as my apartment is clean and as long as I am organized I feel that I control my depression and it does not control me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think that is depression wants, for you to give into the mess so you feel worse. I just finished doing some major organizing and it made huge differences in my mood today. Thank you for sharing!

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  15. this is so interesting because i relate 100%. i also have adhd, which makes organization hard all the time, but when i’m in a depressed period, like i am now, my messes become extraordinary. my external begins to reflect my internal, and it’s ugly. i can’t see my floor, can barely sleep in my bed because there are so many books and papers in it. i’ve started to feel suffocated, but it’s gotten so big that i feel like i can’t start to clean. this happens a lot to me though, so i know that it always helps me to set aside an afternoon, make very detailed lists of what i need to do, and play music really loud. thanks for this post!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. I have always been a messy person. Growing up I didn’t really think about it. Now that I get older I feel it. Like when I come home after a day at work and my house is a disaster.. it is depressing. I am already depressed and then the mess that I myself have created brings me deeper into my own depression. It is EXTREMELY difficult but if I force myself to clean for 10 minute periods I can usually get it done. It is a battle.

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    1. I understand this on so many levels. It does help to clean things up. Depression has so many facets to it so every little thing that you can do will help. Thank you for taking time to read my blog post.

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  17. Having a messy room isn’t always a sign of depression. Within half or one hour of arranging the room, I find almost everything at there place one hour ago. It seems that I am used to it. Having a organised room will not let me have a good sleep at night. And I am cheerful, without any signs of depression.

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  18. Thank you for sharing…. so much of this resonates with me as well. I put on a ‘mask’ every day so I can go to work. But even with my medications, I still have tell-tell signs that the depression is just under the surface. Sharing with others via the blog world has helped me some though I have noticed. Just to know that there are others out there that do understand what it’s like…it helps! Keep up the writing…and may you have a good day!

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      1. Funny enough, I first learned this on an episode of Criminal Minds. I no longer feel like a failure when I can’t see my floor lol. It is what it is I guess. I definitely enjoy reading!

        Liked by 1 person

  19. I can totally relate. For me, the mess starts in my home office (I’m self employed) and I tend to avoid going in there. I find myself working from bed a lot. Gradually I find myself not working at all, which is very bad news when you’re self-employed. At the start of 2016 I did not go into my office for 6 months.

    Apart from not showering, failing hard at getting out of bed and turning to shitty food because I can’t be fucked cooking, one of my biggest warning signs is a heaviness in my body. I feel like lead. It’s like trying to move around in a puffy parker suit. Grey brain fog is the other biggie. Like I’m trying to think through a burp.

    It’s setting in again for me too. Love to you. Blog on!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can usually tell that I am depressed as well with the state of my writing corner. I can relate to working and writing in bed especially this time of year. Thank you for sharing a bit your own experience with me. Have a great day, and I hope you get your own depression under control.

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