What Its Really Like Going Through A Deep Dark Depression
I thought everyone Googled suicide methods from time to time. They dont. Heres how Ive recovered from a dark depression.
How we see the world shapes who we choose to be and sharing compelling experiences can frame the way we treat each other, for the better. This is a powerful perspective.
In early October 2017, I found myself sitting in my therapists office for an emergency session.
She explained that I was going through a major depressive episode.
Id experienced similar feelings of depression in high school, but they were never this intense.
Earlier in 2017, my anxiety had started to interfere with my daily life. So, for the first time, Id sought out a therapist.
Growing up in the Midwest, therapy was never discussed. It wasnt until I was in my new home of Los Angeles and met people who saw a therapist that I decided to try it myself.
I was so lucky to have an established therapist when I sunk into this deep depression.
I couldnt imagine having to find help when I could barely get out of bed in the morning.
I probably wouldnt have even tried, and I sometimes wonder what wouldve happened to me if I hadnt sought professional help before my episode.
Ive always had mild depression and anxiety, but my mental health had rapidly declined that fall.
It would take me close to 30 minutes to coax myself out of bed. The only reason I would even get up was because I had to walk my dog and go to my full-time job.
My spark just seemed to fizzle.
What Is It Like To Have High
People living with high-functioning anxiety and depression usually do not fit the stereotype of either disorder. In fact, many appear to be overachievers. The anxiety can serve as an energizer, driving the person towards achieving his or her goals. Its later, when in private, that the symptoms of depression tend to emerge. Feelings of self-doubt and self-criticism, fatigue, helplessness or guilt, moodiness, and a desire to avoid interaction with others become intensified. Because the stereotypical image of depression or anxiety doesnt match up with what people living with high-functioning anxiety and depression look like, it is hard to spot, even for sufferers to recognize in themselves. However, the symptoms of high-functioning anxiety and depression are the same as for non-high functioning anxiety and depression. The main difference is the ability to suppress or diminish the appearance of disruptions in life activities.
When Depression Turns From Sad To Numb
Now the other version of my depression is when I feel numb and detached from whats around me. I often during this time feel numb, and just go through my day today out of habit. This one tends to creep up on me and I find it more of a slow burn until I realize whats going on and why I feel out of place. Sometimes it develops after my normal sad state of depression has gone on for a while and then it starts to shift towards feeling numb. In the beginning, I start to think oh great Im not so sad, Ive gotten myself on the yellow brick road to get back to bubbly me. and then I realize that I just dont feel anything.
The feeling of numb can be strange, sometimes it even affects my anxiety and Im not even as scared of everything as I normally am. Then I start to think in the beginning that this isnt so bad, I just went to the grocery store and didnt give a crap. Where I would normally be anxious for most of it due to all the people. Then it gets annoying because I want to be happy around family and pretending just isnt the same as being. And I have to dig myself out, often change something in my diet, change my routine, I will start to meditate more, and eventually, after some time weeks of doing my best practices I come out the other side, and bubbly me is back.
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Symptoms Of Major Depression
- sleep disturbance
- muscle tension.
If youve experienced these symptoms most days for more than six months, and they cause distress in your daily life, then you may receive a diagnosis of generalized anxiety disorder. Other types of anxiety disorders include separation anxiety, panic disorder, or phobias, among others.
If you compare the two lists of symptoms, you can see that there is some overlap. Sleep problems, trouble concentrating, and fatigue are all symptoms of both anxiety and depression. Irritability may also manifest in forms of anxiety or depression .
There are however, some distinguishing features. People with depression move slowly, and their reactions can seem flattened or dulled. People with anxiety tend to be more keyed up, as they struggle to manage their racing thoughts. Another distinguishing feature is the presence of fear about the future in people with anxiety. Depressed people who do not have anxiety are less likely to be fraught with worry about future events, as they are often resigned to believing that things will continue to be bad. In other words, they may predict the future based on how they feel in the moment.
Information For Carers Friends And Relatives
If you are a carer, friend or relative of someone who hears voices, you can get support.
How can I get support?
You can do the following.
- Speak to your GP about medication and talking therapies for yourself.
- Speak to your relatives care team about a carers assessment.
- Ask for a carers assessment from your local social services.
- Join a carers service. They are free and available in most areas.
- Join a carers support group for emotional and practical support. Or set up your own.
What is a carers assessment?A carers assessment is an assessment of the support that you need so that you can continue in your caring role. To get a carers assessment you need to contact your local authority.
How do I get support from my peers?You can get peer support through carer support services or carers groups. You can search for local groups in your area by using a search engine such as Google. Or you can contact the Rethink Mental Illness Advice Service and we will search for you.
How can I support the person I care for?
You can do the following.
- Read information about anxiety disorders.
- Ask the person you support to tell you what their symptoms are and if they have any self-management techniques that you could help them with.
- Encourage them to see a GP if you are worried about their mental health.
- Ask to see a copy of their care plan, if they have one. They should have a care plan if they are supported by a care coordinator.
- Help them to manage their finances.
You can find out more about:
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Major Or Clinical Depression
Major depression is much less common than mild or moderate and is characterized by severe, relentless symptoms.
- Left untreated, major depressive disorder typically lasts for about six months.
- Some people experience just a single depressive episode in their lifetime, but major depression can be a recurring disorder.
Common Causes And Risk Factors Of Depression
There are so many reasons you could be facing depression. Sometimes it is because of a specific thing that has occurred, but sometimes it is just a natural progression of your genetics. No matter what causes it, there are ways to treat and heal even the most severe depression. Here are some common things responsible for increasing your risk of depression:
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What Causes Anxiety Disorders
We dont fully understand what causes anxiety disorders. But it is thought that the following factors can cause anxiety.
Genetics. Some people seem to be born more anxious than others. You may get anxiety through your genes.
Life experience. This could be bad experiences such as being abused or losing a loved one. It could also include big changes in life such as moving home, losing your job or pregnancy.
Drugs. Caffeine in coffee and alcohol can make you feel anxious. Illegal drugs, also known as street drugs can also have an effect.
Circumstances. Sometimes you know what is causing your anxiety. When the problem goes, so does your anxiety.
What Do Anxiety And Depression Feel Like
Mood and feelings
Depression is defined by having a low mood and/or a loss of interest or enjoyment in most activities, for two weeks or longer. These are seen as core symptoms of depression. There are a range of other mood-related symptoms that a person with depression may experience, including:
- feelings of worthlessness, low self-esteem or low confidence
- thoughts of death or suicide
Similarly, generalised anxiety disorder centres on two core symptoms. These are:
- excessive anxiety
- worry on most days for more than six months, and difficulty controlling these feelings of anxiety and worry
And again, there are further symptoms beyond these that someone may experience, such as:
- feeling on edge or restless
With generalised anxiety disorder you may feel very worried about a range of everyday things. And there may not be one obvious logical cause for your anxiety.
There are quite a few physical symptoms that appear in both generalised anxiety disorder and depression. For example:
But there are also physical symptoms unique to both conditions. In depression, physical symptoms might include:
- weight changes, often caused by changes in appetite
- being slower in your movements
The physical effects of generalised anxiety disorder include:
- muscle tension and aches
- bowel problems
- a fast heartbeat and shortness of breath
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Emerging Trends In Substance Misuse:
- MethamphetamineIn 2019, NSDUH data show that approximately 2 million people used methamphetamine in the past year. Approximately 1 million people had a methamphetamine use disorder, which was higher than the percentage in 2016, but similar to the percentages in 2015 and 2018. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that overdose death rates involving methamphetamine have quadrupled from 2011 to 2017. Frequent meth use is associated with mood disturbances, hallucinations, and paranoia.
- CocaineIn 2019, NSDUH data show an estimated 5.5 million people aged 12 or older were past users of cocaine, including about 778,000 users of crack. The CDC reports that overdose deaths involving have increased by one-third from 2016 to 2017. In the short term, cocaine use can result in increased blood pressure, restlessness, and irritability. In the long term, severe medical complications of cocaine use include heart attacks, seizures, and abdominal pain.
- KratomIn 2019, NSDUH data show that about 825,000 people had used Kratom in the past month. Kratom is a tropical plant that grows naturally in Southeast Asia with leaves that can have psychotropic effects by affecting opioid brain receptors. It is currently unregulated and has risk of abuse and dependence. The National Institute on Drug Abuse reports that health effects of Kratom can include nausea, itching, seizures, and hallucinations.
Your Thoughts And Feelings Affect Everything You Do
Not feeling right can cause you to think and act differently and this can affect all aspects of your life, sometimes in the most unexpected ways.
When somethings not right you could experience it in different ways. You might get sick or just feel generally run-down. You may feel like youre not your usual self – you dont want to be around anyone when usually you love company. You may cry a lot for no apparent reason or easily lose your temper, or even wonder what your life is all about.
Getting an overall picture of yourself helps to make sense of whats happening in your life, and what can help you feel better. One way to do that is to think about whats happening in different aspects of your life your body , your spirit , your social circle and your mind .
- Physical : Thinking about your tinana means focusing on how you look after and care for your body.
- Mental : Thinking about hinengaro means focusing on emotions and how you communicate, think and feel.
- Social : Thinking about whnau means focusing on the relationships you have with people who support you. Their support might be physical, cultural or emotional.
- Spiritual : Thinking about wairua means focusing on things that give your life meaning. That might mean your religion. It could also mean thinking about your links with the environment , your heritage, and your connections to ancestors .
Know and understand those unseen things that can cause worry, anxiety and fear – Mori proverb.
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Common Causes And Risk Factors
Depression can be caused by a number of factors. Though a single cause cannot always be found, experts recognize the following as possible causes:
- Genetics: Depression and other mood disorders can run in families, though family history alone does not mean a person will get depression.
- Life events: Major life changes and stressful events may trigger depression. These events include divorce, the death of a loved one, job loss, or financial problems.
- Hormonal changes: Depression and low mood are often
- cultural expectations
- differences in experience
One study of twin brothers and sisters published in The American Journal of Psychiatry found that personality and relationships with others were more likely to play a role in the onset of depression.
In particular, the study stated that marital problems, the relationship with parents, and lack of social support were more likely to cause depression in women than in men.
Neuroticism, or being in a negative emotional state, was also a primary cause of depression in the women studied.
A study in the Journal of Affective Disorders also found that womens symptoms of depression were different. The women studied were more likely to have panic and anxiety disorders in addition to their depression.
Other studies have indicated that women may be more likely to gain weight and have excessive sleepiness than men.
Womens hormone changes may also play a role in how and when depression affects them.
Research on this hormonal link has found:
Is It Depression Or Bipolar Disorder
Bipolar disorder, also known as manic depression, involves serious shifts in moods, energy, thinking, and behavior. Because it looks so similar to depression when in the low phase, it is often overlooked and misdiagnosed.
This can be a serious problem as taking antidepressants for bipolar disorder can actually make the condition worse. If youve ever gone through phases where you experienced excessive feelings of euphoria, a decreased need for sleep, racing thoughts, and impulsive behavior, consider getting evaluated for bipolar disorder.
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