Tuesday, November 20, 2012

What Depression Feels Like

John Marine | 11/20/2012 11:56:00 PM | | | | |
This is a provocative post on depression that I hope will give others hope in averting their own woes. Having suffered from depression myself, I can tell you that it feels terrible when you spend more time worrying about when your life will get better rather than living for here and now. Depression is a poison that gradually eats away at your life and prevents you from feeling positive about anything in life. The end result can lead to any number of consequences- inability to do or enjoy anything, constant sadness, loss of interest in almost anything, and at the most extreme- death (including suicide). This blog post is a powerful one discussing the many aspects of depression. My hope is that I can provocatively express what feelings are expressed when one feels down on his/her luck. This is going to be a long post with a lot of reading.

BEFORE I BEGIN...

Let me tell you that it was not easy for me to prepare this post. The main reason is because I really thought about the entire range of emotions and feelings when I have felt down. There were some points of my typing of this post where I have been crying at a few points typing up this blog post by trying to include as many aspects of this deal as possible. This is not one of my more pleasant posts. However, I can assure my readers that my advice will possibly brighten your day and give you some hope. I don't make promises or guarantees, but for the sad stories I have to tell you, I hope I can bring some positive and encouraging thoughts to help you feel better after having to read this negative blog post. I never make a blog post about anything negative without offering something positive to help you feel better after having read something so horrible.

Be warned that some material in this blog post may not be comfortable for all audiences.





--- What Depression Feels Like ---

I am going to make some of you feel sad or think about something in a different way as I try to describe what it is I am trying to describe here. If you can, try not to feel too terrible about what I am about to share with you all. There is a lot of truth to what personal experiences I make mention to.

depression
^ from: www.humanlyexhausted.com - Depression slowly eats away your life to where you are broken down to nothing.

Some people suffer from just having some down times. Some people have more severe cases where their ability to live and function are extremely hindered. Can you imagine waking up and not feeling like doing anything? You feel as if each second that ticks by is only extended pressure on your mind and soul to try to function and stay positive. You lose interest in doing your favorite things. Instead of feeling happy about something, you instead just feel like you are tethered to a leash as everything bad always seems to fall onto you. For those of you who enjoy eating, depression feels like trying to enjoy a meal, but you can't for some reason. Losing your appetite for a certain meal almost equates to losing your appetite on life.

Being depressed on any level makes you feel like the world is crumbling at your feet, and that everything around you seems to be happier and more productive than what you are experiencing. It feels like you are experiencing a heavy rainstorm treading through flood waters... while everyone else and everything else are enjoying sunshine and dry land. You begin to wonder how come life isn't treating you well while everyone else seems perfectly fine and happy. You wonder why everything negative seems to happen to you and wonder when a positive break will ever come. Sometimes, you even feel like you are the cause for everything wrong happening in society and in the world. These feelings just bring you down and make you feel less of a person than you really are. Being depressed just makes you feel like you are a disease that can't be treated or cured. The more you feel like you are a problem and not a solution, the more you hate yourself as a person, and the more you add to your depression.

Depression can really be a test of finding someone to care for you and help you to feel better. Some people feel like they have nobody to turn to. Some may feel like they have nobody they can trust in helping avert one's sadness or depression (meaning they do have someone to turn to but can't trust him/her/them). In these times, one has to look to others- even if to seek spiritual guidance (praying). A depressed person needs love and attention because he/she is in a moment of weakness.

Also while depressed, some people can't think properly. I either can't think for myself or think too much and too unnecessarily about things. Almost as if I am expecting a negative reaction or face some dark consequences. I am serious- I think too much sometimes about something bad happening to me or someone reacting to my actions in a way I know I am not going to be happy with. These are moments where even I fail to realize I did something to hurt someone or have someone think differently of me. I feel like I am someone who is treated as an amazing person... until I screw up at one moment to where I go from a great person to a terrible shame. These are times where I hate myself in times when I should love myself and feel confident in my actions and in my character. I almost feel sometimes like I should expect something negative to happen because nothing good ever seems to happen to me sometimes. I always seem to be not good enough for some people and some tasks. I even think about certain days thinking about what could have happened for a bad day or a not really good day to have been better. I lament certain mistakes I make in a day.

What about sleeping? Get ready for some more personal insight. There are some moments when I experience dreams and nightmares where I felt and know I am better than what I end up exhibiting in reality. Some visions have me feeling terrible. There are times when I want to sleep soundly, but can't because of the intensity of certain negative thoughts swirling in my mind. So I end up feeling broken down and can't sleep properly.

All in all, being depressed feels like being on a leash- being unable to enjoy life or feel confident about anything. You want to be happy and free but are unable to. While leashed up by depression, you fail to feel happy and confident. Everything is a "why me?" situation instead of a chance to enjoy what you are given. You feel like crying, hoping your tears will wash away the pain you are enduring. Your mind and your heart feel broken, and you hope someone or something will come along to reverse the damage with love and compassion so that you don't break down further on the inside. Needless to say- depression is an implosion of our psyche and our hearts. We do all we can to minimize the damage as best as possible. But sometimes, more (and sometimes a LOT more) has to be done to help restore our happiness.


You now have some ideas on what depression feels like. What about individual elements of depression? That info comprises the next section.



--- Feelings Associated With Depression ---

Depression is bad, but HOW bad? Here are feelings and experiences associated with being depressed:

Hopelessness.

Hopelessness is the feeling which expresses that there is no way an ailment will cure or be treated. People who feel hopeless never feel able to overcome any obstacle set before them. Certain doom and a certain negative outcome will result. Hopelessness basically says that for every moment you wish for the best result, the worst result always and eventually prevail. Almost as if there is no reason to even think about trying to achieve something positive because a hopeless person already knows the outcome- one not in his/her favor.

Let me end this section with an interesting quote to think about:

"Hopelessness is not the opposite of hope. Fear is."

-Margaret Wheatley


Worthlessness.

If you feel worthless, you feel like you serve no purpose in society. So if you don't feel you are worth anything to anyone, you begin to wonder why you are even living. You feel like you are good for nothing. Almost as if you can't be trusted to do anything right. All you are to some people is... alive. You don't exist to others- you're just a living being, for no reason. Shouldn't people and animals be loved and contribute to his/her environment? Shouldn't people feel obliged to be cared for and fed? Shouldn't people have faith, promise, hope, prestige, honor, and countless other virtues? For those who feel worthless, none of these things matter because worthless people are not fit to be given any of these qualities.

I mentioned animals. If you have a pet or pets, don't you usually cuddle and care for your beloved critter(s)? Every stroke and cuddle is a showing of love and compassion. Without this sort of showing, there is no love; and no love leads to one feeling worthless. You can probably say that a good way to understand depression is by having a pet or trying to care for animals. When you neglect someone or refuse to care for someone, they feel worthless. Worthless things gradually lose their value to where they become insignificant and irrelevant. When those worthless things are people, that REALLY hurts them inside and out.


Loneliness.

Here is an all too familiar feeling- loneliness. The only thing worse than being depressed is feeling like you have to experience your woes alone with no support from others. Depression is a situation where you feel you need help from others to help you through your struggles. You can live life on your own, but life is always better when you have other people be able to help you with things you could probably do on your own. Think about it like this. I usually open the door for kind people so they won't need to do it on their own. Someone may experience a flat tire and get help from somebody else in putting on a spare tire on someone's car. People don't need help with everything, but at least it is nice to know someone cares and wants to make life easier for others or just to provide a smile to others who may be having a bad day.


Loss of Interest.

Imagine being a recording artist. You make music, but then lose interest. Losing interest may result from either not being able to consistently take part in your hobby or profession, or you may be depressed to where you can't enjoy doing things the way you used to. Loss of interest or feeling like being dragged into something just makes you feel terrible inside. Loss of interest is surely a sign of depression.


Disappointment.

Honest story- almost all of 2011 and most of the first half of 2012 for me was about disappointment. Too many things in my life and outside of my control have left me feeling disappointed. Everything just seemed like life could have been much better or more fun. Since some things weren't getting better, I felt disappointed about a number of things- even in entertainment and sports. I even felt like I've disappointed my YouTube audience by not posting videos as I used to. However, part of my lack of posting more videos stemmed from disappointment and depression. I'm not going to upload any videos if I don't feel good enough to do so.

The feeling of disappointment also pertains to feeling like all you can ever do is bring yourself and others to shame. This is where low self-esteem leads to feeling like you can never make anyone happy no matter how hard you try. It makes you feel like you were born to fail yourself and others.


Weakness.

People who lose the courage to go through life or to live feel weak. Depressed people are weak and need support and encouragement to get through their tough times. It makes you no less of a person to admit you need help or that you are weak. These are cries for help that only dedicated and determined people can answer to and try to help a situation. If one continually feels weak, he/she slowly falls into further despair.


Unable to Sleep.

Living with depression is bad enough. Try sleeping while depressed. Trust me- there were times where I couldn't sleep. Either I had trouble sleeping at some times, or I felt so bad that I can't remain asleep. Sometimes, I felt like waking up violently after experiencing something distressing or scary. You know something is bad when you can't even sleep to feel better.


Worst of all involving depression:


Living to Die...

...instead of living to live. Depression can make you feel even more reluctant to die rather than live another day of your life. This is the most extreme case of depression. Basically, this is where you have given up on life, and you can't wait any longer to die. Instead of having a life to live as happily as you can with all the joys of being alive, you feel like death is much better for you than trying to make your life as enjoyable as possible. You know depression is eating you alive when you feel like you've served your purpose on earth and feel like you can do no more.


I know this has been tough to think about, but these are among some of the many feelings that happen as depressed people experience while depressed.



--- Advice for Depressed People ---

Okay- you've read about what depression feels like. You know of feelings people experience when depressed. It's now time I offer some positive words to help you feel better.


Dealing With Hopelessness.

If you feel hopeless, remember that certain things have a way of sorting themselves out. It doesn't rain forever. Sunshine and happiness will eventually come into your life... as long as you allow it to happen. If athletes and teams having bad seasons eventually enjoy a time of being a success, then hope is available for you too. Give yourself hope and happiness. The moment you don't believe in yourself is the moment where you lose before the competition actually begins. So give yourself hope, and don't let your guard down.


Dealing With Worthlessness.

You may need to be around people who love you and want you to be something special. Most importantly, you yourself need to believe you have value to others. You are never worthless as long as you know there is someone who knows and believes you are worth something to their lives. And as the saying goes, you never know what you have until it is gone. What if you were gone from peoples' lives? There would be holes that could never be filled or replaced if something loved was gone or if if lacked value. There are blogging friends of mine I don't think will ever be replaced. Many loyal readers of mine worldwide are worth a whole lot to me. So even if you don't feel you are worth something to somebody, you mean a WHOLE lot to me interacting with my content.


Dealing With Loneliness.

Loneliness and depression do not equate to happiness. Remember people in your life who make you happy and can help you. You'll have to make your best effort to get help from others if you are people you can't trust. When depressed, you don't know who to trust or believe in. So you need all the help you can get and all the loving support you can ask for. If you honestly have no one to turn to, your last real hope is to ask for spiritual guidance. That's right- pray.

As a blogger, I know there are loyal readers who will comment on my posts, helping me feel better knowing someone is actually reading and interacting with my content. I sometimes wish I could personally be with certain loyal readers and offer my love and thanks to them for continued support of my work. I hate being just an Internet entity often times. I wish I could show my thanks to people in person for supporting my work. I never feel lonely as long as people love and support my work.


Dealing With a Loss of Interest.

If you have a hobby or profession hindered by depression, give yourself time to heal before going back to your hobby or profession. You can not enjoy life and living when you are down. Don't let certain things take over your life. If you feel people may be worried or concerned about you as you deal with depression, let them know of your tough times. Your loving audience may understand and offer you calming and positive words to help you feel better. Some people may even encourage you to keep doing what you love. For example, there are certain bloggers who haven't blogged much or in a while. What I hope for is that those certain people can attend to more important things in their lives but still come back to blogging if they feel they missed blogging.

On the other hand, there are YouTube fans of mine who wish I still make videos. I sometimes need to remind myself that people care about me regardless of what some people say negatively about me.


Dealing With Disappointment.

There are times where we simply experience times where nothing seems to be enjoyable or fun. It is important to find things that make us happy and try to enjoy these things as best as we can. Find things that help you to feel better and make the most of each experience. You need them in hopes of bringing a smile to your face and a positive rhythm to your heart. For every disappointing thing, try to find something to help you feel happy and positive.

I feel disappointed sometimes when I have "blogger's block" ("writer's block" for bloggers- it's a term I came up with). I feel like I disappoint people on YouTube by not consistently coming up with material for people to enjoy. You have to have energy and a sense of purpose with all that you do. You can't be disappointed for too long to where it just contributes to your depression. So try to make an effort to not disappoint. Most of all, remain strong!


Dealing With Weakness.

Feeling weak is perfectly normal. When depressed, having someone to help you regain your strength is a great help if you can't bring yourself to feel better. Being weak just makes you more vulnerable to being broken down further and further. So try to make yourself stronger any way you can. You are already weak when depressed. The most you can do is make yourself stronger and give yourself a chance.


Dealing With Being Unable to Sleep.

Depression can play games with your mind as you try to sleep and as you wake. If your depression has you feeling like you are waking up to the continuation of a living nightmare, always remember that as much as each day feels like another chance to fail, each day is also another chance to reverse any misfortunes. Keep that hopeful aspect of life intact as you live each day. And if it helps you, remember this: tomorrow is a new day.


Dealing With Living to Die...

Now for the most damaging aspect of depression- the feeling that you are living each day... to die. There is no worse feeling of depression than that of thinking each day only makes you more reluctant to die rather than experience another day of living through depression. Think about everything near and dear to you. Do you really want to give up all you've worked for and let down all who love you? Feeling like you are living to die rather than living to live will just make you feel terrible inside. Remember what brings you joy. You don't want to feel like you serve no more purpose to the world now, do you? You have plenty of positive purpose to at least one person's life. If you're gone, it will be tough for some people to do without you. You are living to live the most of your life and make some sort of positive impact before you die. Live to live your life!


Hope this helps you depressed folk. I hope this provides hope to you all.





--- My Motivation to Help Others (Bonus Material!) ---

Sometimes, people on Facebook and Twitter mention bad situations. I never want friends or loved ones to feel so down on themselves. Because of depressing moments in my life, I feel like if my environment is full of depressing and negative things, it only makes me feel depressed. This is like the saying goes- misery loves company. I often offer encouraging words because I want to show I am a good friend, and also because I don't want genuine people to let some sort of heartbreak fester in their lives. I often wish I could help people feel better or even reverse any damage done to themselves or their happiness. As long as people are genuine and willing and patient to be helped, I want to make my best efforts to bring sunshine to cloudy lives. I am just so sick of seeing such a depressed and negative world that I feel obligated to bring some sort of positivity. If nobody else or nothing else is bringing any sort of happiness and optimism, then I feel like I have to "be the change I want to see in the world."


Extra Inspiration for This Post.

I thought about some of my blogging friends who admitted being depressed. I really wanted to offer such advice and calming words to help certain people feel better and give them some energy and focus. I care about people. A lot of times, I like to say that I try not to forget people whom I think are good. It pains me when I feel like I don't matter to people in some sort of way. Like when I post in some peoples' blogs, I often wonder if my words are appreciated. I try to be friendly and honest. Sometimes, I don't know if I'm ever regarded or respected. I mean... if I don't matter to you or if any compliments of mine don't mean anything, I can always leave and never come back. I at least want to know that my support means something to blogs and blog posts. And if I'm don't feel appreciated or welcomed, then I can always leave. I just want to be assured that my presence means something.

With all the negative people and negative material online, I am just trying to be positive. It is the least I can do. I am just trying to be different from everyone else posting mean stuff. Is it too much to ask to offer something positive and useful? All I am trying to do is offer positivity and hope so that I don't feel like everything around me is a living nightmare. I honestly hope you people appreciate all I try to do and all I try to bring. I am not a hero, a crusader, or anything like that- I am just a normal person trying to positively shape the negative or neutral environs I am a part of. I am battling my own depression by trying to make other peoples' lives better, in hopes of making myself feel better and more confident as a person.





One last time- this blog post was not easy for me to type. I was crying at some times as I was typing this post up just thinking about how horrible I feel when I am not feeling happy. It goes to show how emotional and passionate I can be in typing publishing things online. Also, you have to credit my courage in not only typing this up, but publishing it online in hopes of helping others feel better. This isn't shameless self-promotion; this is me trying to offer hope for those who may need an infusion of hope in their lives. I hope you can appreciate my efforts.

This concludes one of the toughest blog posts I've ever done. Thank you for reading.

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2 comments:

John Marine said...

Depression is such a serious thing. It's important for everyone to know that there are people out there who can and will help them get through this. Good for you for writing about such a serious topic.

And to end on a happier note, have a Happy Thanksgiving john! :)

xo, Yi-chia
Always Maylee

John Marine said...

I am glad that you were able to overcome depression. It was extremely courageous and compassionate of you to prepare this extensive post. I really hope you reach someone out here who needs this inspiration.

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