I’ve suffered from OCD, anxiety and bouts of depression for years. I knew I had OCD at an early stage. I had heard about the symptoms briefly and I went to my doctor.
I’ve talked about OCD in my last couple of blogs so this time I will talk more on depression.
Depression. It’s a word which is sadly used incorrectly in many areas of life. Whether it’s ‘that meeting was so depressing’ or talking about how ‘depressed’ you are because you left your phone charger at home. What you really meant to say was ‘that meeting was so boring’ and ‘I’m irritated because I’ve left my charger at home’. The problem is not because of a word being used out of context. Its about it losing its real meaning and people not being able to recognise what it actually means. This in turns potentially makes people not understand depression seriously enough and the consequences of it.
I’m not going to sit here and criticise everyone. I’ve been guilty of this before. It’s hard not to be. But I’ve made a conscious effort to change my vocabulary in order to help fix this.
I had no idea what depression really meant. I thought it was just sadness and not wanting to do anything. To an extent it is, but it’s sooo much more. Depression is a mood disorder which causes a constant feeling of sadness and loss of interest. It affects how you think, feel and behave. For example, it might be that your mates are going out for the night and you’re invited, but you don’t go because you don’t feel you have the energy to get changed and go out, let alone talk to people. You may have a very low opinion of yourself and how you look. Now we all have our off days but if you feel like this all the time then that’s when things are wrong. The danger is that if you don’t talk to your friends about how you feel, they may think your not interested in them and slowly it may create a gap in your friendship. The domino effect starts to kick in. This is only one basic example, depression affects people in many different ways.
It took me years to realise that I was showing signs of depression. It wasn’t until I started to understand the signs of depression, that it really started to sink in that I might of suffered from it. I started to become reclusive and not wanting to go out half as much as I used to. I stopped being active. I actually used to be quite active, went to the gym and played sport. But I lost my motivation and that’s it. Ironically, being active and keeping fit is a great way to make you feel better and combat depression! I just didn’t feel like I wanted to do anything, like housework or even showering frequently!
It’s scary how quickly it can kick in and bring you down. But I’m starting to learn that you can do so many things to make it better and help yourself feel good again.
I’ve started to try and learn something new. As humans, when we achieve something it tends to make us feel good. Then there’s putting things off. I’m historically terrible for it. I’ll do the housework after I’ve watched this episode, then that turns into 2 episodes and then 3! Then before I know it the days over and I’m rushing around. This morning I got up, cracked on with the housework and I was done by midday. The most important bit – I’ve felt good about myself all day for getting the house tidy and ‘achieving something’. The last major thing is talking. This blog has helped me to express the way I feel. Knowing that I can be honest about how I feel is a massive relief. Then there is my counselling – that’s been something that’s really helped. Just to empty my head of all the thoughts, fears etc. Then there’s music – love music! It makes me feel good and I’ve tried to find time in my day where I can sit and listen to music and just relax. Music is a great therapy.
So there you go. There is so much sadness, heartache and hurt behind the word ‘depression’. So next time you think about using the word depression, ask yourself ‘is that really the right word to use?’
**As I’ve mentioned before, I am not medically qualified. These are just my experiences and how I’m finding things.**
Thanks for reading.