I thought I’d write about what I’ve learned through research and personal experience.
I’ll be upfront here… I struggled with depression sometime ago. I’m not a psychiatrist so my thoughts here should not be your only source. For a more comprehensive source see the links I’ve listed at the end of this post and other links on the web. But, most importantly – talk to your doctor.
Are you depressed or just feeling down?
My symptoms included fatigue, loss of energy, lethargy, and feeling sort of empty. These feelings came back a bit this week, but the difference is they only lasted a couple days. Still, that’s a lot more than I wanted.
I think the difference between depression and just having a bad day is how long these things last and how deep you go down the rabbit hole.
When I suffered from depression, I tumbled quickly down that hole. I didn’t even try to climb out. In a weird, perverted way, it almost felt comfortable to be there. It was like giving up and giving in. I felt like there was no way out. I was ‘just that way’ and there was nothing I could do.
Now though, when I have a bad day and feel the rabbit hole sucking at me, I can tell myself I’m not going there. I might take a dip, but I climb out before I get too deep.
Much of controlling it depends on how you talk to yourself. An old song says “… I ain’t gonna study war no more”, well my version is “I ain’t gonna study depression no more.”
The more you tell yourself you can’t go one, you don’t have the energy to be who you were, you’re worthless, you’re lazy… the more you will convince yourself and the harder it will be to climb out of it.
One type of therapy
This idea of what-you-think-is-what-you-become is the premise of Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy. There are many other types of therapy techniques.
If you are seriously depressed, the symptoms go on for weeks or months. It’s not being lazy or worthless. It’s a mental disease that can be treated. You can conquer it.
Do your own research
For more info, and better advise than I can give, try these links: WebMD, NAMI, Stanford School of Medicine, and Medical News Today. Of course there are a lot more. Once you’ve done your own research, its best to go see your doctor. If he thinks you might have depression he can refer you to a counselor.