When I was little, I used to wonder why my mom slept all the time. A few years after I was born, she got a diagnosis of Bipolar Type II (read about that here). Every day, she would take a good three or four naps. I could never understand how any one person could be so tired or sleep so much.
I unfortunately understand now.
I was diagnosed with major depressive disorder a little over a year and a half ago. It got unbearable a time or two, but I think I’m in the worst episode I’ve had yet. It’s not the worst in terms of intensity; I have good days in addition to bad ones which is something I don’t usually do.
It’s the worst episode I’ve had yet because of the duration. When fall came this year, my Seasonal Affective Disorder (click the link to read more, but it’s basically seasonal depression) hit me like a sledgehammer. I’ve known I have SAD for a while, but I never thought it could get this bad. I’ve been napping three or four times a day (just like my mom did) in addition to the 9 or 10 hours of sleep I usually get per night. I used to shower every single day without fail, but I’m lucky to shower once every three days now. I sometimes don’t even have the energy to get out of bed. I know that’s a cliche about depression, but it’s a cliche because it’s true.
But why am I so tired?
Everyday activities are taking so much more energy to complete now because, for me, it feels like I’m constantly fighting my depression. Seriously. Every time something goes wrong, big or small, I instantly have suicidal thoughts. This wouldn’t have happened if I were dead. I really shouldn’t even be alive to experience this. I’m so stupid, and the world and everyone in it would be much better off without me. My pain would end if my life ended.
The thing is, though, that mentality is utter bullshit. Is life hard? Absolutely. Should you be alive to experience it anyway? Hell yeah!
Take this from someone who has been in the psychiatric hospital for suicidal thoughts before (I’ll write a post on this later): it gets better. See, depression’s goal is to tell you otherwise. Depression wants you to suffer, and it wants you dead. It doesn’t want you to see the good things in life like sunrises, ice cream sundaes, and the people you love. It wants to blind you to those things so that you constantly suffer all alone.
But don’t let depression do that to you.
I’m speaking from experience when I tell you that there are good things in life. There are things worth living for. And it’s really important for you to be around to see those things.
The bottom line is that depression, like any other mental illness, has the potential to be deadly. On the flip side, you have the potential to be strong, to fight back. You have the potential to kick depression to the curb and not let it rule your life.
So take that potential and make depression suffer by doing something beautiful.