As many of you know if you know me or have been following me I have Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) and have previously been diagnosed with Dysthymia (a type of depression). I have spoken quite a bit about my anxiety on my Instagram and Facebook accounts and on my blogs for Worth Living.
This is my first time really writing about my Depression and I think that is because of a couple of reasons. The first being that I feel like my anxiety is what primarily effects me everyday and is more prevalent for me. The second is that I think a lot of people shy away when they hear the word “Depressed”. I think we as a society have been taught to believe there is something wrong people who are dare I say the D word… depressed.
There are different kinds of depression and the one I have is also known as Persistent Depressive Disorder because it is a long term form of depression that is continuous. I have probably had it for most of my life and I dont really have high highs and low lows.
I describe it as always having a little bit of a “meh” feeling deep down. I can be having a lot of fun and feel really happy, but a few minutes later, a lot of times there is still an imaginary grey cloud over me that can bring my mood down regardless of how happy I was feeling.
Basically I can be feeling really happy and having a great day, but underneath that there is a small sadness there for no apparent reason.
I always thought this was just a part of my personality, but that all changed once I wanted to see a therapist and had to see a psychiatrist first, who diagnosed me.
As I am learning more about mental health and am becoming more mindful, I am seeing different aspects of my depression. *Side note: not everyone who has depression experiences it the same, it can show up in many different ways–more on that later.*
More recently I have been able to notice it in my thoughts. It can make me feel pretty bad about myself. It tells me lies constantly. Some of the most repeated lies it has told me are:
-Im not good enough
-I dont deserve love
– People dont like me/love me
-I am alone
-People are going to leave me
– I care too much
-Something is wrong
-Everything is my fault
– Good things cant happen for me for reasons x,y, and z.
It can be pretty frightening because it has this way of twisting your thoughts and making you doubt yourself and others.
I used to believe a lot of these LIES and that caused me to self-sabotage and basically self-destruct. I was my own worst enemy.
If I did anything that I perceived to be negative or if anything negative happened I would latch on to one of those lies (depending on the situation) and then spiral (thanks depression’s great friend anxiety) into feeling pretty terrible about myself. A vicious cycle. I believe Mark Manson refers to this as “The Feedback Loop from Hell” in his book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*CK.”
Thankfully, I am able to call out these big, fat, lies that my depression tells me. Sometimes it’s still hard, but I just have to remind myself to be mindful and to listen for the quiet, calm voice in my mind because that is the one that speaks truth–not the racing, emotion filled thoughts.
I’m not sharing this for people to tell me that I am not the things I listed above (I know that now, but our mind is a very powerful thing and it is easy to fall into those traps that depression can set).
I am finally in a really great place in my life and love myself and appreciate the struggles I went through.
I am sharing this because if I was feeling this way there has to be someone else out there who also is or who has and I want them to know I have been there too and that it does get better.
Believing the things depression tells you is dangerous and self-defeating. It can be hard to get through it on your own, so dont be afraid to ask for help or reach out. If I knew I had depression earlier I would have loved to have had someone I could talk to about it.
I am always here if anyone ever needs to chat or has questions.