When you live with depression and anxiety it’s hard to believe life wasn’t meant to be like this.
There is so much speculation in the general public (and with those of us that struggle with it) that depression is a state of mind. Something we think ourselves into, or even an excuse for “not coping” or not wanting to do something.
I’ve been a victim of these thoughts from others and myself for many years.
Like all sufferers of any chronic illness, those of us who struggle with depression have our ups and downs. Good days and bad days. Periods of remission and periods of intense escalation. And, we’re so focused on our illness being our own fault that we believe these fluctuations to be as a result of our thinking.
So in my internal lament as I struggle with my sense of identity, I wonder if I wasn’t born to be this way. That I am just a person who doesn’t cope, and as a consequence, I’m destined for a life awash with undertones of laziness and moodiness.
Mr. Wonderful knows I’m not lazy and he knows I’m not moody. But I sometimes wonder if he doesn’t think in the back of his mind, in his place of frustration, that I could do more to help myself get better. In fact, I often think this myself, so why shouldn’t he!
It’s a chicken or egg argument. Like a Mobius strip it continues without beginning or end. (Why did the chicken cross the Mobius strip? To get to the same side!)
But then the facts start to illuminate.
- The fact that babies aren’t depressed so there is no evidence that depression is an inherent state.
- The fact that I’ve had experiences to which I have not unreasonably attached significance.
- The fact that my endocrine system (the system responsible for the production of fight or flight chemicals) has responded appropriately to negative situations.
- The fact that the endocrine system, like all other physical attributes, can be subject to malfunction or disease.
- The fact that clinical depression is a measureable affectation upon our personality.
- The fact that sadness is a normal human emotion and is not depression.
Did you read all the points? You don’t need to have negative events happen to acquire depression. Your endocrine system may just be malfunctioning.
Not unlike a bout of constipation, is about your bowel not behaving itself. You can drink plenty of water and get plenty of exercise and still not be able to poop! And no matter how hard you think about pooping it won’t make a difference. The only way to get relief is to adjust your internal chemical activity with a synthesised chemical called a laxative.
For depression, these synthesised chemicals are called anti-depressants. They’re designed to help your body produce the chemicals it’s lacking in order to operate effectively, without crying or worrying inappropriately.
So next time your turning yourself inside out with worry understand that it’s not how much you think about a problem that solves it. It can simply be a case of getting the right treatment.
Ernest Hemingway: That terrible mood of depression of whether it’s any good or not is what is known as The Artist’s Reward.
Deb Shugg is an awarded businesswoman, wife & mother, author and a sufferer of depression and anxiety. To contact Deb click here.
If you need help to deal with your symptoms see your doctor.
If you need to talk to someone NOW call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
(Abuse of another person is NEVER okay. If you are being abused or, if you are an abuser please seek help.)