Having depression is hard to explain to those who have never felt it. You're doing your best to put one foot in front of the other and your daily tasks take so much effort it's not even funny.
Like a rickety ship in a storm, you don't quite remember what sunny skies look like and you certainly don't recall signing up for this amount of numbness and pain. It's been weeks since you've felt like yourself and are wondering when the depression will lift.
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Regardless of how, why and when the depression came about - you feel overwhelmed. Your body is not cooperating and won't sleep when it's supposed to, will either require loads more food than before or perhaps none at all, and all you want to do is curl up in bed and make everyone go away. Things like taking a shower seem like such impossible, herculean tasks that you'll only consider doing so if strong-armed into it by one of your close friends.
You've been considering therapy for some time, even before your world came crashing down. So yes, you get it, therapy would be a (really, really) good idea at this point. For the past few weeks (if not months) your entourage has been encouraging you to find a therapist. Despite that, you're perplexed as to how you're going to summon the energy to find one. And so, another week passes, and you still feel stuck.
Fast forward to a few weeks or months. You've been going to therapy, and thanks to the work you've done with me, you're starting to feel better. You learn about how your thoughts affect your interpretation of things, and are feeling more proactive. You're feeling stronger, more anchored and, on some days, even a bit optimistic about the future.
Depression can affect you in different ways. Here are some common feelings and experiences associated with depression:
1. Persistent sadness: experiencing a deep and pervasive feeling of sadness that persists for an extended period of time. This sadness may not have a specific cause and may be hard to shake off.
2. Loss of interest or pleasure: losing interest in activities or hobbies that you previously enjoyed. Things that used to bring you joy or satisfaction might not be as appealing now.
3. Fatigue and lack of energy: feeling extremely fatigued and a having a sense of constant tiredness. Even small tasks may feel overwhelming and exhausting, leading to a loss of motivation and productivity.
4. Changes in appetite and weight: you might either eat more than before or less than before, as the depression affects your appetite.
5. Sleep disturbances: you might have trouble falling asleep or staying asleep (insomnia), or might sleep excessively and still feel tired (hypersomnia).
6. Feelings of worthlessness or guilt: you might have negative thoughts about yourself, or feelings of worthlessness or guilt. You might believe you are a burden to others or that you are responsible for your own struggles.
7. Difficulty concentrating and making decisions: Depression can impair cognitive function, making it challenging for you to concentrate, remember details, and make decisions. This can interfere with your work, school, and daily tasks.
8. Social withdrawal and isolation: Depression can lead to a withdrawal from social activities and a desire to isolate from others.
9. Physical symptoms: Depression can manifest in physical symptoms such as headaches, stomachaches, muscle pain, and general bodily discomfort.