June 26, 2012

Girl walking along beach with 2 dogs | Time to Change blogsIt's hard to help people understand what’s going on inside your head when you have such a limited understanding of it yourself.

I have always tried to come up with analogies or examples to try and paint a picture for people when words fail me. I only have two people who truly understand how I feel when I’m at a low point; but that’s two more people than some people have.

I have always struggled to explain my illness to my friends. I even hate calling it an illness. To me it’s not worthy of any kind of recognition; anything that makes people feel worthless and unable to smile should not be given any more attention that it deserves.

But friends and family (if they’re good people) will want to get a handle on what’s buzzing around that brain of yours. At one point in my late teens, my depression manifested itself in an all-consuming cycle of ‘get ready to go out; psych oneself up so much that the prospect of social interaction makes you shake and feel sick; accept defeat, send the cancellation text and crawl back into the safety of one’s bed’.

Trying to explain this to my friends was hard, and has not gotten any easier

This carried on for quite a while, and still occurs now (far less frequently, thankfully). Trying to explain this to my friends was hard, and has not gotten any easier; luckily for me, the ones that were worth hanging on to stuck around and know it’s nothing personal when I fail to show up.

I did have to contend with a bit of teasing and several arguments

I did have to contend with a bit of teasing and several arguments with friends who tried to prescribe help. ‘Amateur shrinks, who do they think they are?’ I angrily mused as I once again batted away suggestions of counselling and doctors’ appointments.

One of the hardest things about depression is that it removes most if not all motivation, and it is all too easy to get stuck in a cycle which becomes increasingly difficult to get out of. I have lashed out at friends and family more times than I can accurately recall; it’s only on reading a fellow blogger’s story about writing as a means of coping with depression that I felt I should say something.

Don’t be mad at people when they don’t understand

Don’t be mad at people when they don’t understand. The fact that they have tried to understand is commendable in itself. And chances are they don’t see you as ‘that person with depression’. They see you as you; depression and all. And it’s the ‘all’ that you have to try and focus on. Because depression doesn’t, and shouldn’t, define you.

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communicating and becoming overwhelmed

<p>Good Morning, good people.&nbsp;This problem is so embarrassing because often the other person has absolutely no idea what they have said that has upset me and often neither do i until hours later. I have found myself wanting to return to the individual and apologise for me upsetting them whether it be with my tone or a retort that is only understandeable to myself later. I do not want to make the situation worse and i know from my past experiences even sharing upset with a psychologist is impossible because i feel guilty for putting my upset on them and the more strangers i have to communicate with the worse this becomes. Yesterday i felt as if a door was slowly slamming on me when i upset a loved one and i had not even realised i had, this door was the door of communicating and when it closes i know i become not only impossible to communicate with i am trapped alone in a dark dark place where i cannot form a sentence for fear of being misunderstood. i know this to be a catatonic place and its since 1997/8 that this door was closed. I guess i am saying if anyone has a clue to what i am saying and has a way to stop this from happening without becoming a blubbering incoherent mess which i have done often when this distress is triggered or closing down completely please could they share this with me.</p><p>Thank you for reading</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p><p>&nbsp;</p>

I'm writing as I too can have

<P><SPAN style="FONT-FAMILY: 'Arial', 'sans-serif'; COLOR: #333333; FONT-SIZE: 10pt">I'm writing as I too can have really huge, deep fears that I have offended someone in conversation, said the wrong thing, angered someone or just have been&nbsp;rude.&nbsp; I explained these feelings to a psychologist I was seeing and we worked through them and through some strategies.&nbsp; It still happens to me a great deal, but I have more strategies for dealing with it.&nbsp; I have found that usually there is no basis to my fears - I have not offended that person.&nbsp; But the depth and strength of my fear that I have angered them is so convincing, so horrible when it happens, that I can become utterly certain I have done something awful.&nbsp; When this gets really bad I call the Samaritans and talk it through.&nbsp; But I have found the most effective ways for dealing with this fear have come about through discussing how it effects me and how it arises with the psychologist I was seeing and coming up with strategies for coping.&nbsp;&nbsp;I really hope that&nbsp;you are able to tell&nbsp;your psychologist&nbsp;of your experiences and&nbsp;worries and how awful the emotions they bring up can be.&nbsp; The psychologist will be trained in discussing the issues that feel too big to share.&nbsp; I really hope you can - and that they can discuss strategies and tools with you that help</SPAN></P>

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