Friday, April 7, 2017

The Laws of Depression Dynamics

Depression cannot be created or destroyed, but only transformed.
(I actually started this about a week ago, but it took a few days to find all the right words.)

This may sound like complete crap. And it could be. If you are suffering from short-term depression around a particular circumstance, or many other things, depression can be created and destroyed. (But I am NOT saying short-term depression is easy.) And you are better for having seen the end of it. If you haven't seen the end of it yet, I hope you achieve it and flip depression the bird.

For those of us with long-term, treatment resistant, debilitating, life threatening, or other types of hellish depression, it often seems that this is the truth. Perhaps depression was created. I know when mine began, but I do not know the source. Was it always there and something just triggered it? I've had more than one doctor convey that belief. I also had a minor concussion around the same time. Did I create my own hell? That is a haunting belief I try to keep my mind from. Either way, perhaps it was created. So, that begs the question...

Ad Infinitum?

But depression has become a part of many of us. It cannot be destroyed. We can learn to live with it, come to peace with it, use it, and work through it, but for most it is there forever, as a fabric of our being. There comes a time when removing the parasite would actually kill the host. However, we have to find a way to transform its existence and tentacles, in order to live our lives.

Acceptance is difficult. At least it was for me. Allowing myself to realize that this was a part of me that would never go away broke my spirit. It took me about 15 years to get to the point that I was willing to even think that. Even now, writing about it, makes me emotional. I don't want this. I don't want this for anyone else. I wouldn't wish this on anyone. No one wants to live with thoughts they have little or no control over. 

Currently, I consider myself going through a 'dip' (my euphemism for a minor relapse), but I'm overall somewhat stable. Out of the blue today I just wanted to cry. Quickly there are thoughts of hopelessness and suicide flooding my brain. Why? Nothing happened. The day was actually going great. It cannot be destroyed. I transformed it by using my coping mechanisms, which in this case was mostly just distracting myself with work.

Within a system, depression tends to increase.

Without help and a plan, disorder... depression will get worse. If you think you can go it alone, please don't. I have a childhood friend that has been the bastion of strength over the years. She has patiently listened to my depressive thoughts and struggles with suicide for years. Then depression hit her. It was a combination of personal experiences and circumstances that has brought her to the brink. Even though I have been through years of help, I feel impotent to effectively assist her and bring her even a modicum of relief. 

I can tell her all the stuff she knows: see a therapist, see a psychiatrist, exercise, spend time with friends, etc, etc. But when you are in the pit of hell, you struggle to do any of that. If and when you feel that ray of light on you, seize it and get some help. Reach out. Reach out to friends and family. If you don't get their support or feel like you are a burden, then reach out to anyone. Reach out to me. Reach out to so many other people online that are going through similar circumstances, that can empathize.

Disparity Amongst

I have made my own, personal observations that men seem to have more difficulty reaching out than women do. Without delving into all the aspects, I think it boils down to the fact that men are expected to be strong and stoic. Not as much as previously, but it is still there. Toughing it out may seem like a viable option... that can become a disaster. If you know anyone that needs help, please encourage them to get help. This includes guys, which can be stubborn to admit they need help. It took me years to admit certain things to myself and get the help that actually, well, helped. Who would have thought?

This message is just to any of the guys out there reading this: you are not alone. And if you already know that, cool. Keep your eyes and ears open for others that may need encouragement.

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