A disclaimer before proceeding, I’m neither a doctor nor anyone qualified to give professional medical advise and am very much aware that experiences are diverse and subjective for those depressed or otherwise. Also, please note that I’m writing this not to seek attention but because it is one of those subjects that I feel needs more attention and sensitivity.
I also want everyone to read the bestie’s article on his blog that I too read before I began writing this.
So for those who know me, I Google, a lot. I have self-diagnosed a hundred and one things I didn’t know before the advent of the internet and in some cases, I have actually identified with the symptoms quite accurately and got myself medically checked to reassure myself. This has actually helped me react better to the situation upon seeing the result in black and white.
However, Google is a vast pool of knowledge and its information must be absorbed in two ways. First, ensure that you read more than one article or source when it comes to anything at all, even if it is just “Why is my right ankle hurting at night”. This allows you to verify and double-check for accuracy, if multiple sources end up saying the same thing. Second, note that Google shows you only the technical or medicinal side of things. For example, if someone is diagnosed with cancer and they look up on chemotherapy procedures and healing periods etc, what they don’t find is a WikiHow page on how to deal with the emotional trauma of chemotherapy and the possible PTSD that follows.
Depression is no different and let me tell you what I have learnt by myself, without the help of Google.
N.B. – I would rather not go into detail about the events that should ideally precede this blog post, some day maybe, but not now. But again, this post is not for attention, but to address what I consider a need of the hour.
I’m writing this out in point form as that is how compartmentalised my brain is.
1. It eats you and does not let you eat
Apologise for the unimaginative title, but giving a fuck about creativity isn’t really what I want to do anymore. In fact it comes to a point when you have no, not suicidal, but such negative thoughts in you that even to an advocate of the imaginary #ThinkSunny programme with relatively high levels of optimism, it doesn’t make a difference. As for food appetites, it varies. For some, they overeat and for a few us, we lose the little appetite we thought we had. But no, this doesn’t mean malnutrition, it just means a hearty appetite, once a day every few days.
2. Depression = stress
While reading through Google and later adding the pieces of the puzzle together, the equation dawned on me:
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder = Depression = Stress
While “stress” is a normal phenomenon, I speak of stress in the context of unexplained (colossal) hair fall, fractures, body aches, headaches, lack of concentration and a whole heap of ugly affairs.
3. Depression kills all relationships
Lasantha says this in his post as well, but it kills all relationships to you that matter. I do not speak only of the romantic sort, but work and family relationships included. This happens, from what I understand, because you lose control of yourself, which leads you to lose control of everything you once held together, like a successful relationship. This also means the loss of friends, work colleagues and even contact with the neighbour who gave you sugar.
4. You lose control
Which brings me to my next point, you lose control, of everything. I am a bit of an OCD case. Or at least I have OCD tendencies that has allowed me to stay in control of a lot of things for the past twenty-something years. However, what depression does to you is it lets your emotions (that you had control of once) take control of you and all a sudden, you don’t know why you are crying.
5. The tears
Leading to the final point, the tears. I have something fundamentally wrong with my eyes ish and I do tear easily, for example because of a bright light and I can even make myself cry if I want to. But what depression does is, it constantly reminds you of the event that shattered it all and the things you told people out of frustration, anger and a whole load of other fucked up emotions that overcame you at that moment in time. ASAP Science had a pretty cool video we all wouldn’t mind giving a shot at.
I would like to call this an awareness generating post of sorts and strongly advise anyone going through any traumatic event in life to seek help in advance. Speaking to a counsellor or psychologist (I’m quite averse to the medicine-prescribing psychiatrists) ahead of time does not make you a “sick” person. It’s about time that everyone removes the notion of those who seek “professional help” as “mad” because they are nothing but smart and brave to agree to do so. It helps them when they are at the threshold of the storm and gives them hope, courage and reason to live again.
Until I write again. Soon.