It starts with just being tired; then it mutates into not wanting to do anything. You lose interest in your favourite activities. Food starts to taste the same, that is if you even want to eat. Your loved ones start to notice and they give you advice: “Just stay positive.” “Everything will be ok.” All the while you are dying inside. It starts to affect your job. First you start to forget things or you just simply don’t care. Speaking to people becomes difficult because all you want is to be alone! Now that you are deep in the state of depression you start to lose control of yourself; you don’t care how you look, what you wear. Make up? Hair, who cares right? Nobody seems to understand. Anxiety sets in. The panic attacks start at night. You are choking, you can’t get air, your heart starts racing, you start going into spasm and clinching your fists till they are white. It lasts 5min, but to you it’s more like 30… Now you need help.
Depression is classified as a mood disorder. It can be treated with medication and or psychotherapy. The tricky part is that there are different stages of depression as well as different types; persistent, perinatal, psychotic, seasonal to name a few. Once you are prescribed medication, it has to be regulated until the right dose for you is accomplished. This is very frustrating for the patient as there is no quick fix. It could take up to a month just to start feeling the affect of the anti-depressant and even then it may be the wrong dose or type and you would have to start all over again. There is no magic wand to make you feel well again. No course of anti-biotics or an operation. Most people who are diagnosed with depression experience thoughts of death and suicide. The anti-depressants can also cause such symptoms and patients have to be monitored closely.
The anxiety goes hand in hand with panic disorder. A panic attack can occur and any time or place without warning. This is a two sided problem as your fear of getting an attack actually brings on an attack. This feeling of not being in control is extremely traumatic for the patient and often withdrawal from people and not wanting to go out will occur. There are ways to calm yourself down in this situation like concentrating on breathing and not clinching. Although it is easier said than done when one is in that situation. The patient becomes hyper sensitive to his/her surroundings; fearing for things that can go wrong.
My personal journey with depression has been a long one and it stemmed from my time in hospital battling Leukaemia back when I was just seventeen years old. A lot has happened since then and my depression has most recently heightened and I have been experiencing panic attacks over the last couple of weeks which I never had before. It has been difficult for me in many aspects of my life including work and my relationship. I believe that the only way to heal is to help others heal. I guess this blog helps me do just that. I have been put on new medication over the last week and a half and going strong. I have not had an attack for five days now. Because of my past, I immediately jump to the worst conclusion when it comes to my health; so I have also gone for blood tests to check everything else as well. I have not received my results but am positive that they will be fine. Once again God is pulling me through and I am able to breath again.
For more info on Depression: https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml
Maybe you have to know the darkness before you can appreciate the light.