We live in a world where people often don’t understand the difference between being sad and being depressed. There is also a misconception between “being depressed” and “having depression”. It is okay to not fully understand, but it is important to take the initiative to educate yourself so you care for a loved one.
Every single human on this earth has been sad. If you say that you have never been sad before then I recommend getting your emotions in check because that is not normal. We get sad over things such as being rejected, break ups, arguments with loved ones, being bullied, etc. There are negative things in this world that make us sad and that is just part of life. It is inevitable to not feel sad here and there. It is actually good for you. We need to feel all our emotions.
The saying “be happy” is a toxic statement. This is saying that it is not okay to feel sadness — you must cover it up by being happy. How about the statement “cheer up”? It is not okay to just tell someone who is crying to just cheer up. Let them feel the sadness. We don’t want to have them suppress their emotion because it will lead to problems down the road when handling their emotions.
Okay, we talked about the first negative emotion of sadness — now let’s talk about feelings of depression. Certain events such as the mourning of a loved one passing away, hating a job, financial stress, and isolation can make the typical person feel depressed. The difference between feeling depressed and being sad is that being sad is short term while being depressed can last for weeks.
The average person will feel this at least once in their lifetime depending on their quality of life. The best way to overcome feeling depressed in their particular situation is to let it take its course. Pretending that you are not feeling depressed is extremely dangerous to the mind. As I said before, suppressing emotions is the worst thing you can do and I still today don’t understand why people do it. I mean — I guess they don’t want people to pity them or it is possible they may accept depression as something toxic if they feel it.
Photo by Megan te Boekhorst on UnsplashNow let’s talk about what it is like to be ill from depression. People who have a family history of depression are at high risk to have depression themselves. It is a gene and there’s no way to avoid it, but to learn how to cope with it.
Depression comes in all shapes and sizes. On some days you may feel a weight on your shoulder, but you can push through the day. It is extremely uncomfortable especially if you are someone like me who works in customer service and gets paid to “be happy”. It is absolutely damaging.
Depression is feeling mentally exhausted when you haven’t done any mental activities.
Depression is when you notice that your room is a mess and your dishes are piling up. Even the simplest task can be some of the hardest things to do.
Depression is when you realize that you haven’t showered in days.
Depression is looking at a text message and just not replying because you don’t have that type of mental energy to reply.
Depression is struggling to get out of bed so you sleep all day.
Depression is starving because you don’t have any motive to feed yourself.
Depression makes you feel like you are in this dark place standing behind the glass watching over the external world.
Many people think that people who struggle with this illness are lazy and problematic. It is not fair to us that we were the chosen ones to have to be forced to live like this. We are trying. The world is exhausting to us compared to someone who isn’t ill with depression.
It is also important to understand that 90% of the time we have no idea why we are feeling depressed so please stop asking why we are depressed. Being asked why we are depressed does nothing but make us feel worse because it is frustrating to feel negative emotions for no reason. Instead, you can say “what can I do to help you feel comfortable”?
If you want to help someone with depression — make them feel comfortable because having depression is one of the most uncomfortable ways to live.
Bipolar Disorder is one of the most complicated mental illnesses to understand. We simply think that Bipolar is just experiencing extreme moods, but there is so much more to it that no one really knows except the ones who are fighting the battle.
How is this article going to make people understand?
Well, I am about to take you inside a Bipolar mind.
First and foremost, I have a family history of mental illness. My mom struggles with severe depression and anxiety and I have a theory that my grandmother struggled with Bipolar. This makes me a shoo-in for history.
The first time I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder was when I was 17 years old after I got caught cutting myself while contemplating suicide.
I thought my dramatics was just apart of being a typical teenager, but taking a look back — it wasn’t.
I felt things very deeply.
Some people struggled with feeling emotions while I struggled with controlling my emotions.
A Bipolar mind would find creative ways to destroy a relationship without realizing it. Part of me thinks that we subconsciously try to destroy our relationships because we are ashamed of who we are.
We know that we are hard to live with. I mean the media labels us as “crazy”. They portray us as monsters that can be a danger to others when in reality we are only a danger to ourselves.
Sometimes I would find myself screaming and punching my big stuff bear to get out all of the negative energy that comes with the illness. If I were to describe the feeling, I would describe it as a demon trying to leave my body. The amount of anxiety and anger I would feel is absolutely unbearable.
Now that I pretty much just explained how we are emotional humans, let talk about my experience with the two “moods” that are described as Bipolar Disorder: Depression & Mania.
Being manic is described as having an abnormally large amount of energy. People with Bipolar ( including me) love being manic because we feel a high of euphoria. This is the time when we overbook our schedules, stay up all night, feel like we are on top of the world — that no one can bring us down because we are just so happy.
The way to describe the high was as if we are “on something”. I would become extremely happy and excited for literally no reason. The “literally no reason” part would be the scary part. When I would feel the high coming, I would have no choice, but to mask it with sarcasm so I don’t come off as crazy.
Here Comes The Depression…After mania comes depression and this is what I struggle with the most. Bipolar depression is not the same as clinical depression in my personal opinion. When the depression part of Bipolar kicks in, I shut down completely.
Going from Mania to Depression is like enjoying the happiness and sunshine that comes with the beach to just get hit by a huge wave making it difficult to get back on your feet.
The depression can be severe to the point that I physically can not get out of bed to function in my daily life. My brain would go into complete lockdown — refusing to do basic things such as showering and cooking food. I would avoid social interaction because my brain would be too exhausted to hold a conversation.
This has affected my career, finances, and physical health. It is a horrible way to live.
The scary part is that I don’t know which mood is going to hit me when I wake up in the morning, but I still somehow have to navigate through life.
Here is where I write about my personal mental health challenges