Wednesday, 27 July 2016

WELLBEING | How do you explain depression to loved ones?

Hello all, happy hump day!

As I said in my previous post, I want to talk more on this blog about mental health issues, my experiences and also my ways of dealing with it whether it is the changes I have made to my lifestyle or just how I deal with it every day. Hopefully some of you reading will find it helpful!

To explain depression to somebody who genuinely doesn't understand how it feels can seem impossible, I have had to try and explain it to my husband and other members of my family who are lucky enough to have never experienced it. Not everyone does. People can go through difficult phases or times of horrific grief but not suffer depression. FYI, I really envy those people!

So, for me, I guess I would say that depression feels like a giant weight on my head. I genuinely feel as though my head is full to the brim with a black mess of thoughts, fears, worries, anxieties, stresses, nerves, hang up's and everything in between, tangled up in a big ball and that it is growing so big my skull can barely contain it all. The weight of it presses down on my head and shoulders and genuinely makes me feel weighed down. I feel like tears are forever brimming under the surface of my eyes, ready to burst out at any moment, for any reason: because I am angry, sad, frustrated, anything. I have heard people describe the feeling as a constant fear or worry that something awful is going to happen. I guess that is a good way of putting it too because you feel on edge and have a constant stream of thoughts and ''what if's'' running through your mind.

I just always feel an overwhelming sadness, like nothing I can genuinely describe. I would say just imagine the most unhappy you have ever been and it is like that. I feel like I don't want to be here and that every day tasks like getting dressed are a genuine struggle. I don't want to exist, I just want to close my eyes and never wake up. My head is constantly full of white noise - conflicting voices going in and out of my brain all day, every day and it is hard to hear what they want or are saying. All except the dark voices of course, you hear those loud and clear alright. The ones that tell you you are not good enough or can't do it or are not pretty enough, are too fat, too stupid, inexperienced and all of those other negatives that would stop you doing something you want to (these thoughts are kind of stepping onto anxieties territory as anxiety tends to be more a fear of what could happen and what is to come, mine kind of blur together.)

The great thing about the internet is if you don't feel like you can explain how you are feeling or don't feel you want to explain it there are ways of conveying how you feel. Articles you can ask loved ones to read or YouTube videos you can ask loved ones to watch, I did this. I found it explained it so much better than I ever could. I am someone who naturally stumbles over my words because of the fact I am always rushing and thinking ahead and never living NOW in every sense of the words (even just when talking) something I have learnt comes with anxiety. So I struggled to think of the right terminology to use or the best way to describe my feelings. The video I will link below was the best one for describing how I can feel when I am very low and it is used at a lot of therapy seminars  / groups as well.

The main thing to remember is talking to someone really helps. I was so scared and ashamed of suffering depression. Genuinely. The fact that a year or so after being completely honest with important people in my life, I am writing my personal experience online for anyone to see is HUGE progress. I just lived with it, suffered it. Alone... and as anyone who is or has suffered depression knows, it is lonely enough without isolating people who love you too. They will be relived you have confided in them and will want to help. They won't want you to suffer and if  - like me  - you live with a partner you will find they are probably relived to finally have an explanation to your moods and behaviour. It isn't an easy path to walk down when it comes to sorting yourself out but doing it alone makes it so much more tougher.

TELL PEOPLE HOW YOU FEEL.

Depression is an illness like any other and you shouldn't be ashamed of it.

Don't be like me; I wasted years, caused heartache (to myself and others) I let it rule my life and I ran away from it, all because I was ashamed to say I needed help. I thought people would treat me differently or not like me anymore. I thought people would talk about me behind my back or worse yet, think I was seeking attention. But no-one did. I had the most amazing responses off of all my loved ones and it made me feel so much better. That weight immediately started to lift off once I had been honest and opened up about what I was going through. And if someone HAD judged me or responded with any of those nasty things that I feared? They wouldn't have been worth getting upset over. They couldn't have truly cared. So be honest with yourself and with the people that care about you. It is a big step but you will be so proud of yourself for taking it.

Big love xx


WATCH THIS VIDEO!!

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Nicki

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