[TW mental health, suicide, self-harm]
You may notice, if you look at the dates things were posted on here that things have been a bit more sporadic of late.
I could give you all sorts of happy excuses, like I’m now keyworking a new service at work so have been busy with that, and that I’ve been out to see people so was tied up doing that, but when it comes down to it, I always plan my life with time to write. So why haven’t I been writing here as much as I usually do?
The link above will take you to the MIND page of depression symptoms. Their whole site is a great resource for finding out more about mental illnesses, it was recommended to me by the psychiatrist I saw last year, so check it out.
Depression is different for everyone, though. For me it is the literal mean of depression: it pushes everything down until I feel nothing, have no motivation, have no energy. I have to grab the tiniest bits that sneak around the edges of the seal, and I have to prioritise what I use them for. Lately it’s been functioning on a basic level (eating, showering) and going to work. There just hasn’t been brain space for this.
And it’s not going away soon. I was first diagnosed with depression aged 9, after a particularly vile campaign of bullying at school, so I’ve had 19 years of this nonsense so far.
I haven’t carved my legs up, or tried to kill myself this time round though, so minor improvements on before.
This isn’t a post to get pity, or to shock people that I can be like this behind the face I put on most days. It’s not an excuse either: it’s an explanation of why I’m quiet sometimes.
Like I said, depression affects people differently. The MIND page describes symptoms that are used in diagnosing depression, but almost more importantly it also speaks about what depression is not.
It’s not the odd day when you feel a bit low because the weather is crap. It’s not being tired because you’ve been super busy and your body just needs a day to recover. It’s not even the odd self-harming urge, because it happens to a larger number of people than we usually realise, and a large number of them aren’t depressed.
I could talk more about what my symptoms are, but my depression is mixed up with the personality disorder they’re attempting to diagnose, so it probably wouldn’t help.
The most important thing to say is, if you do suffer from depression, you’re not alone. There are resources and communities online for the days you feel up to the challenge of reading. Of course, if you suspect you or someone you know may be depressed, speak to medical professionals. Don’t try and self diagnose using things you read on blogs like this, as you won’t do yourself any favours.