In case you are new to my blog, I was diagnosed with Major Depression a year ago. It has taught me some beautiful lessons and has also taught me lessons in harsh reality. Major depression comes in episodes and looking back I can say for sure my first episode happened when I was 15 years old. Little did I know at the time, that this thing had a name or that it was based on a chemical imbalance in my brain. That period in my life use to be my deepest darkest secret, until it happened again. My second episode happened when I was 20 years old. By that time, I was a little more educated on what to do because of the psychology classes I took in college. I got a therapist when it became apparent that it had gotten bad again and it was dangerous for me. In between then and the time it got bad again, I realize I doubted it ever went away. It was more like it was always there and that it would have times when it would be worse than others. I would describe the time between 16 to 19 years old to be just this sense that there was this darkness within me and just trying to ignore it. It was like this weariness and grimness was there, but it wasn’t like it was back when I was 15. I didn’t have that panic or have intrusive thoughts of death.
The reason I am writing about this topic again, is because I am concerned. However, one thing I learned with going through depression at 20 years old is that people tend to minimize my concerns or brush them aside. Or they even say “everyone is like that.” They fail to acknowledge my concerns have weight and that I am different from people who don’t have depression. Therefore, I find it safe to express them on my blog and know that this way of expression does not encounter those problems.
The past few days I have been sleeping too much. WAY too much. Today, I slept for 16 hours and that concerns me. Before I was officially diagnosed and was waiting to be diagnosed, depression was just a guess by a one of my therapists, I use to sleep a lot because I didn’t want to face reality. To me, depression was the worst thing I could have been thought to have. It shook my faith and my sense of what life would be like for me. The reason it shook my faith though, is a story for another time. So because of that I would try to sleep whenever I was bored or didn’t want to deal with things. Sleep was my escape from a maybe diagnosis that scared me so much.
My main concern with my sleeping habits that have been happening this summer is because sleeping those many hours is a symptom of depression. I am afraid it may not be under my control as well as it was before. This morning I woke up and it felt like it took so much energy to just sit up. It felt exhausting to even think of getting up out of bed. It is something many people do not understand. It took so much of a fight for me to get out of bed to take care of the neighbors dogs. I’m also tired all the time again. The medication I am on keeps the horrid monster at bay. However, even with medication, I can still feel it there. It isn’t as all-consuming as it was a year ago, but I can still feel it there. The way I describe it now is that it is a shadow.
The concern I have is something I have to deal with along with my therapist. In my experience, talking to others about my illness isn’t always the best, unless they see me having a breakdown.
The thing with my depression is I sometimes wonder what it would be like to not have this darkness inside of me. If this darkness is what makes me feel so different and feel unsatisfied with others and their trivial pursuits. Or that be just part of my INFJ personality. However, I know foe a fact if I didn’t have a chronic illness I would be different. I would have more achievements and more hobbies. I would probably have more things that are completed and not so many things that are a work in progress. It’s hard knowing that without an illness you could do so much better, but in the end I have to accept my reality and work with it as best I can.