Depression lies. Rebellion leads to truth.
"It's like my brain gets hijacked, and I just can't bring myself to feel good about anything. I keep going through the motions but my heart isn't in it."
Depression can take many forms. For some it's a mild, though persistent, feeling of being "down" and lacking energy. For others it's a practically a complete stupor in which even the most basic of tasks feels painful or impossible. And of course there is a wide range of experiences in between. Depression can last a few days to several months. It can affect someone only once in their life or crop up multiple times a year. Sometimes depression stems from what may be referred to as "existential anxiety" or "existential despair" - to learn more about this concept, click here.
Depression can be a reaction to something environmental or circumstantial such as a life transition, stressful events, grief and loss, illness, meds, medical problems, abuse, or trauma. It can also be caused by biological, hereditary, or chemical issues. For someone with diabetes, the brain affects the body’s ability to produce or respond to insulin. Similarly, someone with depression struggles to regulate their mood due to faulty chemical reactions within the brain. If depression is present in your family tree, you may be more likely to experience it as well - maybe because of genetic impacts or maybe because it was modeled to you. For a deeper dive into the science of depression, check out this Harvard Health article by clicking here.
Part of the frustration of depression is that there are no clear and definite answers about how it works or what causes it. It's a complex, highly misunderstood, and unfortunately often stigmatized disorder. More likely than not, the cause is a combination of ingredients and the exact recipe is different for everyone. Regardless of the cause, the good news is that it can be treated: psychotherapy, exercise, diet and other lifestyle changes, social support, and sometimes psychiatric medication are needed and can help.
Though it certainly doesn't look the same on everyone, here's a list of some fairly common signs and symptoms of depression:
-Sadness, guilt, apathy
-Heavy feeling in body
-Fatigue, tiredness, low energy
-Headaches, muscle aches and pains
-Irritability, aggression, or anger
-Poor concentration and focus
-Repeatedly going over same thoughts
-Disinterest in hobbies and activities used to enjoy
-Low self-esteem, overly self-critical
-Thoughts of suicide or passive death-wish
-Gastrointestinal (GI) issues
-Change in appetite (can go up or down)
-Isolating from friends and family
If you're experiencing depression, please reach out. You don't have to suffer alone. Though it may not feel like it, there is help, and you can get better. No one exists in a bubble - we all need support to get through the tough stuff in life. Depression lies. It binds and gags your intuition and teaches you not to trust yourself. Rebel against depression, and get back you true voice.