Last time, I mentioned what depression is here.
Today, I want to expansively talk about what depression is and the symptoms.
Its normal to feel down or out of sorts because of different issues emanating from our environment or loss. I could give a very good example of Covid-19. When the pandemic started, most people did not take it seriously. We thought it was a flight by night , you know China is pretty far from where I am. The lock downs were implemented and finally, it all dawned on everyone that this was about to be the norm. Its been one extension of lockdowns after the other and some days , you can wake up chirping like a bird with stars shining from your eyes. Other days are the worst. Most people have felt unhappy and sad because of financial and social pressures.
But when the feeling is intense and lasts long , then its depression. It goes as long as 2 weeks and even years. It can be clinical depression, a treatable disease. Some of you think that I spent my days mopping around , in dark places and hallucinating. Actually, not.
Symptoms of Depression?
According to the manual DSM-5, these are the following symptoms of depression:
- A feeling of pensiveness and sadness throughout the day with no reason whatsoever
- feeling exhausted and lacking energy to move or do anything
- feeling guilty and worthless
- difficult time in remembering , focusing or making any decisions.
- lack of or too much sleep
- losing interest in daily activities
- suicidal thoughts
- a feeling of restlessness
- losing or gaining weight
The first time I had suicidal thoughts, I vividly remember was when I was 11 years old. To be sincerely honest, I got upset over a small thing and just thought of ending my life. It was a really silly thing but I went to drink washing powder and that didn’t go very well . My dad was long gone by then but my mother was still alive. Nobody suspected anything because I just lay down and well,slept. I had just started following Christ also.
The second time I tried was when I was 13 years old. My mother wanted the very best for me and had enrolled me at a private school even though she was just a teacher. I loved the college. I had a fall out with one of my friend then and also for the second time actually tried taking away my life. Thank God, It was another failed attempt. Thinking about it now, I wonder why I thought taking away my life just because of a fallout would solve anything. This is actually the first time I have spoken about this and I feel really ashamed of it. Its also the first time that I have shared with my husband what I did and how I did it.
Feeling Guilty and Worthless
There are times in life when things don’t work out not because you haven’t tried but just that the time isn’t right yet. I didn’t feel guilty most of the times but I used to feel worthless whenever things went south. You know growing pains. Half the time , I was worried about how I looked like. I grew up hearing bad things about myself because I was caught at an early age pants down playing grown ups with other kids in our neighborhood. You know child’s play. Therefore, I struggled with self-esteem and self confidence from then on wards and also battled feelings of shame and guilt. To be honest, I was really scared of my mom. She was absolutely militant and believed in beating the naughtiness out of me.
Causes of Depression
Depression strikes mostly when you lose status (is defeated),lose control and/or is trapped in adverse environments. When these things happen the brain seems to switch into depressed-like states.Due perhaps to childhood trauma or difficulties and later stressful life events, we sometimes find it difficult to keep this mixed array of possibilities under control.
They start pulling in different directions. The brain may tell us that there is far more danger than there is, and we panic; it may tell us that we are inferior, worthless and to give in, and we feel depressed; it may tell us that we need to get our own back, and so we seethe with the desire for revenge. Each of these parts has its own job to do, but they must work in harmony. In depression we lose this harmony and have thoughts and ideas that lead us to feel more defeated, inferior and worthless, and thus more depressed.
I will delve more into the causes of depression in my next blog when I talk about what caused me all these feeling of unworthiness. I just wanted to also let you know that depression in its various forms is very common and has been for thousand years . No one can understand what you are going through or what you went through to be feeling this way but you can beat it. Watch out for for how I beat depression in my future posts.