Not everybody knows the difference between a depressed person and somebody suffering from depression. They keep saying things like “dude, just have faith! I’m sure you can do this,” and I’m like yeah whatever. Depression does not mean being sad. It’s a complicated mental disorder that, if not treated, might dominate your life. To be able to achieve a successful depression treatment, you need to get better insight.
I don’t intend to give you a description of depression in this post, this is not a medical website after all. What I intend to do is to try and transfer my knowledge on the subject that is solely based on my experience. If you have similar signs, you might consider getting help in depression treatment.
I always loved writing. When I was 10, my siblings and I used to play a game called occupations where I used to work as a poet and write them poems for money. I don’t remember what I used to write about. What I remember is, twelve years after that point, I was still writing poems and short stories. But everything I wrote was about death, isolation and such. After a certain point, my brain started to act as if I was talking to a psychologist. I started to write our conversations down. It was then, I admitted something was wrong with me and I needed help. But I ignored this feeling and went on living the way I know.
Let’s talk about how depression affected my life in different aspects. I’m not going to involve experts’ opinions in this post as I know you’re not here to read the ideas of people who have lived their entire life mentally healthy.
Depression and Ideologies
This happened way back in history when I had no idea about depression. I was around 19 years old. I used to live a fast-paced life. Bars and heavy metal gigs used to be all I cared about. One day, when I left the bar at 1 pm, I had a thing with my lung. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t stand up or walk. I called the ambulance and went to the hospital. What I had was something called pneumothorax. (presence of air or gas in the pleural cavity, the potential space between the visceral and parietal pleura of the lung, which can impair oxygenation and/or ventilation.)
After a brief treatment process, I was banned from bars and nightlife which was, in fact, filling up a hole in my life. So, to fill that emptiness I turned to other areas. Unluckily, I met some right-wing people at the same time and their opinions made sense to me somehow. In a short time, I was in an organization, spending all my days and effort for it. It took 2 years for me to realize how stupid that was. Anyway, that’s the past and I moved on. What I’m trying to say is that a person with depression is vulnerable. He or she will always try to be involved in something that he/she thinks may add value to life. If a young family member of you is involved in such activities, it might be a good idea to check for other symptoms of depression.
Depression and Religions
Talking about ideologies, it might be the right time to mention religions too. I’m not saying religions are ideologies or the other way around, but they work in the same way for a person in depression. I was into religious activities when I was a little kid, but it was only because of my family. Then I did not pay any attention for a looong while. However, in times when I couldn’t see any hope, any way to get up, stand up and don’t give up the fight, I turned to God. I even considered becoming a Catholic for a while and made a lot of research about it. The idea stuck in my mind for months. In the end, I decided that it requires a lot of commitment, so I gave up.
But when you consider that I was born into a country where the majority of the people is Muslim, it might give you an idea that how depression affected my decision mechanism. Looking for help, desperately, people may turn to religions and get into a road that they may regret for the rest of their lives.
Depression and Study Life
Perhaps, the biggest impact of depression in my life is in this field. I used to be a decent student. My family, my teachers and almost everyone around me used to tell me how smart I am. I even got sick of it. After high school, I decided to study physics and OMG! How big of a fall that was. I hit the ground like a guy skydiving without a parachute when was only able to pass one exam in 2 years. Even though I was in one of the biggest universities in my country there was no way I could prepare for an exam or pay attention to the classes. I wasn’t even able to wake up in the morning.
Eventually, I left my university and started another one in another country. I studied engineering physics for 2 years and the same thing happened. Right now, I study literature and things are going slightly better. However, I’m sure that I can do better. I still miss 80% of the classes and I can’t read books at all. After reading a page, I get tired. Depression makes a person lose interest in (almost) everything. Studying, reading, writing or anything that is purpose directed becomes impossible.
Depression and Career
When you think about everything that depression does to your life, you might think how a person suffering from depression can get a job? I am 27 years old, dropped out of college twice and I am still a student. I apply to jobs that will get me nowhere. And it is really difficult to hold on to those jobs. I became a Starbucks barista once. But soon I understood that nobody likes a straight-faced barista.
Other times I had different jobs, I usually got kicked out because of coming to work late every day. I remember being late for 6 hours or more. Another thing is job interviews. Oh man… Talking to a stranger about life and stuff and trying to look enthusiastic when in fact, you don’t really give a damn about their company or the job, you just need money to survive. And not being able to find a decent job for a long time, just increases the effects of depression. You start to live inside your bed. I remember, for seven months I only left my apartment for job interviews, five or six times. Other times I just stay in bed watching tv shows. Believe me, that’s not a good way to live.
Depression and Physical Health
Physically well-being depends on two things in my opinion. Being active and eating healthy. When you don’t leave your bed for days, that’s the exact opposite of being active. When you have your breakfast at 5 pm, that’s the exact opposite of eating healthy. As a result of my metabolism, I never get fat but for others, that may not be the case. Depression may lead to gaining weight and other corresponding health issues. It is easy to point out a person suffering from depression just by looking at his/her posture. We tend to keep our heads down and have no interest in outer world.
In this post, I’ve listed the areas in life that depression may affect. These are my personal experiences and don’t have to be the same for every person. But if you see some of these signs in your life, it’s a good idea to consult an expert.
Of course, there may be other areas that depression may affect, so if you want to add anything to this post, just comment below anonymously.