Depression Sucks | Real Talk about Mental Illness
Giving you folks a content warning up front. This post is going to talk about depression. Getting real and speaking up. If that’s something potentially triggering to you, read at your own discretion. If you are suffering and need someone to talk to, know you can reach out. Sometimes, just knowing someone is in your corner can make a whole world of difference.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a trained medical professional. If you think you are suffering from depression, talk to your doctor. Find a therapist. Craft a treatment plan with someone who knows your health history. This is simply a description of what my experience feels like and what I do to help myself.
Real Talk, Depression Sucks
If you follow my Instagram, you’ll notice that my captions over the last several weeks have been talking a lot about mental health. For those of you who don’t know, I struggle with anxiety and depression. These often prevent me from going to events, talking to people, getting projects done on time, or even getting out of bed. And we’ve officially reached that time of year where, despite my love of winter, I’m hit with an extra level of the seasonal sads.
So I’ve been giving myself breaks here and there; taking time to rest, enjoying a hot lavender-laced bath, drinking tea, and more. While the problem isn’t fixed, I feel much less like there’s a giant storm cloud over my head constantly.Still, there are mornings where I physically ache because of my mental space. I cannot will myself out of bed. The thought of going out of the apartment is so anxiety-inducing that I’m driven to tears. Even getting on social media can be difficult some days, and that’s where I thrive!
Being an introvert with depression can make things even harder. Friends offer help and company but the energy to see them is too great. The thought people coming over is honestly terrifying on those days. Getting out of bed, putting on fresh underwear, and walking the dogs is all that’s happening sometimes.
“But what does it feel like?”
Sometimes I get asked what it feels like. Depression, while a mental illness, has so many physical manifestations as well. This can range from simple extreme exhaustion to feeling as though one is walking through jello. It can feel like a tension built up, as though i have been working out excessively or simply clenching muscles for hours. It can feel like the moment right before the champagne bottle pops, but constant. It can be the sharp pain from picking at my nails and cuticles. It can feel like treading water for hours at a time.
If you’re in this boat, I want to tell you that it is okay. It’s okay to feel like this, it’s okay to admit these feelings, and it is okay to let yourself feel these feelings. Sometimes the release of a deep cry is honestly what your body needs. Letting it build up can only cause more harm.
Here are some of the ways I deal with my depression
- Taking a hot bath.
- Taking a long hot shower focusing on the act of self care through washing.
- A soap with lavender is perfect for this.
- Letting myself have a day in bed to do nothing.
- Watching terrible sitcoms or fashion documentaries.
- Any recommendations? I love the “group of friends in NYC” trope.
- Getting a cup of tea with a friend
- This is an “only if I have the energy and the place is quiet” method.
- Snuggling my puppies.
- Working on training with my puppies.
- Taking a nap.
- Meditation – I use the Simple Habit meditation app. Learn more in this blog post.
- Doing some gentle yoga. Yoga with Adriene has an amazing flow for depression days.
And that’s only the tip of the iceberg. There are so many ways that, when paired with medical recommendations and techniques, I can begin to combat this battle in my brain.
It’s hard. Depression really sucks. But talking about it can help erase the stigma, help educate people, and help us support each other.