I have been depressed for a long time, longer than it is expected to last. A lot has changed in this time, I have gained some things, although few and I have lost a lot. Most of the things or people I have lost is down to my Depression and the effects it has had on me, how it has changed my behaviour, my outlook and my personality.
This is going to be an emotional piece as I talk about how my depression started changing my behaviour in its initial stages and the consequences I had to face for having this disease.
The first thing I remember that changed when I was being taken over by depression was the mood swings I had. I used to be euphoric at times, crying at others and unreasonably angry at few times. Anger was my biggest weakness at this time, I couldn’t control my emotions at that time and lost control over my words as well. Those mood swings cost me some of my closest friends, people, who in their own way, were right to leave me. I don’t hold anything against them, but losing them was a big shock to me, something I found hard to recover from and still struggle with.
That’s how it started, with simple mood swings, something I hadn’t experienced before, something that was new to me as well. It didn’t take long to push me over the edge after that. Slowly I lost control over my thoughts and got pushed further into the pit of depression. There was even a time when I thought I would end up losing my sanity but fortunately it didn’t get so bad and my sanity is something I cherish as a quality within me.
As time went on, I lost the will to stay in contact with my friends and drifted away from them with time as well. I was circling the edges of severe depression and losing my social skills with time. I didn’t talk to anyone neither did I meet anyone, I isolated myself but that is something that was down to my depression and a choice I had made when I was not in the right frame of mind.
19 months on, I seem to have lost my ability to be decisive, to be quick in my thoughts and the ability to concentrate on something that required mental exhaustion. I was able to handle stress brilliantly in the past but as things stand I can’t even handle an ounce of stress without having a breakdown. I am not the same person I was before, not even a shadow of that, depression changed me, presently for the worse.
When I went public with it, I could see how people had changed their behaviour around me, I lost the respect they held for me and this was he case with most of the people I met, not just a few. Mental illnesses are a taboo in my country and it became clear when I went public that I had made a mistake as I lost my respect and dignity in various social circles. I’m being perceived as weak and cowardly. Someone who couldn’t handle what life had to throw at me and instead chose to give up.
I wish I could make people understand what depression is like, that it’s not just something I can handle by myself. It’s not a challenge of life to fight it. It’s a disease. An epidemic and the longer we stay quiet about it, the more people we lose to it.
I have lost a lot of my qualities and people that I couldn’t have imagined to lose, but the thing is I must stay on course to rediscover all the said qualities. To rediscover my mojo and get back into the sunlight, I am not saying it’s going to be easy or that it will be quick but I must keep my will to get better.
I must get better.
There are no other options.