See­ing Signs

De­pres­sion can af­fect any­one!

CLEO (Malaysia) - - NEWS -

Signs I’m get­ting de­pressed again: bouts of un­con­trol­lable cry­ing; loss of ap­petite; sleep­ing way too much; no in­ter­est in so­cial­is­ing; sui­ci­dal thoughts… One night, when I was 15, I opened my door to see my best friend hold­ing an origami rose she’d made for me. I’ve al­ways liked roses, but what would usu­ally bring a smile to my face failed to rouse even the tini­est of grins. “One of those days?” she asked. “Yep,” was all I could re­ply, tears welling in my eyes. Tak­ing my friend’s gift, I didn’t know then what I do now. I suf­fer from de­pres­sion and “one of those days” means hav­ing a de­pres­sive episode. Some­times I’m lucky and they are just that – a day. Some­times it might take me a few to shrug the funk off my shoul­ders and be the joy­ful person I know I am. But when the beast is at its worst, I can wan­der in a slow-mo­tion haze for weeks or months at a time.

Mat­ter Over Mind

Usu­ally there’s a trig­ger: a big change, stress at work or home, a break-up. But some­times I wake up and feel the fog in my mind and heav­i­ness in my bones for no rea­son at all. Those times are the worst be­cause, hang on a sec­ond, I’m pretty sure you have a great life, Jess. Pretty sure you should be jump­ing out of bed to get to work or hang with your pals or take ad­van­tage of all the won­der­ful things the world has to of­fer. But no. Pretty sure de­pres­sion doesn’t care. Be­cause de­pres­sion, like any ill­ness, doesn’t dis­crim­i­nate and any­one is likely to suf­fer from it at some point in their lives. De­spite those sta­tis­tics and de­spite my GP telling me de­pres­sion needs to be treated like any other dis­ease, it’s taken me a long time to ac­cept that what I suf­fer from is an ill­ness and not just a state of mind. For years I thought it was the way I was think­ing that was mak­ing me feel worth­less, help­less or ap­a­thetic and prompted me to do noth­ing more than stare at a blank wall for hours on end. I fig­ured all I had to do was snap out of it, stop think­ing self-dep­re­cat­ing, neg­a­tive, and even sui­ci­dal thoughts and hey, presto, nor­mal­ity would be re­stored.

Feel­ing Low

When I’m de­pressed, no amount of pos­i­tive think­ing makes my blood feel less like lead or turn­ing over in bed akin to run­ning a marathon. A thou­sand happy thoughts can’t erase the one of putting an end to it all. I now credit de­pres­sion to my fam­ily his­tory of men­tal ill­ness, some weird wiring in my brain that I (and the med­i­cal pro­fes­sion, for that mat­ter) don’t fully un­der­stand, and, with no in­tent to blame, my up­bring­ing. Un­der­stand­ing the “why” of the sit­u­a­tion is im­por­tant to an ex­tent, par­tic­u­larly when you’re un­pack­ing your past and its

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