Depression is a dreadful illness to suffer from. Few people admit to it. Few people understand it. Few people know how to deal with it.
Last month, I participated in the Yamathon. A urban marathon where a team of 3 or 4 have to navigate themselves round the Yamanote train line, taking photographs of the entire team at every station. Our team managed it in 8 1/2 hours, covering a distance of 40.5km. It was a major accomplishment for all of us, for me even more so as only a year ago I was undergoing tests for a possible hip injury, and my knees swelled up after every major practice walk.
Amazingly, I didn’t feel tired the following day, or stiff, or even hungover. (I must confess that the after walk celebration was rather enjoyable, and due to the lack of food consumed that day, quite inebriating!) but then on the Monday it hit me.
I fell into the pit.
I tried to climb out, but it was deep. A few times that day, I managed to get to the surface, but just when I thought I had pulled myself out, back I fell.
I have no reason to be down. I have no hurts from my past that need dealing with. My health is good. My marriage is good. (Though when I’m depressed I don’t think it is!). I have four children who are generally well behaved, polite and well spoken. We have food on the table, the opportunity to explore new countries- I literally have no reason to be depressed.
Like a storm billowing up on the horizon, I can feel it billowing up inside. Most days, I can fight it off. But when I can’t. Life just becomes too much. Nothing is good enough. My poor hubby cannot do anything right. Yet I don’t want to do anything. I don’t have the energy to go out, yet I don’t want to stay at home. I want to be alone, yet all I want to do is talk about how I’m feeling.
Life just becomes too much and all I want to do is run away.
Depression is a self centred illness. When a person is struggling with it, they crave attention, validation, support. Yet, when they are in the pit, they are hard work. It’s understandable why their friends don’t wish to be around them- yet it’s the very time they need their friends.
Being able to talk about stuff, is what I need. (I don’t want to speak for all depression sufferers) Being made to get out- even when I don’t want to. Someone who can put up with my worst- and drag me back to being my best.
Depression is a mental health illness. It isn’t commonly discussed, shared or such like. The stigma is still large. (Japan especially so.) What makes it even more depressing ( excuse the pun!), is that despite it’s stigma, it is very common. According to the Mental Health Foundation, UK, 1 in 4 Brits will suffer from a mental health problem (mainly depression and anxiety) over the course of a year.
Hopefully though, through this post, I can help raise awareness about depression- even if it’s just a little bit.
To lift the curtain of shame, so people can feel comfortable in saying to their friends, family or gp- ‘I really don’t feel like I’m coping. Please help.’