Mental Health

Depressed State Of Mind

When in a depressed state of mind, it's even more imperative that we take stalk of all that we can extract gratitude from.

I can’t seem to out-run my depressed state of mind.

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As of late, my mind is so full of pain that I can’t write. All I do is stare into the vastness of the white screen, managing only a word or two. Then, I stare some more – just waiting for what usually comes easily to me. But… Nothing.

Why? Well, I am in the grip of a major depressive episode and because of it, my ability to feel is gone, replaced by a wall of PTSD and all its unpleasantries. Numbness, quickly agitated, and lack of sleep. Oh yeah, and let’s not forget that monster of a ‘startle’ response.

A progressively depressed state of mind.

As if all that weren’t enough, I find myself in the middle of my road to mental wellness, just standing there, wondering where the hell I was going – while simultaneously not caring if I move at all. My apparent inability to know where to go is fuelled by a really heavy dose of “I don’t care.” it’s not because I don’t want to. Rather, it’s because I can’t. Simply put, it’s the way it works with a depressed state of mind.

Symptoms of major depressive disorder.

Perhaps what I find most disturbing is the ferocity of this episode. Most troubling is that with every storm-ravaging period of depression, comes more damage, more despair and more intolerance.

They are getting worse, every one of them! It’s so turbulent, I’ve gotten to the point where I am frightened for myself. Nonetheless, somehow, I remain vigilant, albeit with less strength and conviction, but I’m still willing to fight on. As far as I’m concerned, this is a very good sign.

At the same time, I must evaluate the what and the why of my current circumstance. And in order to do that, I need to ask myself these questions. “What factors are driving my episode?” and “Why am I not moving past it?”

In truth, I know why I am left feeling emotionless and scared. Furthermore, the ‘what’ question is also beginning to make itself more clear.

What lies at the core of my intense interior upheaval, is the one thing that always crashes the plane: forgetting that I am ill and I cannot take on the world like I was once able to. Sadly, I have blatantly ignored this fact, and because of it, I am paying a huge price. But damn it, I want to fulfill my purpose and start moving again. Depression and PTSD have a way of reminding me that they are still here, very much alive.

Depressed state of mind
Photo by Vinicius Altava on Pexels.com

Ways to improve symptoms of Depression and PTSD.

And really, I have, for the most part, exceeded my limitations. This, despite that I know my disposition is not compatible with the real world; I guess I need the reminder that I am now a changed man.

So, basically, I have once again tested my tolerance by throwing myself back into the engine of life. I’ve not succeeded, nor have I failed. The way I see it, I have braved it and tried again.

With the release of Lemonade Stand Vol. III, I have understandably been busy. I believe so much in the book that I pushed myself; I mean, a collaborative work of people from the services, telling their story of PTSD, How could I not spread the word?

GO to Lemonade Stand Vol. III to learn more.

So then, it’s my insistence to keep trying, to test my limitations, that gets me into mental peril. That’s the why – I forget about taking care of myself. Consequently, I end up locked in a traumatic and depressed state of mind.

How I got myself over the edge is the ‘what’ part. I have come to learn that it’s exhaustion for one, but more impactful than that is the post-traumatic symptoms colliding with the outside world. The ‘what’ includes busy and crowded areas, sudden noise, people who won’t make good decisions.

“In our toughest of times, it’s even more imperative that we take stalk of all that we can extract gratitude from”.

– Jonathan Arenburg

An example of this is: those who speed. They increase their risk of hurting themselves and others. Their oblivious demeanor is traumatic for me. Because they put others at risk, they, by default potentially put me in a position to witness the tragic outcome. What’s worse, I may be forced to render assistance – which is something I know I can’t do. My autopilot switch has taken one too many hits over the years and like me, it’s worn and non-functional. “How dare they put me in that position?!”

The top causes of highway accidents

Having the distinction of having seen the consequences of speeding, I am taken back to moments where my colleagues and I did what we could to save the occupants. Perhaps most infuriating is the fact that they fail to see that their reckless behaviour requires, in some instances, the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of the emergency service workers, trying to save them from themselves. Frankly, this pisses me off.

Sadly, all these elements make up the wider world, and I have no control over any of it. I don’t want control; rather, I want to live and do so in a more peaceful, more respectful place.

Please, do your best to remember that emotions are cyclic in a sense, so if you are feeling the weight of depression’s despair right now, just know that it WILL subside. It has in the past and will again soon… Hang in there. Your depressed state of mind won’t be like that forever.

20 authors from the military and emergency services tell their story of PTSD.

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