When depression speaks

When Depression Speaks

It really sucks when depression speaks.

Humans are a wonderfully diverse species. All one needs to do to see this is to take a look at the numbers of different languages we speak. We are so diverse, in fact, that as of 2009, there were 6,909 on earth; (Linguistic Society of America)(1). Similarly, Major depressive disorder also seems to have its own language. If this is true, what does it sound like when depression speaks?

Of course, it doesn’t truly speak, but what it does do is hijack one’s positivity and replace it with its own repertoire. This hostile takeover makes you hate the things you love by nattering in your mind’s ear; and we humans, if we hear a lie long enough, it starts to become truth. Amazing how our own brains can take something it knows to be true, turn on its head and make us accept a lie as truth.

Indeed, our interior script gets written in the style it’s either trained in or what it’s pre-programmed software has written, genetics. More likely, it’s a combination of these two.

Genetic factors in depression

So, when depression speaks, it’s often in a discouraging tone. For example, it will take you out of your entire routine. Saying things like, “Nah, I’m not going for my morning run today.” or “F#$% it, I don’t feel like cleaning out my car.” For many of us, this negative speak can land us in bed for the day; for some, even longer.

In my own experience, when overtaken by depression’s gift to gab, I find that besides being talked out of all that is good for me, I am completely exhausted; drained by constantly trying to fight back against its powers.

When depression speaks
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Under these circumstances, I find it difficult to rally against depression. I find it so hard because often I don’t realize that I am not my regular, positive self. It’s not always possible to be self-aware and therein lays the problem. Ultimately, depression will win the day with its brand of speak. I say let it! If for whatever reason it slips past my defences, I relent and let it have that day.

If there’s one thing I’ve learned, its this;

  1. Give yourself permission to rest but set a limit. E.g. a day.
  2. Seek out and or continue to seek therapy.
  3. There’s no shame in your mental pain.
  4. Finally, get your ass moving again.

Why not read Anxiety And Depression.

Once you have taken the time to weather the storm, get back to living. Don’t allow depresson’s sneaky one liners to take command of you for long periods. I, for example, will force myself out for coffee or I will find a quiet trail.

So, what does getting moving again look like for me? Well, simply put, at a turtle’s pace at times, whist others, I can hit the ground running. Personally, I gauge it on the amount of residual brain fog and exhaustion I feel.

Effective ways to manage depression

With that said, if I make it as far as the couch, it’s a success; likewise, if I get up and feel well enough to hit the gym, it too is a success. The important thing here? I tell myself and now truly believe that they are of equal success. I’m tired of feeling bad for feeling bad, no more. It really is ok not to be ok. You got this!

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Checkout the book I helped to write:

Lemonade Stand: Vol. III 

Created by Josh Rivedal and Kathleen Myre, Lemonade Stand: Vol. III is a compilation of 20 stories from those who have served in the emergency services and the military.  In it, the authors talk about their battles with PTSD, a debilitating and for many, a life-long mental illness.  So, if you are from the military or emergency service’s, perhaps this book can help you combat the feelings of isolation and fear that frequently comes with post-traumatic stress disorder. Sometimes, just knowing that there are others out there, just like you, can provide you with the strength and courage to speak up and or get the help you need. The intention of this book is to help with that…. You’re not alone.

Also, Lemonade Stand: Vol III was written to help combat the stigma that often accompanies mental illness, best of all, it attempts to give all you served their countries and communities a voice… Which is amazing!

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When the fog rolls in

When The Fog Rolls In

If you happen to be in touch with your mental illness(s), you know when a storm is brewing. A mental health storm, at least from my experience, has a certain familiarity to them. You just know when the fog rolls in that it may decide to hold you captive.

In my case, I can tell you exactly when my PTSD has acquired enough strength to highjack my wellness. While it may be true that I am often oblivious to the cause, even still, I attribute its source to a forgotten nightmare. Why? Because its symptoms often set in after I wake.

It is under these circumstances when I feel it’s often too late to prevent a full-blown traumatic episode.

All I do know is that when the fog rolls in, its near impossible to mount a defence. This of course, isn’t every time but when it’s especially thick, often, my only option is to hunker down and wait it out.

Not surprisingly, my major PTSD episodes start out with a consistent feeling. A feeling of dread that lingers off in the distance when I first wake. I find it very similar to when I was staring face to face with a traumatic incident; leading me to believe that something dreadful followed me back into this reality.

Full list of PTSD symptoms.

It is for this reason that I feel forgotten nightmares are responsible. I have reached this conclusion because more often than not, it comes for me in my slumber.

It is under these circumstances when I feel it’s often too late to prevent a full-blown traumatic episode; as the fog rolls in, no amount of mindfulness can fight it off. Similarly, I find any other form of therapy ineffective.

Want to read the perspective of another mental health blogger? Go to Encourage Green

Needless to say, trying to navigate my way through this heavy brain fog is difficult at best and completely impossible at worst. Ironically, it’s the symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder themselves that are to blame.

Need help? check out our mental health resources page here

With these symptoms, there seems to be a sequence to them. They are as follows:

  1. A deep sense of dread upon awakening (whether I remember the nightmare or not).
  2. Level 10 brain fog.
  3. An increase of my fight, flight or freeze response.
  4. Thus, turning up the dial of my startle response.
  5. Easily irritated or angered.
  6. Find everything overwhelming.
When the fog rolls in

So, if you were to ask me which PTSD symptom is the most difficult, I would say, in short, all of them. However, with that said, being easily overwhelmed and the inherent startle response, is, without a doubt the ones that put me out of commission.

So, what’s the remedy?

The only thing I can offer in the way of advice if you go through something similar is to do nothing. Moreover, learn to be ok with that.

Despite what we think, we are human, not superhuman and because of that, we must learn to understand PTSD, depression, anxiety and many other mental health conditions are going to win a battle every now and then; that my friend is a fact.

Ask yourself this; Can I have a day here and there to just ride the wave? I’m happy to say that it works for me and it too can work for you. In my case, It’s effective because I feel zero guilt and not an ounce of shame. I’m sick and I’m done pretending otherwise.

Ways to be self-compassionate

I truly hope that the next time the fog rolls in that you will be kind to yourself. The storm will pass and as long as you’re not running away from it every day; riding it out can be the best thing for your mental health.

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I need to keep trying

I Need To Keep Trying

So here I am, finding myself starting yet another medication. Although this is but one of many I have willingly subjected myself to, I need to keep trying. I am hopeful that the chemical compound contained within the latest capsule will bring me some relief.

At this juncture, I have lost count of how many pharmaceuticals I have tried; all I know is that they have all proven to be ineffective. With each failed attempt comes a feeling of disappointment, but despite that, I must carry on.

If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again.

Now, on this latest round, one I just started two days ago; I can say that my chemistry handles the initial stages of a new med pretty well the same. These new meds, sedate me and immerse my mind in a thick blanket of brain fog.

Medications used to treat mental illness.

Normally, I find the initial introduction quite debilitating and difficult to deal with; because I feel useless and like and even bigger burden to my loved ones. However, I remind myself that it is meant to quell the depression and PTSD so that I may return amongst the living.

I Need To Keep Trying

You may be asking yourself why I put myself through one failed attempt after another? Well, I remember what it was like to be functional enough to enjoy life on a more consistent scale. Since losing the long battle with the post-traumatic symptoms, I have not been able to do so.

Also, I have a bit of built-in stubborn streak that I have had with me all my life so as long as I’m alive I plan to win the war. When you think about it, no matter how bad things get, as long as you are alive, you have the opportunity to get better.

Want to hear more stories from people like you? Go to A New Dawn Podcast

So, with that said, I shall overcome this medication hurtle and hope for the best. You know what they say; If at first, you don’t succeed, try, try again.

Please, if you feel like giving up, don’t. I do understand the feeling of; “what’s the point” but the truth is, there’s always a reason to keep fighting. Do what it takes to beat your mental illness. in the moment and one pill at a time.

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