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
Photo by eberhard grossgasteiger on Pexels.com

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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Mental Illness and EXHAUSTION

Personally, I find very little difference between overextending one’s self physically and when one exceeds their tolerances mentally. The end result is the same, exhaustion. when one has a mental illness,


at least my experience with it, it’s rather like setting cardboard on fire with gasoline, the energy it initially produces is very intense, large flames and a lot of heat but is quickly reduced to a pile of ash because all of its energy has been depleted.

Anyone, mental illness or not, who has worked in both physical work environments and ones that require mostly mental processing can tell you that mental exhaustion is more tiring than being physically tired. I have done them both, personally, I’d rather be body tired any day of the week. I believe that being mentally spent is what oftentimes leads to physical injury and impacts how productive one can be.
Those with a mental health condition often tell me how quickly they burn up their mental energy stores; the more symptomatic they are, the faster they seem to arrive at the point where they are running on fumes. We, those with mental illness need help before we reduced to a pile of ash.

Reasons why people with mental illness are easily exhausted

This is vindication for me in a sense because what they describe is very similar to my own experiences with mental illness. An unexpected consequence of this revelation is that it helps me not feel like I’m trying to sleigh this dragon all by myself.

Recommended reading

I tire easily, PTSD can feel like you are running through a battlefield, so much sudden noise and constant stimulations that the heightened startle response is always in the on position. Not only do I have to contend with this, but I am also always on guard for some sort of emergency, part firefighter conditioning, mostly designed so that I can avoid potential death destruction. I don’t think I manage another critical incident.

This tendency to be easily exhausted has been known to exacerbate my depression. I was once so full of energy and could take on the world, I loved being busy. Now with fatigue setting in so much sooner, I feel like a burden and rather useless. I do my best to shake these thoughts from my head and remind myself that I am no different than someone else who is sick. Sick people tend to tire easily.

As I continue down my road to mental wellness I remind myself to cut myself some slack. My life might not be what it used to be but nonetheless, I am still alive and because of this fact, I will get to where I need to be.

So, If this sounds like you, keeping going but rest when you need to, you may not be able to do what you once were able to do, but you can still do great things.



if you are suffering from PTSD or another mental illness, please reach out. I thank you for your service and you are still worthy and mean something. I believe in you!


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You may also enjoy: Slowly Walking My Way To Mental Wellness.


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