Depressed State of Mind

Depressed State Of Mind

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

Before you reading, Depressed State Of Mind, I would like to take a moment to thank everyone who has supported The Road To Mental Wellness, your contributions keep me going….. Thank you! Any donations are greatly appreciated. To donate, please click the donate button below

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, only managing a word or two. Then, I stare some more; just waiting for what usually comes easy 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.

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; whilst simultaneously not caring if I move at all. My apparent inability to know where to go is fuelled by a real 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! 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 dammit, I want to fulfill my purpose and start moving again. Depression and PTSD have away 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, but 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 understandable 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 pearl, 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 crowed 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 demeanour is traumatic for me. Because they put others at risk, thus 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 nonfunctional. “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 obviously, taken back to moments where I and my colleges 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 safe 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, it WILL subside. It has in the past and will again soon… Having in there, you depressed state of mind won’t be like that forever.

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

Order today

If you are struggling please go here for help: Crisis Services Canada

OR

Checkout our Mental Health Resources Page

Contact me on my Facebook page: The Road To Mental Wellness

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If I'm being honest

If I am honest

If I am honest, my old identity was killing me.

Today, I find it imperative that I am honest with all of you, myself included. My confession? Most times, I feel nothing. In fact, I feel so little at times that if it could be measured by a heart monitor, you’d see a flat line. Of course, my affect is not completely dead. I know this because every once in a while, there will be the occasional “beep” representing moments where I feel a moment of happy.

However, there is no device that can accurately display my truth; a truth that mental illness, specifically depression does hold me hostage more often than I’d like. Despite this, I if I am honest with you once more, depression’s mindset is designed to force me into isolation. While this isolation seems like it is of my own accord, it is, truthfully, not. I am being honest because I know in my heart, I would rather live in the sunshine than hide in the darkness; I mean, who wouldn’t. Therefore, I want to confront this demon.

This urge to hide from the world is, without question, PTSD. Oh, how I absolutely loath to see another life lost needlessly. Therefore, it seems safest to avoid all the potentials that lay beyond my front door. It’s pretty heavy stuff.

But it’s more than that. Many people who suffer from trauma, also have major depressive disorder. I am, unfortunately, one of these people. Let me tell ya; the two together make for the perfect mental storm. Their potential to do damage is enormous.

What it’s like having major depressive disorder.

If I am honest with myself, I have to admit, I hate this, I really, really do. However, like many things that have been laid at my feet, I must do what I have to. This includes, whether I like it or not, allowing these two disorders to run their course at times. Especially when super symptomatic.

If I were honest
Photo by Valentin Antonucci on Pexels.com

If all this is new to you, if you have been recently diagnosed, hang in there. Let me tell ya. Honestly, it’s best to accept what lays before you too. Think of it, now that you know, you can research and rebuild a life that accommodates your illnesses.

I know my friend, it feels like you are being robbed of your identity. If you’ve followed a similar path as myself, a massive amount of who you are, was defined by helping others. This personality type is hard to untangle oneself from, but does one really have to? I argue that the answer is no.

Let me give it to you straight

Thankfully, the skills of a helper are fixable and very transferable. Honestly, there are endless ways to make a difference. When I could no longer work because of my mental health conditions, I ultimately decided to tackle it head on and start anew.

Once again, if I am being honest, I had to go through the pain of loosing who I was. I was a firefighter, a health care worker, and that’s all I knew; all I wanted to be. but…. I can’t be those things anymore, ever again…

Finally, after so many years, I have come to terms with my partial loss of identity. If I’m honest about it, I am glad those days are behind me. Why you ask? Well, Simply because what I loved so dearly and identified with so strongly, destroyed me. That by definition would be considered toxic in any other type of scenario, am I right?

The Road To Mental Wellness is made possible in part by readers like you… thank you for your support.

If it’s true that it was toxic for me, then why would I want to go back? Even though I have no clear direction at the moment, I have this: Firstly, I have the opportunity to heal from the life that brought me so much mental pain and secondly; My life is a blank slate and thus, full of opportunity. This is both scary and exciting and as I heal, I will fulfill my passion to help.

With all that said; like the book I co-authored; Lemonade Stand Vol. III, says; “When you’re handed lemons, you make lemonade.” So, that’s exactly what I have set out to do. During these most turbulent times in my life, I am finding the new me. As a helper at my core, I have dedicated my time to helping others by telling my story.

Rebuilding your life when mentally ill.

This blog, The Road To Mental Wellness is now part of the new me; My new identity if you will. From the feedback I have received since starting this venture, I can say that I am achieving the goals I have set out to accomplish. I want to continue to help others whist at the same time, find some therapeutic benefit too. Writing and advocating has been an amazing way to accomplish this.

At the end of the day, we get to choose where we put our energy, even if it’s not as robust and in a way we once knew. So then, how are you going to reclaim your own life? The possibilities really are yours for the exploring.

Check out one of my favourite mental health non-profits, fighting the battle against stigma; Sick Not Weak

If I were honest

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!

Order today

If you are struggling please go here for help: Crisis Services Canada

OR

Checkout our Mental Health Resources Page

Contact me on my Facebook page: The Road To Mental Wellness

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Depression's mindset

Depression’s mindset

Since the world fell to the mercy of the COVID-19 virus, I have been plagued with a low-grade sense of dread; a feeling that I have become all too familiar with over the years; my life has been held hostage by depression for as long as I can remember. To make matters worse, my mind has been hijacked by depression’s mindset.

Ways to cope though COVID-19:

Depression’s mindset

Over the years, I have learned that each mental illness has its own language; an interior dialect that can dictate how far down the rabbit hole I go. For example; when my anxiety disorder is speaking the loudest, it does so after it incorrectly accesses the environment I am in. When my anxiety is high, it will tell me that no one likes me.

Of course, this conclusion can’t really be true, can it? In reality, there’s no evidence of that. Similarly, depressive talk is responsible for brewing a deep sense of sadness within me. While this is somewhat obvious when we think about depression, its how my mind gets there that’s important.

Depression’s mindset is born out of the chatter in our heads.

In short, I am held captive by depression when I am experiencing the absence of something that gives me meaning or that I hold dearly; like friends and family. When denied, I find it difficult to defend my rational self; the sorrow just becomes too much.

How to find meaning in your life.

When this great brain invader speaks, my energy dwindles and I isolate myself. Pretty powerful right? So powerful in fact that it takes me out. Normally, I am a person with high energy and loads of passion. Sadly, but when the darkness settles over me, I am forced to retreat to my bedroom; mainly because of a few reoccurring lines bouncing around in my head.

Depression’s mindset

So then, what are these few dominating sentences that form depression’s mindset? Since my biggest passion in life is the love I have for family and friends, I tend to ruminate on them when I am experiencing a depressive episode.

What gets me down or exacerbates my lows is constantly thinking about their absence. Moreover, I tend to get angry at the fact that few of those I care for reach out. Although I understand that this is not done to be malicious, it nonetheless makes my isolation all the more difficult.

I mean, what the hell are we so busy doing?

What fuels the flames of this anger is this line; How can people not want to reach out when they care for someone? Sure, you may think about them often but that does little for those who care for you. I’m reminded of the old saying; “deeds not words.” Oneway relationships really cut and make you feel like you’re the only one trying.

Furthermore, my depressive voice only makes the dark even darker when I find myself saying; “It’s silly for people to use the excuse that they are too busy to call, go for coffee or stop in. To me, there’s no greater feeling then when someone whom you love calls and takes the initiative.

Want to hear other’s talk about their mental health journies? Then A New Dawn podcast is what you are looking for.

Sadly, this rarely happens. When I am well, it still bothers me but I manage it well; when held captive by depression’s mindset, it makes me want to sever ties with everyone. After all, why should I be the only one making the effort? Truly, does being “too busy” really trump the company of someone you care for? I mean, what the hell are we so busy doing? Binge-watching Netflix, playing video games and constantly staring at our phones? In my mind’s eye, we aren’t busy so much as we, just don’t “feel” like it.

you just might save a life

Equally sad, is that this “too busy” phenomenon has, at some point been normalized and for the life of me, I can’t figure out how we justify deprioritizing those who matter the most.

Finally, I remain hopeful that this unprecedented health crisis will help us to realine our priorities; to show us that we must make time for our loved ones; thereby cultivating our very real survival need for connection.

So, if you wish to quell your anxiety, fear and depression, put down that device, pause Netflix and whatever else you are doing and just reach out. You never know, you just might save a life.

In crisis? Call 1.833.456.4566 | Text 45645 (Crisis Services Canada) Crisis Services Canada

Want to help make my book a reality? Donate here: GoFundMe

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To look forward is to look into your past.
The Way I Deal with Pain
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This could be the key to moving forward. Let your passion be …

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