Depression is the most common mental illness. More than 300 million people worldwide suffer from it. Moreover, more than half of them do not even suspect that they are sick, and only 25-30% turn to a psychiatrist for help. In Russia, only recently they began to take this disease seriously. Although depression has been talked about loudly in recent years, the disease is still surrounded by a halo of stereotypes, and many ideas about it have little to do with reality.
The author of Platforma 3/4, Victoria Tornovaya, spoke with a girl who has a confirmed diagnosis of depression, and shared with Happy Worthy Life her story about the symptoms, treatment, and condemnation of others. Victoria’s acquaintance became the heroine of the article, who agreed to honestly tell about her condition in order to let people who find themselves in a similar situation know that they are not alone.
About the onset of the disease and the first disturbing bells
It is difficult to answer the question of why I had depression. As a child, I was active, I loved to play and communicate. She calmly reacted to the fact that my mother and I moved, later I also calmly accepted the divorce of my parents.
The first problems began in adolescence. There was much less money in the family, it was not easy to adapt to the new school, I quarreled with both my mother and her new boyfriend. But it was more a teenage riot than a depression. Yes, I often cried, locked myself in, but many people go through it.
In my student days, my psyche became very mobile. The day before, I could fly with happiness, take on any business, and the next day I did not want to get out of bed, I could not look at myself in the mirror and sobbed almost all day. Active periods were sharply replaced by passive ones, sociability by isolation, and joy by causeless anger. And I could switch from one state to another very easily.
However, I still did not realize that something was wrong with my mental state. It seemed to me that everyone lives like this, you just need to whine less, work more, and then everything will pass. With such thoughts, I graduated from university, then got married, even got divorced. For the first time, I could say out loud the phrase “I am depressed, I need help” I could only a year and a half after the divorce.
About how depression is felt
Depression is different for everyone, and it’s not a fact that my symptoms will be the same as others. But the very way of thinking and the feeling of life, it seems to me, has many similarities.
During depression, it’s very hard for me to think. Any thought takes on a negative connotation and leads to a state of panic. It gets worse at bedtime: there are a lot of thoughts in the head, and one is worse than the other. Sometimes at least a little calm down and finally fall asleep help tears.
The worst part in this state is that you cannot explain what caused it. I well understand that millions of people live worse than me, that many would gladly wave places with me. But to understand and feel are two different things. I can make myself think differently. I’m trying to. Every day I bring myself logical reasons why everything is fine with me. And yet I feel like hell.
I do not want anything. I hardly feel the taste of food. I go shopping only if I know that the cat has run out of food and that there is no bread at home. I have no desire to buy myself anything. There is no desire to receive gifts.
About relationships with loved ones
Due to depression, I do not want to communicate with people. To see and talk with them is flour. I can no longer build myself as a cheerful person, but I do not want to condemn anyone to a helpless state when I understand that you are unable to help. I constantly feel lonely and abandoned, but at the same time I am simply not able to make contact with people.
I’m sick of myself. Now I want to hide in a cocoon, where no one will touch me. Because I feel that I must respond to care, be joyful and at least say something about my condition. But I can not. I’m just running out of words. And the realization that I am hurting loved ones only gives rise to self-hatred.
About diagnosis and psychotherapy
Finding a good specialist is very difficult – it is best to do this through friends. I went to a rather famous psychotherapist from my city.
At the first appointment, the psychotherapist conducted a test. It can also be found online, freely available – it is called the Beck Depression Scale. The test result is not 100% reliable, but at least shows a problem.
Soon the period of severe depression passed. Having decided that I could manage further on my own, I did not go to the second session with a psychotherapist. But six months later, I was covered even more, so after several sleepless nights I contacted a Moscow specialist.
Then we spent 10 hours of psychotherapy: we discussed problems with my parents, relationships, my fears. It got easier. But due to financial problems I had to interrupt.
However, 10 hours is not enough: for the first sustainable results you need to work with a specialist for at least 40 hours. Therefore, now I go to therapy again.
Depression is largely a brain disease. In the head, the connections between the cells are broken, the body ceases to produce substances important to it, and the person “breaks down”. These chemical processes can be stopped with the help of tablets. But only a specialist should pick them up. And you need to immediately prepare for the fact that medications may not work.
From the first drug, I lost sleep and libido, so I had to replace it. Now everything seems to be going well: I can sleep peacefully. I will not say that I became happier, but rather some kind of indifference settled inside. But for me the main thing was to remove the severe form of depression, to get rid of obsessive thoughts.
My mother was categorically against pills because she believed that they were addictive. Often this happens after a long dose, so the tablets are not canceled immediately, gradually reducing the dose. You can’t self-medicate here: otherwise it can only get worse.
How to recognize depression
It was very strange. From the outside it might seem that I had everything: I did not need money, I did not quarrel with anyone, nothing hurt me. But at the same time I cried every day. I could not communicate with people. At some points, I seemed to start to suffocate from a panic, although there was no reason for alarm at all. A close person said that it was time to consult a specialist. If not for his support, I do not know how much more time I would have avoided a therapist.
Depression is very difficult to calculate by external signs. Recently, at a doctor’s appointment, I talked about self-hatred, about a suicide attempt, that I can’t sleep at night. And at some point he interrupted my monologue with the words: “You say such terrible things, but do not look depressed.” And this is a specialist. What can we say about ordinary people!
People around you expect that you will either roar or yell. But in fact, a person in depression can look absolutely calm. Or even too active. I know a few people who are considered the soul of the company, such fun people and ringleaders. And few of their friends guess that this guy has been visiting a psychotherapist for several years, but this girl was miraculously saved after an attempted suicide.
Depression is hard to see. When your leg is broken, it is easy to see on an X-ray. But what to do when it is broken that it is impossible to see? You can’t point to a plaster or a scar and say: “Look, I’m not fooling, I’m really sick.” Because of this, many do not take depression seriously, do not consider it a disease.
Depression is not an autumn melancholy and not an easy attack of longing for a sad song. This is a serious clinical disease that requires the same serious treatment. It can occur even when a person would seem to have no reason. Therefore, many are not in a hurry to go to the doctor, thinking that an incomprehensible state will pass by itself. But constantly feeling bad is not normal, and you cannot put up with it. To ask for help from relatives and specialists is not a shame. After all, often this is the only way to recovery.
Maybe you or your loved ones had to deal with depression? Tell us how you managed to get rid of the disease? What helped
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