Depression my Dark Passenger
10 things I didn’t know about my Depression No: 7 shocked me.
Depression in its mildest form, can mean being in low spirits, but at its most severe, major depression (clinical depression) can be life threatening.
There are various forms of depression from Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) to Postnatal depression and of course Manic depression, the old name for Bipolar Disorder. I guess by changing the name it became more acceptable as an illness. But the symptoms remain the same. Shifts in your mood, thinking, energy and behaviour with their highs and lows, which can last for days, weeks or even months if not longer. But depression can arise from any number of problems.
Some symptoms and signs include:
- feeling restless and agitated
- sleeping problems
- feeling tired and lacking energy; doing less and less
- crying a lot
- difficulty remembering things
- feeling low-spirited for much of the time, every day
- losing interest in your sex life. (I never thought this was possible!)
- blaming yourself and feeling unnecessarily guilty about things
- lacking self-confidence and self-esteem
- thinking about suicide
Depression is no respecter of age, race, sex or background and so it can hit anyone of us at any time and without warning. In Ireland, it effects on average 450.000 (roughly one in ten of the population) I was that one in ten! Here’s a thought, if you count ten of your close friends, one of them may very well have depression and you know nothing about it.
The Old Man
Slowly and silently my dark passenger creeps into my life, an unwelcome guest an energy vampire if you will, deliberately sucks the life force from within me. The struggle to get from bed to the breakfast table every morning becomes an increasingly more difficult task, as all I wanted was to stay in bed, everything requires so much mental effort.
The struggle it takes just to awake in the mornings and then that foreboding though, not another day of this. Maybe I won’t awake tomorrow morning, this was a constant though, suicidal tendencies are not uncommon amongst those of us who suffer from depression.
A work place injury to my lower back knocked me for six and then some. Because of the constant pain, I was unable to walk any distance or indeed stand for more than a couple of minutes, this soon took its toll and for the first time in my life, I was aided to the bathroom by a walking stick.
Throughout the day my dark passenger accompanied by my constant pain taunt me endlessly, with little or no rest bite in sight. And yes, perhaps like many out there the thoughts of suicide are ever present, appearing to be the only way out of my misery.
Gone are the pleasures I once enjoyed, even those of a simple nature as listening the morning radio. Watching Bob Ross, the late but great artist create a masterpiece on the telly in front of me. No longer did his soft whispering tones relax me into my day with a cup of coffee, before taking my dog for a walk with a smile on my face. All of this and so much more have vanished. Now I just sit and stare into the abyss, an endless void of meaningless nothingness. I was constantly asking myself, how much more of this can I take, how is it going to end and when?
Depression the Silent Killer, my dark passenger had called and he was playing a deadly game. One I was ill prepared for. Those things I once enjoyed, cooking, baking, dog walking, music, tv shows, reading, all taken away. At the time, I didn’t know if I was depressed or just feeling low because of the constant pain. Apparently, they go hand in hand like best buddies. I sat there often wondering if anyone else had these feeling and if they did, how did they cope? What help was available apart from copious amounts of pain killers.
Help with Depression
Regular exercise has been proven to:
- Reduce Stress.
- Ward off Anxiety and feelings of depression.
- Boost self-esteem.
- Improve sleep.
- It strengthens your immune system.
- It increases energy levels.
- It lowers blood pressure.
- It improves muscle tone and strength.
- It strengthens and builds bones.
- It helps reduce body fat.
- It makes you look fit and healthy.
Regular exercise can and does help with depression, but I couldn’t stand never mind take up walking. So, I sought out a chiropractor who worked wonders with my back pain, but my mood was still very low.
That was until I came across a flyer for a hypnotherapist working not too far away. About eight sessions later my mood lifted and for the first time in months there was light at the end of the tunnel. I was so impressed with the results I then decided to seek training as a hypnotherapist. Since then I have been in the position to help so many people with depression, no matter how it presents itself.
Depression: that was then this is now.