For the last 7 years, I have been struggling with depression and I have been trying to relate various causes to it. Sometimes it is joblessness, sometimes it is lack of money, sometimes feeling the pressure of my loved ones when I am needlessly trying to make everyone happy at the same time, sometimes it is my love life or rather the lack of it, sometimes it is my job pressure, sometimes it is my disagreements with my boss. I have always tried to get over my depression by trying to get out of the situation sometimes by solving the problems and sometimes by running away from the problem. You may think my behaviour as cowardly but I have no choice. I have learnt to live with the idea that it is more important to survive than winning over every problem. Sometimes it is alright to lose. It is only important you don’t lose yourself.
When I first noticed it, I was feeling a little low and it was different from sadness. I was not exactly feeling sad or frustrated. It was rather lack of happiness. I was simply feeling low, had difficulty in motivating myself or finding happiness in things that I loved to do and all these happened absolutely for no reason. I was trying to relate this to various events in my life but this feeling only increased with time. When it all started, I was trying my luck in an entrepreneurial venture and everything was working out well. Everything was so exciting and life was supposed to be good. For some reasons, I was not feeling good.
Around that time, I got a new job which I had applied a few years ago. I was of the hope that a change in environment will help me. Well, things changed but I still felt depressed. I related this to loneliness and made friends there and tried to have fun as much as I can. However, I was still feeling depressed and this time I associated this with work pressure. I was feeling helpless and I had difficulty concentrating in anything.
After 2 years of my job, I got a transfer to a place of my liking. I was feeling better because of my friends. Well, they were not aware of my situation but they somehow managed to keep me happy. One of them was also a great listener and listened carefully to everything I said. I feel sorry for her as I could not be half as good a listener as her. She listened to me without judging.
It was while talking to her that I started realising that I might have depression. I could see that I felt low absolutely for no reason and when people asked me the reason, I look around and blame someone. I feel sorry for them and what they had to go through because of me. It might sound like a cliché but I wish I could go back in time and unhurt the people around me.
While I have been told by many of my loved ones that I will get over it if I start thinking positive and my life is not as bad as many of the people I know. Some say that meditation helps but it helps in surviving those phases but not in preventing it. I find it difficult to make them understand that it is my mind that I am unable to control and it is not much about stress. Stress is just coincidental. It’s a hard truth of life and we all live with it.
I have been often told that it’s nowadays trendy to be in depression. You come across so many people talking about depression that it really needs a careful analysis to identify depression. In light of the many people sharing similar stories, maybe it’s time that we step back and ask questions until we are sure that we have this problem. I am not suggesting that we should not discuss it or take help. Instead, I am saying that we should speak out and discuss it more often. Most of the depression cases can be treated by counselling and only the extreme ones need medication.
For me, it is only one person whom I can tell it openly and telling her helped me speak out my problems to many different people. Some people understand it and some don’t. It really doesn’t matter anymore. The fact that I am able to speak out has helped me feeling better. The frequency of depression attacks has increased over time. I am still trying to figure out the reason but I am learning to cope with it now.
Hope is a good thing and hope only makes me survive depression attacks.
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(*Disclaimer: This is just a first person account and not a medical advice. This blog is written keeping in mind the level of unawareness we have regarding mental health. Depression is a symptom and there is no catch all treatment for it. Each case is different and needs individual case analysis by a professional.)