“When you’re surrounded by all these people, it can be lonelier than when you’re by yourself. You can be in a huge crowd, but if you don’t feel like you can trust anyone or talk to anybody, you feel like you’re really alone.”
• • • •
When I think about it, I remember the empty void that was left after it had sucked out everything inside of me. I’m invariably reminded of The Never Ending Story, with its antagonist, known as “The Nothing.”
You can’t help but feel alone.
As if there’s nobody out there who can possibly understand what you are feeling.
It’s a cold-hearted bitch, depression.
According to medical experts, there are six types of depression: major depression, atypical depression, dysthymia, portpartum depression, premenstrual dysphoric disorder, and seasonal affective disorder. Depression with mania is known as bipolar disorder or manic depression.
I was burdened with the high risk of having a disorder of some kind. My mother can be manic and my Dad is diagnosed as manic depressive, or bipolar. Ultimately, it was my introversion, high sensitivity, and the emotional hell of middle school, that had brought all of it out of me. I became extremely anxious as well, that—combined with the constant alcohol intake—I had developed another one of my Dad’s ailments: High blood pressure.
I wasn’t diagnosed until age 19, but the anxious feelings and initial stages of depression began around age 13.
Weed helped a lot. But it was solely a temporary fix for a Never Ending Story of depression.
Depression cannot be defined as being “down in the dumps,” nor a mere feeling of sadness. Like drug addiction, if you’ve never experienced it, it’s almost impossible to understand.
Others cannot conceive the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness, and loneliness one goes through. Most of all, the emptiness.
Depressed, I don’t want to see anyone. I lie in the bedroom with the curtains drawn and the nothingness washes over me like a sluggish wave.
That’s the best way to describe depression. Whatever is happening to me is my own fault. I’m convinced I have done something wrong, something so huge I can’t even see it, something that’s drowning me. That, and believing I am inadequate and stupid, without worth. I might as well be dead.
When depressed, I am always finding faults in things and people that used to make me happy.
I also tend to focus on small issues that are inconsequential and sometimes greatly disturbing. I can never see the big picture of things.
In turn, I get frustrated at those stupid things, as well as every thing else in my every day life. It can be as small as finding nothing interesting on television.
I’ve worked hard trying to defeat the constant depressed state I live in. What worked was eating well—barely any sugar—exercising, working out, and sleeping regularly. It’s doing something physical everyday. Just going outside and letting the sun’s rays beam down on pale skin will heat you into a better mood.
But the two greatest things that helped were discovering a passion for writing, then pursuing it everyday, and sharing my story with others. Writing and sharing, or speaking to other depressed people, gave me a reason to live.
Find something you are passionate about, and pursue it. Then, write down your story. Write down everything. Writing is so soothing and extremely therapeutic. I believe everyone would benefit from writing.
With that, I’ve done a number on my depression, sometimes feeling as if it’s gone.
But it still lingers. It think it might always be there, being hereditary. I can feel it’s icy breath blowing on the back of my psyche. Being a Never Ending reminder that it’s still there…
If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather. Be there for them when they come through the other side
It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest, and best things you will ever do.
Having untreated depression can put your life on hold for months, if not years. Major depressive disorder can also lead to thoughts of suicide.
If you need to talk, please feel free to call me anytime, day or night. I’m always awake.
To talk to someone with a stupid and unnecessary license,
Call: (512) 898-9362
Psychiatry & Psychotherapy Partners Austin Donald J. Garcia, Jr., MD, PA
*He’s my therapist. *