Depression is more than emotion

Depression has more symptoms than emotion

My mood is suffering with this loss of functionality right now. And I am trying to manage this sinking sensation I am having best I can. It is hard when a lot of the things I would do to boost my mood I cannot do. I am reminded that while I am on depression medication I still have depression since it doesn’t just zap it away. And I am reminded the rest is up to me. And I know how it works with me and what I need to pay attention to. So this is a post on what depression symptoms were like for me untreated. More than the emotions, but those emotions… well they had a power I would underestimate by any means.

There simply are more depression symptoms than just emotion

Lack of motivation

I had extensive lack of motivation to do anything. I tried many ways to boost this. One was do the activity for 10 minutes to encourage your brain to get into it. But I couldn’t. I didn’t feel like anything was worth while. Like anything had any appeal or interest. And everyday things exhausted me to think about doing. Finally, I came down to the do 1 thing a day rule.

Insomnia and sleep all day

My insomnia was at its worst. And other times I would sleep the day away and feel immensely guilty about this. I would say I was sick. I would get up before my spouse got home. Anything to hide the fact I Couldn’t get out of bed all day.

Losing weight

I was losing weight and had little appetite. I didn’t even see this as a depression sign, but there you go. It was consistent weight loss.

I had a massively hard time making decisions

I couldn’t make them. I would wait and wait and be paralyzed by them until it was too late to make them. And then I would feel guilty. But I also wouldn’t fight for my rights either. Like when I was kicked off long-term, severely depressed, suicidal ideation, in no way capable of returning to work… I had no fight in me, just sunk deeper. They wear you down. And when you are down you can’t see an out. You literally can’t see a way to fight.

Suicidal ideation

I had suicide attempts but those were on medications with side effects that enhanced my depression. Which is a class I cannot be on now, so my depression treatment is not antidepressants but rather Abilify. But suicidal ideation… that was all me. And I had that a lot. The one thing I value about treatment is that isn’t a factor at all anymore. For which I am grateful.

Fatigue

The fatigue added to my chronic illness fatigue is immense. Not to mention mental fatigue with the lack of concentration and just heaviness of thought. But actual fatigue was draining all the time. It was a constant weight.

Negative thoughts

Negative thoughts came with the intensity of emotion to back them. But I feel that I had little self-worth, a lot of self-blame, a lot of guilt and did a whole lot of catastrophizing while I was at it. I am still working on that self-worth. Working on some self-compassion. Trying not to blame myself for every single thing including my illnesses.

Depression is complex. It is so much more than the weight of the emotions that come with depression. Or the complexity of the negative thoughts that are in those emotions. It is how this shapes our reality, thinking, body, and our being in the world. It impacts our choices, our ability to make choices, our motivation to do things and how we act in our lives. Our whole being is the world is affected. It is complex, I say. And it demands complex solutions. Our therapy. Our own at home homework. Our own mood boosters; those things we do that we know help keep us balanced. Perhaps medication. Or perhaps meditation. Whatever works for the person. For me it was medication and some meditation. Meditation really relaxes me… sorts out the mental noise going on in there. We all have our ways of quieting the noise.

So I know when I am in a slump. I know why I am. And I know what to do about it. I have all the skills for it, now. It is just one of those things… you have to do the homework. Have to work it out. And if I cannot, I know what to do about that too. Always help to find out there. Always a therapy refresher course if you need one.

Other depression posts:

Depression matters: some really, real questions I can answer

Depression: the listless, stagnant ball of motivationless goo

8 Things to consider for depression

 

Suicide Hotline

Canada suicide prevention

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8 comments

  1. Thanks for this post – I think you pin-down a lot of the issues that most people with depression experience. It’s become endemic in Western society, and appears to be becoming exponentially worse. My own view is that this is partly due to our society becoming disconnected from ‘Spirit’, and indoctrinated with a materialist/reductionist belief system that has squeezed out hope and meaning for people. There are many other reasons for people becoming depressed, but I think this is one of the main ones, and not something often discussed. Thank you again for such a thoughtful post…

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  2. I really hate to reply to this as I’m severely depressed. I have no family, no money, no credit, no life, am losing a lot of my teeth (which alone is devastating enough-I’m 56.) My awful Humana Medicare-Medicaid MMAI has decided to stop paying for everything under the sun as they know their customers are too old or disabled to fight back. I’ve been obsessed with dying for 40 years and have treatment-resistant major depression. I have ideation all the time, but I have to do things before I’d get serious about stopping things. (Throwing out stuff/taking my wonderful cat to the humane society/getting my laminated DNR to hang from my neck so they don’t try anything if they ever find me, etc.) I’m hanging on by a thread and my county treatment team has abandoned me. Tomorrow will be 24 years sober and I couldn’t care less. Oh well, I’m not going anywhere for at least 6 months and they are not going to lock me for that. Sorry I can’t be more encouraging to other people. I’ve had fibromyalgia for 25 years after a car accident. Spinal stenosis, DDD, chronic fatigue syndrome, etc. I’ll shut up, no one wants to hear this.

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    1. I am so sorry your depression is treatment resistant. I had troubles because I can’t take antidepressants… they just make me much worse. So they had to go with Abilify or some other med, I chose Abilify because the other one I had been on before and it made me insanely doped up. But I have responded to the Abilify. I know that chronic illness and the isolation that causes makes it so much worse. It just compounds it. Pain compounds it. For a very long time I’d just make up reasons to live… in hopes that some day I would then have a real reason to. It was one of the things I used to trick my brain. It didn’t matter how stupid the reason was I’d use as long as it got me through another day and another day. The one thing that helped me was when the actually began to treat my pain a little bit better so I hope you can get some management there and maybe that will help in other ways. I know it is hard. Depression is a insidious disease and a dark, dark place to live in. And you have lived with it far too long. I hope deeply you find the right therapy for you to at least help survive better.

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