A difficult thing to experience, write about, talk about: depression

Depression isn’t sadness, it’s a feeling that overcomes you and pushes everything else aside. It gobbles up your thoughts and makes you physically ill, fatigued, insomnia prone. In some it can cause agitation, hyperactivity, risk-taking, because the one prevailing thought when the fatigue won’t break, or the adrenaline plateaus, is of despair. Despair in life, and when that becomes overwhelming depression turns to thoughts of suicide. The one thing that sounds pleasing is getting away from the constant thoughts that harp and hover and repeat and repeat endlessly, no matter what you do: you are unworthy of love, you are nothing, life is nothing.

It’s a deadly chorus, and even the most gifted, empathetic, and altruistic can succumb.

As I write this I think of at least seven people who have struggled with clinical depression. Some made it out alive, others didn’t, some still struggle. I’m not well read on the subject, I have no credentials in medicine, but I do know what some of the signs are:

foggy thinking, or an inability to concentrate

erratic sleep patterns

obsessive checking of email, playing of computer games, sharing of files

self-loathing

activity spikes followed by lethargy

self-imposed isolation

loss of appetite

There are lots more, but here’s the thing, when the light goes out in someone’s eyes, reach out. There are as many treatments as there are different types of people. Be a support and make it known you are along for the ride—because the road is love.

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-273-8255
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
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