My last blogpost I talked about depression and how I have dealt with it in the past. Lots of people have asked me, what it feels like to me and although it is hard to explain to an outsider, I do have a few easy to explain symptoms.
So I thought, why not write them down and see whether other people suffer from the same…
I think this is one of the easiest to explain symptoms. On good days I can be a ball of electricity. Full of life, energy and fire. I can run around, take care of the kids, socialise and still be working at 11pm to bake bread for the next day. When depression takes over, all this changes dramatically. I can sleep up to 13 hours/day and still feel like a truck has run over me. All I want to do is close my eyes and nod off.
Everything becomes a mountain to climb
I guess this is related to the tiredness. All chores, tasks etc…become a HUGE undertaking. Vaccuuming the house or hanging up laundry. Like I have to actually climb a mountain. I try to do the most important of things and leave the rest for later. When I think of all the jobs and tasks which lay ahead of me this week, it makes me feel sick.
Nightmares and broken sleep
If the tiredness isn’t enough, at night I can’t sleep. It takes forever to fall asleep, because I can’t stop my mind from working. When I do fall asleep, I get horrible nightmares. About loosing my children on holiday, or looking into a mirror and see my face age. When I don’t have nightmares, I lay in my bed shivering and shaking. Like my mind is exploding and all the nastiness wants to come out.
When I am feeling down, I also feel I get oversensitive towards things. Too much noise, too much light. The tv volume has to be turned down to a bare minimum. Music is banned. Musical toys stay in their box. Noise and light really get on my nerves. I can’t stand the kids making too much noise either. Very hard to not go off on the kids when they are playing and having a good time.
These are the four main symptoms I have which I felt I could explain. There are others like the inate feeling of utter loneliness I feel most of the times. But that is harder to explain. How can someone with so many friends and two lovely children feel so alone? I wonder that one myself on a regular basis.
Other symptoms are incapacity of handling stress or feedback, migraines,anxiety attacks,bouts of very low self esteem,intense crying,feeling of not being understood and so on….
The pressures I get from being a single mum make these symptoms return frequently.
You see, depression has a whole array of different ways of manifesting itself. The symptoms I just summed up go for me, but are perhaps not true for another depressed person. When I took anti-depressants I felt so much better, because the symptoms reduced. However, they haven’t taken away the root of the problem.
What that root is…..honestly, I don’t know. Chemical imbalance? Mental imbalance? I hope to find out soon!