Many people often talk about Depression whether they know what it is or not. So I am going to talk about it in terms of a personal view and what it really is.
So what is depression?
For me, I find it funny that Depression is classed as a mental health condition when it is caused by a physical thing. Depression is caused when your brain stops producing or seriously reduces the production of serotonin. This chemical helps with stabilizing your mood. If you reduce production or stop producing it all together then you can get seriously low and it then has an impact on your physical body. It can cause issues with sleep, serious fatigue, and seriously low and dangerous thoughts such as "I am better off dead".
What is depression for me?
I first started suffering in a noticeable way in 2007 when I knew 6 people in Iraq and Afghanistan who were killed in action. Later that year my grandfather also passed away. I got so low I took a penknife to my hand. This is the most painful type of self-mutilation because there are 17000 touch receptors and nerve endings in your hands.
I have had 13 years since my depression to learn what depression means to me and how to make sure that I can always make sure that I am never that low again.
I have realised that this is what I feel like on a good day:
You see there is a strong person lifting weights. The sun is out and there is a field and trees. There is a small black hole with chains trying to get to me. The chains coming out of the black hole are far off but it is always still there.
What I feel like when I have a bad depression day:
As you can see the black hole is bigger and the chains have collected with me. It is pulling me in. It is encompassing everything. There is no sun, no field, no trees. I feel hopeless like all the light in the world is going to escape and I am running and I am fighting against the chains but they are strong. It is so dark and you think at worst case feeling like just not fighting anymore and letting the blackhole swallow you up.
Personally, I will always fight the black hole no matter how hard it is or how tiring it is. When I self-harmed and I felt that pain I knew that I will never EVER let myself get that bad again. I think by sharing how people feel about this condition, sharing our experience it takes away the stigma just that little bit. When it comes to fighting mental health it is like autism "when you have met one person with depression, you have met one person with depression". Each person experiences it in a different way and it affects them differently. Some people call it that negative force behind you, others call it a darkness it is so individual but is caused by the same thing.
If you are suffering with depression and want someone to talk to, please do not hesitate to comment with your email address and we can talk. Also if you are in crisis find a hotline that you can call. In the UK it is Samaritans I do not know for other countries.
Remember you are not alone, there are many of us in this boat and we can help each other survive.
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