On Depression

"Every man has his secret sorrows which the world knows not; and often times we call a man cold when he is only sad."
- Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

"Depression" is a term that I try to use loosely. In today's society, the concept of depression holds so many different connotations. There are crazy stigmas and ideas attached to the word itself, so using it in everyday conversation is risky. You can be in the middle of a deep conversation with someone, and say "I struggle with occasional depression," and 3 out of 5 times that person is going to think "Yeah, right. Drama queen," or "This person is crazy. Buh-bye." Maybe I'm being a little negative here, but as someone who observes people and their actions more than usual, it is what I have noticed.

The reason this becomes a problem in life, is because SO MANY individuals out there battle some type of depressive tendencies. It's no secret that life can get you down, and sometimes, we just don't have the courage, or even the want, to fight and pull ourselves back into place on solid ground. Everyone handles this differently. Contrary to popular belief, depression doesn't always mean that a person is doubting their life, or wearing all black, or causing themselves bodily harm. In many circumstances, depression is just a sense of overwhelming sadness. It's the type of feeling that makes you want to sit alone in your room, and listen to sad music, and question where you are and where you are going.

Personally, I have dealt with this for the past few years now. When I graduated high school and started college, stress became very prominent in my life. Not only was I worried about taking and passing a full load of classes, I was also constantly worrying about getting enough hours at work to pay my bills, and I was stuck in a relationship that was unfulfilling. Over those years, other upsetting things would pop in and out of my life as well. These things are so small in comparison to what some people go through, but as a "perfectionist" at heart, they weighed heavy on me. I spent a great deal of time alone. I didn't feel like what I was doing was important. I forgot to rely on God. I was depressed.

Since college ended, things have improved greatly. I fought back, and I began to strengthen my faith. I made necessary changes to life. I pulled myself out of my room and went on adventures with my friends. I realized how dear the people in my life are. I opened my eyes to see that life is too stunning to waste in a fog of sorrow...especially when you are sorrowful for things that you simply cannot control.

Do I still deal with depression? Of course. A couple of days out of every month, I feel like I have a giant grey cloud looming over my head. It usually begins with something like a terrible day at work, or a fight with someone I love. As an overthinker, I will dwell on that thing until it makes everything seem negative. Depending on what it is, it may take a few days for me to stop. However, the difference in now and the way I used to be is this: I know that God is always going to bring me through and reveal his purpose. All things will eventually make sense. Even if you're a non-believer, I would say it's safe to bet that there is always a reason to keep fighting.

Do you struggle with depression? Does someone close to you struggle with depression? Don't let yourself take it too lightly. While it is definitely okay to feel sorrow in life, it is not okay to feel it so much that everything around you is impacted negatively. Remember this...your life is too full of opportunity and potential happiness to accept the false idea that you don't deserve to be joyful and at peace. Tell yourself this every single day, particularly the days in which the black clouds are present. Tell your loved ones this too. If we don't believe that, we will waste entirely too much sunshine by sitting alone in our rooms.

Kathy @ Vodka and Soda said...

after i had my daughter, i suffered from severe postpartum depression that was so bad, it spiraled into clinical depression. i was diagnosed with major depressive disorder, high anxiety disorder and mild ocd. i know, right? intense.

after 2 years of treatment (meds + psychotherapy) i'm 100% better but i still have my days when i can feel the blackness creeping in. it's not often and has actually significantly reduced and i firmly believe it's because i workout every day. i feel so amazing after each workout that it's helped keep my mood up.

glad that you've taken the necessary steps to keep it at bay.

Vodka and Soda

Pleas(e) and Carrots said...

What a wonderfully informative post! You are amazing girl :-)

Duh! Danae said...

I love this and love you for sharing it. I personally deal with it and just yesterday was in deep. Sometimes there are just circumstances beyond our control. Thanks again for sharing. And I hope you don't mind but I'm going to borrow the quote for my fb page. :) You rock!

Stephanie said...

I love this post. Depression is a daily struggle for me!

Kelli @She Crab Soup said...

I think it's more normal to struggle with depression from time to time than to not struggle with it.

Last year and for several years before that I was depressed, sure I had times when I would laugh and smile but the depression never stayed away for long.

It took making some big changes in my life as well as realizing happiness doesn't just happen it's something you have to work towards daily to make that depression go away.

I feel a lot better now but there are still days sometimes whole weeks when I'm sad but I couldn't tell you why.

Love this post!

Nadine Lynn said...

I know that this can be a hard subject to write about. Glad you took the right steps towards it. I think everyone can relate at least a little!

Mel's Mom said...

Excellent post! Yes, I too struggle with varying degrees of depression...it runs in my family and I have to be VERY vigilent to recognize the signs.

One thing I've found very beneficial is to work-out regularly, eat well, sleep plenty of hours and just generally take good care of myself.

Often times I think I'm doing fine and maintaining a pretty good grasp on things going 100 mph day to day...but that's pretty much asking for trouble. Knowing your limits (mental, physical, emotional) is so important.

Thanks for taking a deep subject and sheding some light on it.

You continue to be awesome!!

Jaclyn @ Love And Bellinis said...

I struggle with depression for years through college, I was in a horrible relationship, my parent's were divorcing...it just wasn't a positive time in my life. This a great post, thank you for sharing!


A Life Less Traveled said...

Great post. I have suffered from depression in my past and I think many people misunderstand depression.

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