This is kind of part 2 to My OCD Story blog post but this time talking about my experience of depression and what it feels like. I think depression is one of those things until you’ve felt it, it’s really hard to understand what it feels like and how bad it feels. Now I’ve experienced it and gone through it myself, I look back at times I’ve been upset and down and I can see a real difference to normal sadness everyone experiences in their life and depression. Its possibly one of the if not the worst feelings I’ve ever experienced. It’s so hard to explain what it feels like because there is so many feelings and thoughts that go along with the depression, but I’m going to try my hardest to explain what it was like for me.
If you’ve read My OCD Story blog post which I have linked above, you will know I have had bits of OCD all my life. It wasn’t until I was about 16 when my OCD was worse than it ever had been, I noticed a dramatic change in my mood. When I was at school and had friends around me I felt a bit better, I was already missing a lot of school because it took me so long to get ready and out the door due to my OCD. On top of that I wasn’t the best behaved at school, I was put on a special time-table and I was only allowed into school for 3 hours a day. This only isolated me more and I seemed to drift further and further away from my friends, I no longer felt confident and I felt very alone at times. As I went on to finish my GCSE’S and leave school I became more and more isolated, I couldn’t be bothered to meet people, I couldn’t be bothered to get ready to go out, it took me too long, again because of my OCD.
As I spent less time with friends and I no longer had school to occupy me I just felt like there was a huge weight on my shoulders weighing me down, my whole body felt heavy, I no longer saw the point in anything. I hated the way I had become, if someone asked me to go out somewhere or meet me I would instantly try to think of an excuse so I didn’t have to go. Not because I didn’t want too as such, I just couldn’t. Which is what I think people struggle to understand, how you know staying in and doing nothing isn’t helping you, yet you still can’t bring yourself to get up and do something about it. The times I did force myself to go out, I felt spaced out and like I was constantly thinking ‘I want to go home’.
I think I was depressed a long time before I was actually diagnosed with it and put on tablets. I think its one of those things you’re not sure if what your feeling is bad enough to be classed as depression, eventually when I went to the psychologist and told them how I was feeling, I done a questionnaire and was told I had moderate to severe depression. It was kind of nice putting a name to how I was feeling, but I think when you get a diagnoses for a mental health problem you think knowing that, and being put on tablets is going to be some sort of miracle cure and everything will be ok soon. But it’s not.
When you have depression I think you either feel a million emotions at once, or nothing at all just emptiness and I don’t know which is worse. At times you feel so much hurt yet you also feel emotionless like you just want to give up. I think it feels like there’s a black cloud over your head permanently that no sunny weather could break through, sometimes you feel like you could cry forever and others you feel like you want to cry but can’t. It sucks so much confidence out of you and leaves you feeling a lot of hate for yourself, its frustrating because no matter what anyone says you can’t get rid of this feeling.
I remember not having a job and doing nothing to help around the house, pretty much leaving my mum to do everything by herself. It was upsetting knowing she was struggling so much, yet I just couldn’t bring myself to get up and do things. I would just wake up sit on the sofa in my pyjamas and not move unless it was to eat or go to the toilet. This was my day until about 5.30pm at night, sometimes later waiting for mum to get home, when she would eventually make me get up and shower. I would put it off for as long as I could, something as simple as showering felt like a marathon. I felt so annoyed at myself I would and still do think to myself ‘Why can’t I just do it, maybe I’m just lazy?’ ‘Everyone else goes to work even if they don’t want too, why can’t I?’ I felt like I was just lazy and no one understood.
All sorts of thoughts cross your mind when you hit rock bottom, ‘What is the point in life?’ ‘People would be better off without me, ‘I’m a burden’ etc and at times you feel like you would do anything to get rid of that feeling. I’m not going to lie, suicide crossed my mind, but I didn’t want to die, I just wanted the feelings to stop and my OCD to give me break for one second. I did self harm a few times during this time, I don’t know why, I think you hear of people doing it when there down and think maybe it will make me feel better or release all these feelings. It was also a way of visually expressing how much pain I was in on the inside without having to try explain it with words. I never really found it much help, at times I think it was a cry for help, not in an attention seeking way as most of the time I kept my arms covered. I was just so lost and confused with myself at the time. I feel like sometimes you hear and see things in films, Tv and on social media such as Tumblr, and you don’t think are worthy of classing yourself as depressed until you’ve done something self-destructive, because you feel like maybe your just overacting and being a drama queen.
I’m 20 now and I wouldn’t say I am fully over my depression, but I am a lot better than I was, now feeling like I am coming out the other side. I can feel and notice the extreme difference in the way I feel to when I was depressed. I just feel like my mind is so much clearer, like the sun has started to shine through the black cloud that’s followed me around for so long. My body doesn’t feel as heavy and the negative emotions don’t last so long, I have better days than bad. I still have to fight hard to motivate myself and I still don’t have a job yet and I don’t have much of a social life any more but I am doing much better.
So it is true what they say ‘it gets better’ and to anyone who feels like there is no hope and they want to give up, it can and will get better, just be patient. I remember when people would say ‘You will be okay, it will get better soon’ and I’d sit there thinking ‘yeah ok, I’ve been waiting 4 years or more now for it to get better, you obviously don’t understand’. I am telling you I do understand, its horrible but if I can keep fighting so can you, it may not feel like it, but you can. No matter how many times you pick yourself up for it all to come crashing down and get bad again, keep going, good days will become more frequent and bad days will become less.
If anyone of you reading this ever needs someone to talk to, message me on my Facebook page, Twitter or Tumblr and I will try my hardest to help. They are all linked on this blog page and to anyone who doesn’t understand depression, I hope this helps you understand it better!