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Getting Back Up After You Fall & Healing from Depression

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“The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem.” ~Theodore Rubin

Growing up I was a thoughtful and happy kid—carefree, easy going, not afraid to make mistakes and take on challenges.

Just before I turned 13, my parents moved our family halfway across the world where we knew no one.

I adjusted well, made friends, and felt content and successful in my pursuit of whatever I decided was worth pursuing. I was strong and confident. I worked hard, laughed easily and often, and felt as if I had the good life all figured out.

Then shortly after I turned twenty-five a severe depressive episode hit me like a ton of bricks. Looking back, I can see how it came about, how several traumatic events stacked upon themselves until I finally collapsed under their weight, but at the time I felt annihilated, ploughed over, and destroyed virtually overnight.

I spent the next nine months steeped in profound physical, emotional, and mental anguish.

The shame was the worst part.

Despite years of evidence to the contrary, when I couldn’t get myself off the couch for months, when I couldn’t enjoy any activity, and when I couldn’t smile genuinely at anyone or anything, I truly thought that this was my actual self, my real personality—that I was boring, unmotivated, useless, a loser, an anomaly; that I was weak, and that all of this was my fault.

Essentially, depression lies to you—about everything. And when you are used to trusting your thoughts and being self assured and confident, it takes a long time to realize that the torrent of negativity in your brain may not be an accurate representation of reality.

It’s hard not to trust your thoughts and it’s hard to sit and mull over what is true and what isn’t, but it’s an important exercise, even you only do it in small doses at first.

There is a light in you that never goes out.

Even through the worst of it, there was a tiny sliver of me that knew that something was wrong, that I needed to deal with this, that this was unhealthy and that this wasn’t me.

And that minuscule grain of clarity is what kept me up researching what I was going through, hatching plans, seeking advice, and gaining traction. I had to nourish that voice bit by bit, and I went days without hearing it, but it was always there.

Controlling my environment was essential to making progress. Below are the five most prominent lessons I have learned thus far:

1. Accept what is happening.

Acceptance is not surrender; it is simply the opposite of refusal. It is true that admitting you have a problem is the first step in making a change. The energy you expend violently opposing the possibility that you are depressed is energy better spent seeking a solution to that possibility.

Acceptance is difficult, especially in a world where depression is still a dirty word. But it is crucial.

2. Disengage from those who make you feel worse.

While no one can fix your struggle for you, those that can’t be helpful are likely to be hurtful. When I was in the thick of my rock bottom, I was in a relationship with a person who could not and would not understand me. When that relationship ended, a huge weight was lifted off my shoulders—the weight of his anxiety, the weight of his expectations and anticipation.

The break up was painful, but the benefit of having him out of my life could not be denied. I felt lighter; I felt like I could take things at my own pace without someone hovering around, waiting for me to return to my absolutely most awesome self. And having the space to do things on my own timeline has made doing them so much easier.

3. Talk to your people.

For most of my life I took pride in doing things myself, and while I never had a problem offering help, I had trouble asking for it.

When I finally mustered up the courage to start talking about what I was going though, I couldn’t stop. And I was surprised at the reception all that talking got.

My friends and family didn’t tell me to shut up and get over it; they didn’t scold me for burdening them with my problems. They listened patiently, encouraged me to get it all out, and a brave few even shared similar struggles with me.

It was so freeing, so loving. And it made it easier to see that my experience was just another life challenge, not some deeply-seated, irreversible character flaw. I cannot emphasize enough the value of having blisteringly honest conversations with those you trust. They are medicine for the soul.

4. Know when to get professional help and don’t be afraid to do it.

My attitude toward therapy used to be “That’s nice, but it’s not for me.”

It took awhile to realize that this was nothing but fear of the unknown steeped in judgment—judgment that therapy was for the weak, and that being weak was unacceptable; fear of what was out there, what was possible.

Long before I dipped my toes into the professional counselling pool myself, I came to see that speaking to someone about your darkest troubles is courage exemplified.

Many people never get to that point of cognition and spend years going around in the vortex of their own mind, trying to figure out what’s “wrong” with them. Sometimes it takes a professional to bust through that wall—so what?

We don’t think twice of seeing a family doctor for a sore throat or a physiotherapist for an aching ankle. Don’t spend too much time agonizing about the fact that you might need to see a therapist. Just do it, trust me.

5. Treat your body well.

I hated this piece of advice when I came across it on a daily basis in my quest to dig myself out of my mental hellhole. But the reason it’s out there so much is because it’s a fundamental must.

A malnourished body cannot power your mind well. Will running cure your depression? Doubtful. But exercising and eating well is like proper car maintenance. You can get away with not doing it for a while, but soon enough the consequences of prolonged neglect will catch up with you.

And you don’t have to turn into a gym rat overnight. In fact, I encourage you to take the smallest baby steps you can muster.

I went through many rounds of different workouts, different meal plans, different vitamins and I do not count any of that effort as time wasted. They were all building blocks, trials and errors to get me to a place where I can feed myself well and exercise on a consistent enough schedule without much effort.

Time is not running out; take as much of it as you need to get yourself to this point. It’s a process.

Lastly, as impossible as it may seem, know that such turbulence in life does eventually lead to a greater appreciation and understanding of things. Money couldn’t buy the emotional depth I’ve gained over the last year, and if I had the option of wiping all I went through from my memory, I wouldn’t.

I know what it’s like to be in the thick of things. I know it’s almost indescribable. It’s abstract and painful and heavy, and every other adjective in existence. But you must know that you will get through it. Chipping away, bit-by-bit, inching forward at a pace that’s fast enough for you, you’ll figure it out.

Photo by YJ Jeon

About Elena Sabourova

Hailing from Eastern lands, Elena Sabourova is a writer, bellydancer and persistent thrill seeker who loves supporting green initiatives, local businesses and anything or anyone seeking to bring more goodness, silliness and understanding into the world. Check out her blog and follow her on Twitter and Facebook if you like what you see.

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  • Fiona C

    Excellent. All the best advice for anyone suffering with any kind of hardship and depression.
    Thanks for your words of wisdom

  • What an excellent quote. Thanks for sharing your thoughts…

  • Lori your wonderful :)…

  • lv2terp

    This post is really great! 🙂 Thank you for your vulnerability in telling your story, and sharing such beautiful, wise advice on this subject that is still quite ignored, swept under the rug, and undervalued as valid. Very courageous and I know many people will be inspired, and benefit from this. I sent this to a friend that suffers as well, so thank you! 🙂 It is more meaningful, and helpful I am sure from someone with similar experiences!

  • Buddha’d

    What quote, bro?

  • Hi Metz,

    I didn’t actually write this post. But thank you. =)

    Lori

  • Rayb0rn

    Its difficult cutting off or disengaging with those who make you feel worse when they happen to be your family. When your family fail to understand depresssion however you try to explain it and return quickly to emotional and hierarchical blackmail to make sure their lives run smoothly even at the cost of your health its crippling. Even more so when you are the youngest and condemned for standing up for yourself whilst all of your support network has married and moved on.

  • Thanks for sharing your story, Elena. The points you make about acceptance and managing depression are spot on.

  • jennay

    authentic and full of clarity… right now i am going through the struggle of acceptance and taking the first steps of creating a healthier foundation. thanks for your kind words!

  • Guest

    As the ex-boyfriend of a girl I love dearly who is going through something similar, I feel bad for the guy you left. I could have and certainly was trying my hardest to understand and be a positive influence on what was going on with her. I was as patient as anyone could have been and asked very little of her because I understand how hard it is. I spent nights researching and reading about depression to try and understand. But ultimately she felt the same way you did, she needed to leave me in order to sort out her problems.

    I truly hope she does as you did and finds her way out of the hole. I’m trying my hardest not to wait around because who knows how long it will take or if she would still want the same things when she does get through it. I haven’t talked with her in over 5 months so I can heal and do my best to move on and let her have her space to figure her life how. I can only hope she reaches out to me in the future.

  • Hey Rayburn I feel for you, as I had similar difficulties. I think when your family is involved you simply cannot run from or cut off your issues. However, what I have learned from years of experience is that we cannot expect family to be our source of nurturing. If something happens to your family, what would you do? You would have to find the strength and maturity to nurture yourself. .

    Those people who have families that are understanding and nurturing – you are very blessed. However, if your family isn’t – you are also blessed, because you have an opportunity to go even deeper in yourself and learn how to nurture yourself. I know this might go against what a lot of people believe, but it is what has worked for me.

    I have learned that I have to nurture myself before anyone else can. My family – I just accept them as they are, understanding they are not here to make me feel better. Only I can achieve that. I can now sit with my family and enjoy them, without expecting them to act a certain way toward me. The funny thing is as soon as I started doing this, their actions towards me changed. They are much more caring and nurturing, even though I don’t expect that.

    I hope it all works out for you. Those of us with families that are “different” have a unique opportunity to grow and evolve even further than we ever believed.

  • I am really glad you touched on such a touchy subject! I agree, depression is thought of as a dirty word. I personally tried to deny it as well, which only made things twenty times worse. We have to be honest with ourselves, or we will never change.

    life comes in waves, sometimes we are up and sometimes we are down. If we try to resist these waves we will cause nothing but turmoil and storms. But, if we accept and flow with the waves, we will come out calm and peaceful just like we always have.

  • Littleone

    Ahhh this post is exactly what I needed to see today.
    Being 25 myself,
    and having been struggling in and out of depression for the past… little bit,
    your words and gentle reminders serve me well.
    Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  • Lafleche Bourgeault

    Thank you so much Elena for sharing your experience with depression. It resonates deeply with me & you articulated so well the stigma & feelings of inadequacy. After reaching my lowest low seeking suicide, for the mercy & love of my kids, I reached out for help. My emotional pain was overwhelming. I’m in my 6th month of therapy & have learned cognitive tools to mood regulate, relapse prevention, adjust distorted thoughts, build self esteem, & the value in self care. This depression does not define who I am, rather an intense life challenge that, with strength & courage, will allow me to grow with deeper comprehension of the human psyche & compassion for others as well. My journey is far from over, but I have hope & I will persevere through this storm.

  • Elena Sabourova

    Hi there,

    First of all, on behalf of all people struggling with depression, thank you for trying to be an understanding and helpful partner. A friend of mine recently shared that her partner revealed his own struggle to her and her response nearly made me cry – she was supportive, understanding and kind.

    When I finally gathered enough strength to admit what I was going through to my ex boyfriend his response was “Well I can’t be depressed right now!” Unfortunately I was still so deeply steeped in shame and guilt that I didn’t recognize this as inappropriate. I didn’t leave him, I couldn’t fathom the idea as I thought I was already putting him through such turmoil by being depressed in the first place that I couldn’t break his heart on top of it. No, he left me. His method of dealing with what I was going through was to pretend it wasn’t happening. I’m certain he had his reasons.

    I further disengaged from anyone whose worldview included not seeing depression as “real”, telling me to just snap out of it, not taking the time to listen and understand. Everyone deals with problems in their own way and there is no right or wrong. There’s just methods that help and those that don’t.

    As for your girlfriend, I know it’s a small comfort but some people truly need to tackle this on their own and being in a partnership can feel like a huge responsibility to manage when you’re barely able to manage yourself. I sincerely wish everything works out for you.

    Thank you for reading.

  • Elena Sabourova

    Thank you for reading. I wrote this with a goal in mind of reaching just 1 person. I am so happy you were touched. All the best, and please feel free to keep in touch.

  • Elena Sabourova

    Thank you for sharing – you are very well spoken. Emotional pain is so tricky – it’s not a wound that bleeds, it doesn’t need stitches, it’s so hard to comprehend and define. I am so glad you were able to get the help and tools that you needed. Thank you so much for chiming in.

  • Elena Sabourova

    Thank you kindly, you are very generous. All the best to your friend 🙂

  • Elena Sabourova

    Hi Melinda, thank you! Yes, putting this out for the world to see is definitely a little nerve wracking!

    I agree on your second point. Remaining a rigid, stiff upper lip soldier and denying trouble is no longer the way I do things 🙂 Big breaths, acceptance, and remaining in the present goes a long way.

  • Elena Sabourova

    Thank you Jennay. All the best and please feel free to stay in touch.

  • Chantal

    Great post, especially the bit “Essentially, depression lies to you—about everything” that comment is so true.

    Thank you its been a hell of a week and it was good to read this x x

  • Elena Sabourova

    Thank you Bobbi!

  • Probably referring to the quote at the top, bro. “The problem is not that there are problems. The problem is expecting otherwise and thinking that having problems is a problem.” ~Theodore Rubin

  • Depression is a lying bitch, and I cannot abide her uninvited visits.

  • Tony

    Thank you for this article Elena,

    I guess you have now well surpassed your goal of reaching just one other person. I’m a 49 year old man who was diagnosed with Attention Deficit Disorder in 2007. It was something I had from birth but just did not know about. One of what they call the “co morbid” disorders I have a long history of is depression so I naturally gravitated toward your article and enjoyed the way you put words to such a difficult experience not to mention the insightful practical ways to cope with it. The mind is a complicated, delicate, hearty, robust and magical thing. It is always worth enduring through hardship and difficulty to see a stronger more insightful individual emerge out the other side. It is people like you willing to share openly that help make that happen. My family is close knit and willing also and is one of the reasons I’m alive today. My respect and gratitude for social compassion and empathy are sincere for I have depended on them many a day to survive. As I continue on my personal journey educating and getting to know myself better I find more peace and understanding as well as a clearer picture of my goals and desires to affect the world around me. My wife, also named Elena, came here from the Ukraine in 1996. I love her dearly and she is a true survivor. She has experiences I am not all together able to comprehend and appreciate but as we trek on together I find that we are mutually growing as individuals as we confront and embrace our differences. In this day and age there are many things to cause concern and anxiety from society but there are just as many ways to learn about ourselves and find peace. This website and people as yourself are one of them.

    Thank you,

    Tony

    Chicago

  • Michelle

    Thank you for sharing this. It describes what I’ve been going through so well and reading your story is helpful. As a mental health professional myself, I’ve been extra hard on myself for not being able to “snap out of it” and get back to being Me. This sentence, ” Looking back, I can see how it came about, how several traumatic events
    stacked upon themselves until I finally collapsed under their weight…” really hit me. When I tell my story of the past few years of life to others, I realize truly how many hardships hit me in a fairly short amount of time, however I still feel that I should be able to get through them and continue on. I’m too hard on myself, and while I know that and know that I need to love and be gentle with myself right now, I’m sure once I’m out of this darkness (which is happening… I’m starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel!), I’ll be able to see with more clarity how I ended up here, and I’ll be able to “forgive myself” for “allowing it to happen”. Thank you

  • Peter Pegasus Adams III

    Thank you Elena for this wonderful post. My face has been listed in the dictionary under depression. Its coming up on a year now since the love of my life left, my heart shattered, and I went from sitting on a mountaintop to plunging into the abyss of my own mid-life crisis.

    I am coming out the other side but its been a long, slow crawl and one I have done largely alone without adequate support or love from most of my family or friends. The pain of loss and struggle has been so great and so isolating that the greatest casuality from this experience has been my belief in other people. It seems the hurt get left by the side of the road in this world and my experiences have left me jaded.

    I come from a social circle where the good times roll and roll, and my role has been one of an cultivator and a leader. People have very set expectations of who you are and what you are “supposed” to be or do that suits the idea of you they have in thier head. Needless to say when my crisis came most just watched it happen and my phone did not ring as everyone was too busy burying thier issues in drink, smoke, and drugs.

    I am 6 months tobacco free this month and also quit drinking. I am in therapy. I’ve spent more nights crying in shame and dispair than all the other years of my life combined. I am mending my financial.problems as well as my spiritual ones, and I have galvanized some key friendships. Still, I feel like I left my dreams behind me and I cannot go back because my ex held it over my head like a carrot at the end when I was faced with the choice of moving 500 miles or walking away. When faced with the selfishness and emasculation of this act my pride as a man will never let me go back, even though its the only thing I really want to do.

    My heart is empty, the bulb is burnt out. Even though I am building myself a new suit of armor and am going to be a better man than I’ve ever been before this happened to me, I don’t think I’m ever going to take it off for anyone ever again. I let my dreams and my lover entertwine and now both are gone.

    But I am still here.

  • Janine Gilmour

    So lovely to bring this conversation into the light. Just like you, my depression came with a heaping truckload of shame. As if somehow I could, and should, just suck it up and get over myself. Someone once told me recovery from depression isn’t linear. So true. Your dedication to being mindful and caring for yourself is the same path I walk. Most days.

  • David Benitez

    Reading this and the comment section was helpful my girlfriend of 4 years is going through it and nothing I do seems to help. I love her so much I had no idea that I am the problem. I feel so bad that me trying to help was making things worse. I don’t want to be without her but it seems like I have no other choice. Thank you for opening my eyes.

  • Shelton

    This just saved my life. I dont know how to thank you. I was at the end of my rope and your blog, saved me.

  • Ashlee Stalling

    Great post, and great things to remember. I believe that for cases that do not need medical help that you can really visualize yourself getting to where you want to be. It does take a lot of work, but once you can see it it’s there for you. I have learned to write by using a book by Richard Quis, it deals with all kinds of things. But as a therapy tool you can apply to anything. helpthinkinganew.com, it is more of a self help thing, but it works if you let it. Good luck all, great post to!

  • Mary Borchers

    I cannot even begin to tell you how much I got out of this post. Thank you for your honesty. I loved how you said accepting is not surrendering. I thought that accepting I needed help meant i would be giving up. But accepting is recieving. And I loved how you said that the shame was the worst part. For years I thought that I was the reason. I thoguht it was my fault.

  • alex

    Really wonderful advice. I am in the thick of it at the moment and I agree about asking for help and telling yourself to take your time. It’s worth it

  • Theresa

    Thank you. This couldn’t have come at a better time for me.

  • eli

    Elena,

    You don’t need to hate your fifth advice because it’s indeed important. I have been suffering depression for around 7 months now and my body can not tolerate it. It’s so scary how powerful our mind to attack our own body. I am better now. I try to get friend with anxiety and welcome my tears any time (except in public area). I am dancing in the rain by appreciating each short moments i feel no stress because i realize this will be a long journey to cure.

  • Britten

    Yes.

  • producer

    I bet i hold record here for longest depression.
    i fell into depression at age 10 and only now at age 40 i have woken up.
    my mind has awoken to the last things i was doing before depression…cracking and eating macadamia nuts with my small boys friends.
    everything in between was some kind of mental fog stumbling through diffrent cults and churches seeking for miracles and the mystical.

    Anyone placed in my position where a ten year old who cannot take care of himself is made responsible for his own abusive and wicked mother, that being the least evil, the miracle is that o am alive.

  • MrMac

    I have a intellectual understanding of depression, or at least a lot better than i did. My ex gf left me in the initial impulse of the start of her depression, Over night went from love to nothing. “something feels off” “I don’t love myself” “i don’t feel happy” I feel i need to be by myself” her words. I know her in and out and i know “several traumatic events stacked upon themselves until she finally collapsed under their weigh”.

    Over these 4 months Ive tried to get her to talk to someone even offered to pay. But shes become so distant i cant get past the apathy. She felt she couldn’t talk to me about it this time, blaming me, then saying its nothing Ive done its about her. To making untrue assumptions about our future with no input from me. She tells me she don’t feel depressed but its so obvious to me.Depression lies to her—about everything. Ive backed off i get she needs the space. But is it something she will be dealing with even if shes in denial about it?
    Shes treated me like crap im so unimportant hero to zero and its hard but i love her and know rationally she wouldn’t throw away six good years. I feel a great sadness

  • princeokechukwuakamere

    After visiting my people in africa and came back to my base in tokyo, i suddenly became another person, it seen that all power in me got lost! All i do is to sleep for days without eating or drinking even water ! I lost Apertid ! I don’t keep promise with people no more! Everyday i thought of killing myself i thought someone has spear me Evil wish! I don’t even know how to leave in my house again ! It was missarable! My face swallow up! Sometimes i look my self in the mirror i will say this is not me! But ur words really help me now to know that i can one day again become my normal self! And come out of this hole that i have been in for one year now! Thank you a lot princeokechukwuakamere

  • Nirupama

    Elena,
    Thank you for posting your experiences. For me, depression robbed me of the ability to be articulate, the ability to express myself and my struggle in words. If I had been able to write about my struggle with depression, I would have ended up with an article just like yours. Every line resonates deeply with me. With 10 years of major depression, I have been able to get through physical illnesses, grad school, career accomplishments that I’m conscious of, but may not be able to fully experience (anhedonia). Depression has made me so insightful, so intelligent and greatly empathetic. It has shifted my priorities and opened my eyes to all the wonderful things life has to offer. Sure I have had days where I just can’t get out of bed, ended up in the psych ward and struggled through side-effects of medication. I had no support and sought out a therapist and a psychiatrist on my own. I call them my “team”. I bought books- “Undoing Depression”, Feeling good handbook, CBT for Dummies.
    I read numerous blogs on depression to get me through the day. And I’m so happy I had the honor of reading yours today. Thank you for expressing what depression feels like for all those of us out there that are creatively constipated 🙂
    -Nirupama

  • anonymous

    I bet you do hold the record! I’ve been only depressed for 2 years-so far.
    I’m slowly getting better.
    Lol, look at us, just talking about records as if depression was something to compete at

  • Camille Valdez

    Without DR DAHIRU a lot of people would have been dead through heart break. My case is not different from heart break, I am married woman with 3 kids and there was a time when i was having problem with my husband because he was having an affair outside our marriage and this was making me feel bad. So i tried finding solution to my problem by reading a lot of relationship tips on the internet and that was how i came in contact with DR DAHIRU contact details and through the help of DR DAHIRU my husband left the girl he was having affair with and he came back to me and our kids. After a job well done by DR DAHIRU i felt that it will be unfair if i keep this secret to myself and that is why i am going to drop the contact details of DR DAHIRU right now, They are: arewaspecialisttemple@yahoo.com or call usa +18074601888 To enable you have a taste of his nice work

  • Jamie Pinson

    Great advice and the easiest thing in the world to do yet at the same time the hardest things you will ever do when you have severe depression. I always advise EVERYONE to watch this: It’s a lecture by Stanford’s Sapolsky On Depression in U.S. Until this video I never truly believed that psychologists or the professionals could ever truly understand what I was going through. Empathize maybe but not really understand. I was so very wrong and this guy not only understood it, he taught me a lot about my own illness.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOAgplgTxfc

    I’m sorry that you also have depression and it doesn’t just happen overnight and is never over one thing. In depressed people there are usually 4 or 5 things that happened to us in life and after those normal ups and downs of depression (that everyone experiences) eventually what happens is in some of us after those events we no longer need a bad event and depression becomes a normal pattern for us. We can have the best day of our lives and get depressed. My last bout of depression lasted for over five months. Five months of constant bombardment of hopelessness, guilt – which is the worst for me, oh how I hate the guilt and shame and it’s just impossible to think clearly. I can’t ever see any of the good things I’ve done in life only the worst.

    I’ve dealt with it for years and was doing really good for such a long time. I guess I started thinking maybe I’d beat it but I should have known better. I completely withdrew from society this last time and I know better than to do that. I quit reading and if you know me then you’d know how odd that is because reading is my life. I love books. I’ve always had a hard time around people even online but I’d made a network of friends and I also quit contacting them. Lost my blog and really had no desire or energy to work on it but really also didn’t have the money to do it. So now once again I’m trying to claw my way back to where I was.. Now I have so much guilt from not contacting everyone I know and still can’t quite think clearly. While depressed I always avoid the mirror, my own sight disgusts me and it’s not uncommon for me to see my reflection and the same thing always comes out of my mouth: F@#% you! The sad thing is that when I’m normal I like myself. I’m not perfect and I have a lot of regrets but I know better than to live in the land of yesterday and to beat myself up. No good ever comes of it, instead I try to prove myself by my current actions. By being a good person, by caring and just being me, no matter how weird or annoying that might be.

    I cry, a lot, usually from reading the news. I have a lot of empathy and always shed tears for those who are hurt, killed, lost, oppressed, etc. just like I’d hope they’d shed a tear for me if it happened to me. I saw a news story about a young soldier dying on the way to take his younger brother to school for the first day. It was to be a surprise and all the comments were complaining that the story served no purpose but I disagreed. The story told me about this amazing person, someone I didn’t know but still felt sorrow for and cried. I may not think about this person every day but I will never forget him. I freaking rescue bugs from my dogs water bowls lol. Even wasps, I may have to squash them later after they’ve stung me but I can’t stand to see anything suffering or hurt. If that’s not a gift then I don’t know what is but I have to be careful because it can be debilitating if I let others pain become my own. I truly think most people with depression have too much empathy. I’ve talked to a lot of depressed people and they all seem to care about others and strangers more strongly than most other people. It doesn’t have to be a curse though, it can be a good thing and if more people had such empathy I think the world would be a better place.

    I was so successful at being cold for so many years but you can only do drugs for so long. I’m grateful to be sober for over a decade now. I’m grateful for my life and want to live but that voice in my head (it’s not a real voice, more like a push or constant feeling) to just end your life gets so strong at times that I almost want to do it so it’ll leave me alone but I don’t. I never will and I can say never. I refuse to give up because even though it’s odd I feel like if I was going to give up I should have done it in the 4th grade which was when my depression first came on and saved myself years of misery. My death would invalidate all that pain I’ve suffered throughout the years and it would also be wrong because that’s not the real me. We’ve been made to feel bad for being ill and that’s not right but slowly the medical community is changing and I hope I’ll see the day where depression is talked about and looked at in the same light as say diabetes. Depression has major biological effects, imagine every day for a long time your body goes through the whole fight or flight response. My body goes through every single day for months at a time what someone’s body would go through if they got robbed at gunpoint. It’s scary, real and not a character flaw. It’s a brain disorder and does all kinds of messed up things to your body. Watch the lecture to learn more.

    Sorry for such a long post. I type super fast and once I open up it’s usually a flood gate. Thank you for your post, I know it’s an older one but I haven’t really talked to many people since my last bout of depression. I’m hoping this will be the beginning of starting over…..again. Thank you.

  • Love Hjertén

    Doesnt make the slightest change. Will you start chipping again when you get hit by a down wave in the next 20 years? This problem isnt an once and for all obstacle. It morphs and protrudes you because its a split. Either negativity or positivity. The more you fill either cup the more the product will affect your mind.

    This is a fundamental problem of society. We r more then animals and when did we learn to carry this?

  • Olivia

    Thankyou so much for sharing,
    I am 24 and have been trying to start my own business for the last two years, it has been extremely difficult. In the last year my father, who always provided financial security and encouraged me to pursue my passion, abandonned our close knit family creating chaos for us financially and emotionally. Soon after my grandmother (his mother) died suddenly and although i wouldnt describe our relationship as close the moment just before my uncle called me crying is the last time i can truly say i was happy, dancing in the kitchen making enchiladas. Since that day I wasnt happy but I lived with it, however bit by bit things have gotten worse every day to the point that I have lost all motivation to work, socialise, even shower at some points. I have doubted my ability to get a ‘proper’ job that my friendship group accepts and have been beating myself up for trying something different. I havent made any money from it and i am now so worried that i do not have the skills for a high paying ‘career’ however i know i could not handle it at this moment. I am slow, hunched over, in emotional angst all the time, i dont eat well and i tell myself time and time again that i am not good enough so why bother applying.
    If you had met me a year and a half ago you would have seen a smart, quick girl with spark and passion, unafraid to work hard and have vision. Now i just see darkness and think everything is too hard. I then get so angry with myself and think im pathetic which naturally makes it 10x worse.
    I just want my life to be back on track again!

  • Coconut Chest

    My ex boyfriend went off his meds after two months without consulting anyone. I would check in with him to see how he was doing having known depression and having built up my own strategies. After dating almost a year, he snapped with exaggerated perceptions of what he called my anger, my resentment, and my lack of support I and those around us knew this was not me or our relationship.

    The parts in this article that conflict are the depressed persons skewed perception of reality, but than the simultaneous disengagement from their partner who supposedly can not and will not hear them. Couldn’t that be a skewed perception as well. It’s almost as though my depressed boyfriend read this article, and decided I was making him depressed when I offered support explicitly and also tacitly. To add, a break up from a seemingly stable and happy relationship may only compound the depressed persons situation.

    I may be defending myself having dated someone suffering from depression I loved so much only to have them conclude that every behavior their partner had was malicious and more extreme then what actually took place.

    Being in a supportive relationship could be good for the depressed person as well.

  • R S

    Can I just say my story is exactly the same … At the time when I was supposed to be sprinting I was crawling barely, I did not recognise it as depression at the time but the repressed anger , the traumatic memories which at that time I did not recognise as such .. Series of events happened and I collapsed. I was the same free independent emotionally strong on the outside… I was 24.. Had an imp exam skipped it. Now one year later giving it in parts…trying to make it through… Just dont know how to have a full recovery…

  • anon

    What if the people around you who are most negative and put the pressure on you are hacking and stalking you?

  • Guest

    Being in a supportive relationship could be good for the depressed person as well. Being in a relationship with someone who sweeps concerns over your health under the rug, refuses to listen, shames you for your illness and doesn’t know how to handle a stressful situation further compounds the distress of the depressed person.

    It sounds like your boyfriend wasn’t in the best place to have a stable and healthy relationship. Best of luck to you.

  • blueskunk12

    Hard to deal with when your natural and professional supports are the people you have to disengage from, and there’s no one to replace them.

  • Nicole Eisenhauer

    Beautiful post… you nailed every aspect of it, Elena! Brave soul, thank you for your writing!

  • Thank you Ms. Sabourova

    I have been fighting anxiety-led depression the first time in my life alone, my family don’t understand it, and felt shameful and won’t take me to see a doctor. this article is very true and helpful. one could learn very much and become so tough after it.

  • Norma

    Feel so disengaged since starting antidepressant which I’m already very resistant to.. can’t tap into any of the aforementioned techniques which used to come so naturally to me before embarking on this hellish antidepressant merry go round. .

  • Pam Sites Green

    I really enjoyed and needed to read your post. I’ve been through mental trauma the past year and find my self worring solid.

  • disqus_oZxpJ4Z2S4

    Thank you for posting this and helping me keep afloat today. It was beautiful.

  • jag

    had severe bout of depression and gad …recovering

  • Susan Jelleberg

    The people who I should be able to turn for for help are the ones who are toxic and promoting my depression. I am now isolated from my complete family. The only one who talks to me is my daughter. So now what? I wish I could get better and show my family and “friends” that I am not a nothing. I want to be someone of worth who will be remembered for something other than losing.