Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person's thoughts, behavior, feelings and physical well-being.
A long time ago, I thought depression was about being sad. For me, sadness is only a small part of being depressed, but completely outweighed by an inability to do anything. When I am depressed I feel low, and sometimes, I feel like I'm dying.
That's a bit dramatic Michelle - what I mean by 'I feel like I'm dying' is that I can feel my life energy seeping away. Trickling down my body, soaking from my feet into gutters and being washed away. I feel like the only conclusion to this out-pouring of energy is that I'll fade away and just cease to be.
I've had a couple of big bouts of depression in my life so far, one in particular made me very ill for a couple of years. I recognise depression now when it comes, and I've never had one as big as that first sickening encounter, but it does come from time to time. It's here now - it's not big, but it's recognisable enough that I know I need to remove myself from the major energy drain that it's associated with. I've spent the last two days in bed, not doing anything much: watching Twitter, feeding my blog database archived material, staring at the rain, not thinking about much at all. Tomorrow I will return to my life, but I will keep it a quiet life for a little while, until I feel some of that energy return.
Normally, I wouldn't share this with anyone, certainly not online. But hey, as I get older I think "What the heck" and so found myself saying to a colleague the other day that I thought I was depressed at the moment. So nice she didn't urge me to cheer up, or share her own tales of woe, she just nodded and said "Yes."
One thing I have learned is that while this low state comes into my life, it travels through me at a continuous rate and it eventually leaves. It might take a few days, or weeks. I hope it never takes two years like it did that first time, but even if it does I know that it will pass. I just have to be aware that it's here, let it wash over and through me and then it will be gone and I will have joy again.
So when I'm low it's not a huge thing that impacts anyone else I don't think - I might say "No." to a few things when I'd usually say "Yes." I might spend a bit more time by myself, stare out the window a lot, walk the dog a lot slower - but it'll all work out okay in the end and hardly anyone'll notice. It doesn't really affect me as sadness - so at least I won't be tormenting myself with all my failures and missed opportunities, mostly, I'll just sleep.
Do you ever feel depressed? have you ever taken medication to deal with those times? What kind of music do you listen to when you're feeling low?