What living with depression feels like — and why living is the only way out of it
Mental disorders are chronicle diseases — it doesn’t matter how healthy the last few years have felt, you know they are just resting there. And when they come back (and they will), damn, be sure you are going to have a full experience.
I was diagnosed with anxiety + depression many years ago. In fact, the first symptoms I had I was nine and I couldn’t go out of my bed for two whole weeks because of a horror movie that scared the living hell out of me. I panicked, and for fourteen days nonstop my heart felt like a hammer and the most trivial act of going out was tremendous. Even nowadays, I am not able to recall any sensation as overwhelming as that one. I was younger, therefore, more sensitive, it’s my theory.
Enough with the background shit. I’ve grown up. I’ve had some crisis here and there. I am in the middle of the newest one, due to many many trigger reasons and bad timing.
The thing about depression is that it is a parasite which skills were well granted by evolution. The slowest it makes its way, the more it feeds from you. I like to think about it as lampreys: ugly, ancient, mortals.
I started to live a double-life: the one in my dreams, and the dreamy one in my days. They were almost nothing different of each other, despite the fact that dreams are often more recreative.
It all starts with the feeling of depersonalization that comes within the package. Let’s suppose things are just fine. Slowly, you see yourself walking in the streets without paying much attention to the surroundings. Your eyes start getting dizzy and your mind floats above the heads crossing the streets. You do not pay attention to city lights anymore, and a car almost runs over you. You think you are just really distracted from everything. But what is it distracting you?
Nothing feels real anymore and you get to the point you’ve got to slap yourself or maybe put some cubes of ice on your face to feel you indeed exist. Countless times I cried only because I have waken up and I just couldn’t tell what was real or in my mind. I started to live a double-life: the one in my dreams, and the dreamy one in my days. They were almost nothing different of each other, despite the fact that dreams are often more recreative.
Thats when things got into a nosedive for me. Anxiety came to attack: I was not as productive as before, and the mere idea of academic failure or drop down was way too terrifying to be dealt realistically. At the same time I was utterly disconected and sad, I was also desesperate for no reason and unnable to deal with my feelings myself.
You collapse. All the underworld demons from childhood come to greet you again, all your grudges come to piss you off during late-night talks and you do things you wouldn’t normally. Nothing feels interesting anymore; your hobbies aren’t much more than another possibility of failure, and you know you are going to fail, because it doesn’t matter how well you perform your songs to others, it is a failure itself to loose the love for things.
Non-depressed people don’t understand how fundamental is their interest. About anything. Once everything is a source of anguish, you tend to distract yourself from the outside. Some will disappear because it is just too hurtful to elaborate your negative thoughts. It’s been a struggle itself for me to write this text, trust me. Other will do the exact opposite, and scream with their arms up, hoping to receive a hand, given by a pitiful soul.
You contemplate death. But death won’t end this. Deep inside, you know you just want peace, not disappearance. Living is the only way out of depression, because living is the only thing a depressive person wants. Healthly. Without migrains and being out of breath.
I am waiting for the day this is going to be gone and I will have learnt a little bit more of how to deal with my lampreys. Meanwhile, I breath heavily, ask for help and try to get some. And leave the rest for what’s yet to come.