I have had many episodes of depression, but two of them stand out among all the others. These two put me out of commission for about six months each. They both involved suicidal thinking, complete loss of appetite, and a general ability to carry on with everyday life. There have been other episodes in between them, but they were not as significant.
While both of these major episodes of depression were similar in severity, the more recent of the two was a much different experience. Overall, I felt more supported during it, I made a fuller recovery from it, and most importantly, I learned more from it. The following points highlight why I think this latter episode was the more positive of the two experiences:
- I accepted that I was depressed.
- People close to me understood that I was depressed.
- I started medication earlier.
- I went for more extensive counselling.
- I told people around me that I was suffering with depression.
- I talked about my experience to anyone that I thought would listen and potentially understand.
- I took time off from work to help me rest and recover.
- As I recovered, I actively made time to engage in activities that I usually enjoy such as writing, drawing, exercise, and music.
- I saw a psychiatrist (OMG we need more access to them!).
- I had already had the first/earlier experience, which helped to build acceptance and increased my determination to pursue treatment.
It’s too bad that I couldn’t have arrived at where I am after just one experience. There have been many, but this highlights the difference between my two most major episodes. Good luck. Hang in there and feel free to get in touch. #depressionsucks… more than people realize.