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Dealing With Depression. (Anyone Care To Talk About It?)





Last week there happened to be several comments made by people dealing with depression and other mental health issues. I suffered from depression very briefly in my early 20s, it wasn't something I would wish one anyone. It's like wherever you go you're shrouded in the cloak or darkness, like there's a dark cloud hovering just a few inches over your head the follows you everywhere. You can't find joy in anything whatsoever, the tiniest things cause you immense pain and sorrow, the tiniest things like seeing a chicken with a bad leg could set you off on a deep dark path that only ends in tears and exasperation. Nothing is good, nothing makes you happy, you just want to be left alone in your cloud of darkness. Going out and actually having to face real people becomes horrific and dreadful, you would rather chew your own flesh than have to socialize. And everyday you cry and cry and cry, whether you know why you're crying is another matter entirely. But you just cry because you're so deeply indescribably immensely sad.
      Sometimes it's not that you don't want to go out, you actually do, you wish you could go out and be normal like a normal person, go to the grocery store, go for a run, go visit a friend, you actually want to but the emotional and mental capacity to so completely eludes you, so you stay hidden in your room where it's safe. And on those rare moments when you actually find the strength to go out, that brief moment of respite, you hurriedly put your clothes on and on your way out to catch of tiny glimpse of yourself in the mirror and suddenly your emotions plummet immediately; your clothes look all wrong, your hair is a mess and your arms, why are they so fat? Immediately you struggle out of your clothes and fall back into bed where you're safe, where no one can see you. 
       It's feeling ok one minute and the next you feel so terribly low, so low you almost can't move, so low you feel like something is choking you. It's this feeling you just can't get a hold of that's gnawing away a part of you. Unfortunately like a cold or fever there are no physical symptoms and people can never tell so they'll call you weird, they'll say you're a loner, some will say you have low self-esteem and that causes you social anxiety, some will go as far as telling you you have inferiority complex, but no matter how much they erode your sense of self and happiness, the real erosion of self and happiness comes from within you. It's like a cancer that eats away at your being, your happiness, your sanity, your spirit, your life. Someone once described it as "a room in hell that has only your name on the door". 

Someone who caught a glimpse of what I was feeling but couldn't make any sense of it always accused me saying; "you've got white girl problems". And that's the problem, mental health is not taken seriously in Nigeria! I've heard people say things like Nigerians don't suffer from depression, or depression is 'white people's sickness'. In a comment someone who's dealing with an issue described what could easily be Schizophrenia but is patiently waiting for God to [sic] bring him/her back. The sooner we begin to realize that mental health issues are real and do something about them the better. I am no expert, I was fortunate enough to have mine blow over just the way it came. But clinical depression is real, as are other mental health issues. And although like I said, I'm no expert, one thing I know about illnesses is that the longer they go untreated and untended the more they deteriorate. Mental health issues are illnesses just the same way Malaria and Thyphoid are illnesses, and just like those, they too require treatment and medical attention. 

Finally I believe just like Luke 18: 27 says there's nothing too difficult for God to do but bear in mind that God helps those who help themselves. Be proactive, do something about it, get professional help and place your faith in God to make that help effectual and effective. The people I've heard from said they did pray and all but it wasn't till the sought and received professional help that they began to get better. 
        And lastly, please not every problem is spiritual. (Mental) illness isn't always as a result of witchcraft or what one wicked man in the village did or didn't do... 


Have you ever dealt with mental health issues or do you have a spouse that does? How has the journey been? Have you sought help? If yes, where and how? What coping mechanisms did/do you use? Please share, you just might be helping someone. 

Comments

  1. Thelma may God bless you for raising this topic. People need to be aware of mental illness, I've never suffered from depression but I've lived with someone who has and honestly it's not easy. It requires a lot of patience and understanding and sometimes u just need to give them space.

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  2. I would have to go anon now tee, I am presently @ that horrible stage in my life, but like my therapist would say, "My cutie this too shall come to pass" I am healing slowly, @least I got my confidence back, that all I know for now, with time I would share my story with us.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank God you're getting help. I'm 98% sure you don't live in Nigeria.

      Delete
  3. Very deep one here, people need to seek help. I sort of feel frustrated with the Nigerian society where every affliction is as a result of some witchcraft and the likes.
    The Bible says "my people perish for lack of knowledge", people need to get help as necessary and we all need to stop looking down on mental health patients as if they are evil.

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    Replies
    1. yup, you are right about that! Nigerians looking down on people suffering from mental illness like they are evil.. madness or any form of mental illness = something diabolical!
      Being a psychology graduate and also starting my MA in clinical psych has thought me so much..still is.. I do hope I'l be able to come back home after studying to start practicing.. it is well people.

      Delete
  4. I remember one precious day...in the salon. I was making my hair. The ladys' hand was painful quite alright but that wasn't enough for me to cry.....but I bursted into tears. Serious one. Infact, I wept. People were just staring at me and giving different theories to what made me cry. Soo many other cases. I remember staying in my house and office for about two months without talking to anybody. I'll just go, read the news and return home. I was also asked not to co-present any program again cos I took it out on my listeners. Ohh....terrible moments.

    People been trying to help me get out of that phase and I've been trying to help myself. Now, when it comes, I start trying to make myself happy at all cost. Depression holds sway when YOU ALLOW it to. If a bird perches on your head, it is left for you to allow it build a nest or you chase it away. When depression comes, shake it off. Talk to people, go out, refuse to get angry because at that time, even a flying bird or a fast moving car can get you angry. Now, the highest depression stays with me is two days. I know you might think two days...really, she's not qualified to talk but this is coming from someone that used to stay depressed for two to five months before I smile again. Most importantly, don't forget whatever God that puts a smile on your face. Seek his help too.

    #whew....long one.

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  5. Depression is real and so is mental illness.I really don't no how people get out of theirs but I have been through a lot n most tyms,afta d bout of endless crying n sadness,I jst ask God 4grace n lyk magic,it works.Trust me,bein depressed is d worst thing eva,buzz killer.tk dz 4rm sum1 dt spnt 6hrs 2dy crying

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    Replies
    1. Wow!!!
      So sorry anon. Just like the other anon said "Cutie, this too shall pass" #EHugs
      But pls. Seek professional help if the need be.

      The only time I could say I suffered depression was when I had my 1st & only heart break. Oh boy, the world was one dark lil hole. I just existed. I even contemplated suicide more than once. I felt as though Life was Evil... Smh
      But I came off Victorious Thanks to Prayers & Friends!!!

      Now I do have a parent who suffers mental illness off & on, nothing medication isn't taking care of though.
      In all, I Thank Jehovah!!!

      Delete
    2. Oh wow! Anon if you need a friend or someone to talk to mail me, please.

      Delete
  6. Imagine suddenly bursting into tears whilst walking down the road. That was me most of my teen years and early twenties. That darkness you spoke about is so deep and consuming, it becomes a comfort. I had a brief respite until I had my first baby. I would look at him and burst into tears. I felt blank looking at him. No rush of love. It took another year or so to get out of the post natal depression. It was so bad that both my mum and mother in law couldn't stay for long. No one could understand the excessive crying or silence. I still have short bouts. What helps now is telling my husband I am having a spell. We then talk try to figure out if there was a trigger for that particular episode. If there isn't, I have to mentally pull myself back from the beckoning chasm. I do not want to get sucked in again. Praying helps, when you can form the words and manage not to cry for an hour on your knees. Sorry about the long post Thelma but this issue needs to be talked about more. Thanks for doing this. N

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    Replies
    1. I'm so glad that you have a support system and more so that prayer helps you. I hope it continues to get better. All I can do is to hope and pray, and Anon I will do just that, for whatever it's worth. Nobody deserves to go through this. It's been a while for me but memories of the darkness alone sends chills across my back.

      Delete
  7. Depression is horrible....Earlier this year I got so depressed I came close to suicide....like I kept thinking that it would be so much easier to just end it all....Thank God for his grace......I'm past it all....Some are not that lucky....I saw a young man run mad not far from my house earlier today and it seriously freaked me out and I just kept wondering if there wasnt any prior notice or something....God save us...

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    Replies
    1. GELO! This almost feels like a blast from the past! Welcome back. You've been missed.

      Delete
  8. Lonliness is one of the main cause of depression,a situation when there's no friend and loved ones around,a time when u have to do everytin on ur own,then u begin to have low self esteem,everything about you feels so wierd and ugly....

    But thank God for God

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  9. That I typed that long epistle and it's not here is depressing on its own.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Let me try to summarise again. Depression is real. I've been in that phase for over a year. No one understands. I had to move houses, My dad's business got bad. My relationship went sour and I tried hitting things with a friend and it went really sour. I became an emotional wreck.

      Delete
    2. Let me try to summarise again. Depression is real. I've been in that phase for over a year. No one understands. I had to move houses, My dad's business got bad. My relationship went sour and I tried hitting things with a friend and it went really sour. I became an emotional wreck.

      Delete
    3. To worsen things I was broke and jobless. Having to rely on people is not my thing. Even with good grades interviews and tests there was no job coming. The ex was telling people tales about me and my trusted friend was manipulating me emotionally because he knew I had no one else to turn to. I would cry fast and pray. Some days I would feel ok other days I would just be withdrawn. My mum didn't help with her nagging and thinking I was sulking.

      Delete
    4. I don't want to think about it too much. It's amazing how the encourager becomes the depressed one. It hit me the most when my masters admission came and I didn't have the funds to push it. People trying to convince me to marry someone I fell out of love with. A phase of nothing to look forward to so to speak. I'm healing knowing God works out his perfect plan. TOLUWA'LASE.

      Delete
    5. Some parts of this thing may be missing with my comments disappearing. But that's the main gist. NO apologies for my epistle and as much as we can let's try to reach out to others and not be selfish. May we all experience God's love joy and happiness.AMEN

      Delete
  10. A lot of u r getting it wrong. Depression is way bigger+deeper than all of this...its not some short spell. E.g crying for 6hrs once n strait isn't depression, being sad 1 day,1 week isn't depression. Please kindly google the meaning of depression. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. There's a difference between ordinary depression, clinical depression and bipolar disorder. People suffer from depression in different degrees, some you can deal with by 'praying' and/or waiting till it blows over (which is still depression btw) and others you must get professional help to deal with; ie clinical depression/manic depression, bipolar disorder which I'm guessing is what you're referring to.
      But please I'm willing to learn so can you clarify?

      Delete
  11. Earlier dis year a guy committed suicide in my schooland we were all lyk what couldmake him commit suicide in was on a first class in law nd had gud family. Only 4 d post mortem result to come out nd state dat he hs bipolar disordr.Thank God in africa we r our brothers keepers evn if na 4 ofofo sake so such depression is less here bt what happens when d person dat needs help is far inside nd can't b reached on d outside? Pls let's share love, love heals.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. medically impossible

      Delete
  12. I just Googled depression from Wikipedia and this is what i got-"Depression is a state of low mood and aversion to activity that can affect a person's thoughts, behaviour, feelings and sense of well-being. Depressed people can feel sad, anxious, empty, hopeless, worried, helpless, worthless, guilty, irritable, hurt, or restless[disambiguation needed]. They may lose interest in activities that once were pleasurable, experience loss of appetite or overeating, have problems concentrating, remembering details, or making decisions, and may contemplate, attempt, or commit suicide. Insomnia, excessive sleeping, fatigue, loss of energy, or aches, pains, or digestive problems may also be present".
    Depression is whatever makes you feel less than normal, no matter how short it is, in that moment most people tend to be highly suicidal.
    I suffered from depression for 6 months, mine was largely due to a very serious relationship break, it was the darkest time of my life, i went from a size 12 to size 6 within the first weeks, i contemplated suicide more than thrice, i cried constantly for months, i would seat at my desk and cry till no tears would come out, i felt everyone around me was mocking me or pitying me and it made me sadder, i stayed awake for 3 days without blinking my eyes just crying until my doctor placed me on a sleeping pill it was that bad. I alienated myself from both social and religious activities.
    A friend introduced me to a mature person who counselled me through with talks,healthy diet spiritual guidelines ,encouragement and most importantly prayers. I cannot say that am over it, because i relapse once in a while but i can poudly say that life makes a of sense now and i will surely survive.
    My take on managing depression is having a solid support system, people who are in the same situation as you come together and share their experience, people who have survived talking you through it without judgement and most importantly medical evaluation to understand the level of depression you are actually facing. Its not an easy journey but we would all come through but unfortunately we do not have such and people do not see it as a condition that requires help.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Wow........depression! each time I hear stories of depression, I only feel sorry, because honestly, I cannot relate to how people feel so sad as to want to take their own lives. But then again, that's definitely the extreme, and I can admit to the fact that I have been depressed at certain times. At least I like to think that's what I felt in those moments, bouts of serious unhappiness/sadness, stemming from the smallest of issues and leaving me feeling so, for hours and very occasionally days. However, one thing I know for sure is that staying positive is a good way to overcome depression. Everyone at some point gets that feeling, however the difference is in who decides to dwell on it. Choose to remain happy/full of joy. Make a conscious decision (realising that you are in total control of your happiness) and swear to protect it with everything you have, and no one will take it away from you. As a child of God, I use the word of God a lot, to determine what happens to me and I expect same from every other child of God. On the flipside, if you do not believe in (or want to involve) God, at least u believe in yourself, so work towards no one else taking your happiness away. I have an older sibling whom I like to think suffers from depression: always sad, complaining about any/everything, constantly comparing with/referring to others, never having anything positive to say to you, too negative, like nothing is ever right, short-lived moments of happiness. Most times, I do not want to speak to her because its like she tries so hard to drag you into her negativity and depressing moments. She tried twice to commit suicide, once when she was younger, second time she was much older.
    I still can never understand why anyone will want to take their own lives.........*shrugs*
    Still, the best I can do is pray that God heals every depressing soul and causes them to realize that their lives are so precious before him and he wants to see them grow stonger than/rise above every seeming opposition (depression inclusive).

    ReplyDelete

  14. Someone mentioned a few posts away that depression ONLY happens to lonely people, how wrong can you get, I beg to differ.
    I know someone who feels lonely despite being constantly surrounded with positive, happy people.It is my belief that our experiences in life causes us to shut doors and build ginormous walls around us until we lack the capacity to live, especially because we are created to be social beings(to interact).

    Anyway back to the topic on hand, I have reached the point in my life, where at 16 I got pregnant, few weeks after losing my virginity to my uni boyfriend, all of a sudden I had the urge to jump into the tempting ocean waters on the island. Depression might come from not being able/the fear of talking to someone or not having the appropriate support/structure/understanding people around you.
    what brought me out of that phase? talking to my mom and we dealt with the issue.

    Fast forward few years later,It came again, mightily, some insinuated it was a quarter life crises because it seems I had most things a girl of my age could only dream of.I literally had to do a eel-appraisal of what was missing,what was causing this vacuum, it was a real physical pain and longing for something and I got it. it was the absence of God in my life,the undiluted presence of God was the only place I was able to fill that vacuum.

    what am I saying, in the presence of God there is fullness of joy, I do not believe depression(tarrying sadness) could ever remain when you're in Gods presence.I enjoin anyone who is depressed not to give up on God, turn back to him, talk to him like a person and ask that he reveals himself to you in a very special way and I trust that he will take away the pain you feel but you also have to ale some steps. You have to remain rooted in his word,try your all to flee from sin and most joy-killers(some friends, some family) and learn how to be complete in your own self.A lot of us depend on our husbands, our children, our money, our career to define us and make us happy, you have to be wholly give yourself to God in order to be truly happy.

    I am so very sorry for this long epistle, I just couldn't help it

    ReplyDelete

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