‘What’s it like being Depressed?’ This is often a question many people want to get an answer to – but understandably feel uncomfortable to ask. Following a Course of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) at our Clinic we asked ‘Derek’ to answer some questions for us…
Whilst Depression is different for each person, there are a number of symptoms that are very common as part of this disorder. We’re calling Depression a disorder because it is important to recognise that it is a psychological condition that should be taken seriously – and is much more than simply ‘feeling a bit low’.
To help give an idea what Depression can be like, we asked a previous client to answer some questions for us, and here are the answers he gave…
Q: What’s It Like? / How Did You Know You Were Depressed?
A: “I didn’t really know that I was depressed at first. My marriage had just ended and I was having a hard time, and so I just thought that it was normal to feel down and upset. The problem was it just sort of spiralled and get worse rather than better. I didn’t ever seem to get a rest from feeling upset, or able to stop thinking about how bad my life was going. It seemed like things weren’t going to get any better and that i’d blown all of my chances. I stopped doing more things in my life because there didn’t seem any point.
It sounds strange to say it now, some people talk about black clouds, or black dogs – but it wasn’t like that for me. I just felt like I was trapped by something I couldn’t see, and that I couldn’t get out. The only way I could get a break from it was by being asleep. I would lay in bed in the mornings at weekends and hope that I could get back to sleep, the problem was I never could. So I ended up laying in bed for hours with my eyes closed hoping to switch off, but with my mind going mad with nasty thoughts. If you ask me ‘whats it like being depressed’, that was the worst bit for me – the relentless low and hopeless feelings.”
Q: Did You Ever Feel Suicidal?
A: “Yes I did. I had lots of thoughts about how I could end my life. I never really felt like I could be brave enough to do any of them. I’m so grateful for that now, as my life is so much better and pretty much back to normal again. I have hope again, and a future that is better than I would’ve ever imaged. It never seemed like that would happen at the time though. I guess that’s what being depressed does to everyone, sucks away their hope. I would honestly say to anyone that is thinking about suicide, don’t do it. Life will get better at some point, just hang in there.”
Q: Did People Take You Seriously?
A: “I think so. I was lucky compared to some people. People were worried about me, although I didn’t see that at the time. It seemed like people weren’t doing enough for me and I was upset that people didn’t understand what I was going through. Depression can make you selfish I guess, but you don’t mean to be.
I was lucky, I had a supportive family and that my work understood. They gave me time off, and my family paid for me to have private therapy with Dynamic You. I always felt like people were listening to me, but that they didn’t really know what to do with me or what to say to me. It’s nice now that things are back to normal again. I’m even able to talk to my ex without getting the horrible feelings back. Now that must be progress!”
Q: Did People Change Around You?
A: “Not that I noticed. Although people have since told me that they felt like they were walking on egg shells around me as I was grumpier than usual. I wasn’t aware of that at the time. I think it’s just as hard for people around you to know what to do. People are worried about saying the wrong thing or offending you.
Q: What Made You Get Psychotherapy For Depression?
A: “I knew I needed something, and the antidepressants didn’t seem to be working. My GP recommended a course of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy but told me there were long waits on the NHS.
Once I had decided that I wanted to try psychotherapy I didn’t want to wait to get started. What I really wanted was someone to make everything better for me again, and take away all the problems I was facing. Therapy didn’t give me this – but perhaps that was being a bit to over optimistic! What it did give me was a new perspective and sense of hope for the future.”
Q: How Are You Doing Now?
A: “I’m doing really well. I can’t thank my family and my Therapist at Dynamic You enough.”
Q: What Advice Would You Give Someone Reading This Interview?
A: “The best advice I can give is to get treatment as soon as possible. I don’t know how things would have gone if I hadn’t got treatment, but I know they wouldn’t be as good as they are now.
I know that I wouldn’t have done anything silly deep-down, but I think I would have just stumbled around for a lot longer. As it is, I don’t feel depressed any more and I have have rebuilt my life again. I’m still taking antidepressants, as I’ve been advised that it’s best to stay on them for a while. But I don’t feel scared at the idea of stopping them when i’m told to because I have a whole lot of techniques to use from therapy if I need.
Even if you’re not depressed I think everyone should have therapy. It’s amazing that life doesn’t come with an instruction book sometimes. We all need to know how our minds work, and in some ways i’m glad I know what it’s like being depressed now, because it gave me the chance to figure things out properly for the future and to understand my brain a bit better.”
If you want to find out more about what it’s like being depressed, or to read about the common symptoms of Depression Click Here.
You can find out about other people our Therapy Clinics have helped by clicking here.