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4: So... errm... what exactly is Depression again?


Well, I can see that my first section on what depression is, actually isnít all that clear.  This kinda illustrates the difficulties people face when confronted by depression - itís different for everyone.  Sure, many people suffer similar or even the same symptoms, and get the same side effects, but even with the limited list I offered in section 2, there are a lot of different combinations and sub-combinations, and of course people can be more, or less, affected by each and every aspect.

To me, depression has become a way of life.  I donít seem to have much choice in the matter - it comes and goes in cycles for me - and Iíve got used to the ever present spectre of gloom hiding in my mind. Some people will say that I do have a choice, that because it is in my mind, then with a little willpower I can overcome it.  I say that in my case, theyíre wrong. It might work for some people, but seventeen years (diagnosed years that is) of depression does make it that much more difficult to handle.

Depression affects everything about my life, from my (minor) phobias, to my quirks and odd habits, my attitudes to life and everything around me or near me. In my really bad moments, I would not recommend being within a mile radius of me - I can go through everything from simple sadness and wanting to be alone (I say ďsimpleĒ - thatís a subjective term) to full on open hostility (so far Iíve not actually become physically violent, at least not in recent memory, although thatís only a few years) and anger.  I usually express these feelings with various levels of ďvocalityĒ - when miserable/anti-social/generally sad I tend to become silent, whereas when I start to lash out I could probably drown out an elephant trumpeting.

These reactions have an effect on those around me, whether it be my colleagues, friends, or loved ones.  Itís not pleasant for them - I can see that - but when Iím in these states the one thing that does pervade all is a ďlack of care.Ē I simply stop feeling anything for anyone else, in an attempt to analyse and disperse my own feelings.  Iíve come to the conclusion that the best thing I can generally do is try to ride it out, and apologise later.

So yeah, depression has a lot of meanings. To me, itís a combination of feelings and symptoms that remove the joy of living (for example, I havenít had a proper ambition since I was in my very early twenties), and affect those around me in negative ways.  I have some methods of coping, one of which Iíve already mentioned, but so far Iíve not found a cure. To someone else, it may mean something different. The only real common factor, is that depression is not a pleasant experience.  And that everyone can agree on.

Next up... Iím not sure. Iím actually in a low place right now, so weíll see what happens (especially since part of the reason for this is as an outlet for my feelings).


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