Explaining Depression is Hard
No matter how hard I try to explain to someone, it seems they never really understand how difficult even the smallest things can be for me. I’ve been depressed for as long as I can remember, at least starting when I was around 10. Things only got worse from there on. I got quieter, more shy (probably anxiety related) and started distancing myself from everyone. I remember, clear as day, the overwhelming terror that flooded my brain during group projects in school. I didn’t have many friends when I was younger, so I was never “picked” to be in a group. You know what I mean, as soon as the teacher says group project, all the popular kids grouped off almost instantly. Hell, even some of the unpopular kids had groups they would get into pretty quick. I was worse than unpopular, I was a loner. This was because of my then budding depression, and probably hidden anxiety (I’ve never been diagnosed with anxiety problems, but how could I not have them based on how I act). I now notice that I’m wandering a little bit from the topic that I started this blog with. Explaining to other people why things that are easy for them, are incredibly difficult for me. My best example is personal hygiene, which I know is one of the first things to go with depression, but it’s become a habit for me. I don’t brush my teeth regularly, I shower maybe once a week, and I can see all your faces through the computer screens just cringing up. Yes, it’s disgusting, yes I am aware of my problems (and odors) and yet, taking care of myself is the hardest thing I’ve ever done. While the rest of you might gag after not showering for a day or two, I’ve gone months. Simply because my depression was that bad. I was in such a dark place that the thought of getting in the shower made my skin crawl. And of course my unpleasant (to put it lightly) odors just skyrocketed my anxiety. It was an unending cycle of not taking care of myself because I felt worthless, and feeling worthless because I wasn’t taking care of myself. It’s very difficult to break that cycle, hence why I say it’s now a habit. I still face the same difficulty with hygiene even when I’m at my high points. Just because I’ve been doing it for so long, it’s become my normal. I’ve tried to explain this to those closest to me, and they just can’t wrap their heads around it, because for them it’s just second nature. Not to mention those I live with, having to deal with my odor, and what appears to them as stubbornness, they tell me all the time to take a shower. Being told something I know, but feel powerless to change is probably the worst part about it. It makes me feel worse, which makes we want to shower less. Even this they still don’t understand, it’s too foreign to them. No matter how hard I have tried, getting them to understand what it’s like for me seems impossible. However, at the end of the day, whether it’s hygiene for me, or whatever for you, you have two options. First, either force yourself to fix yourself through brute force and determination; or, try your damndest to have people understand you, while working on yourself little by little. Either way, never give up, or lose hope because there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. It all depends on your perspective.