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Being Me @ UNMC: A Depressed Student
One of the symptoms of depression that most surprised me is anger. It’s one of my major symptoms. When I am not medicated correctly and deeply depressed, yes, I cry a lot. Just when I think I am feeling all healthy and things are okay in my life, something happens that is not good and I am a blubbering, crying, emotional wreck.
For the period of 2009 – 2012, I struggled to cope with depression. The dates are old, but the problems of being depressed never changed. It’s part hope, despair, longing, annoyance, fear, and sometimes just sheer tiredness.
Read this if you think you are depressed, or if you have just been diagnosed with depression and want to know what to expect, or just to see what someone else has gone through- you’ll be surprised how similar it is to your experience. You are not alone.
Everything that ever caused a tear to trickle down my cheek, I run away and hide from it. But now, everything is unwinding and finding its way back towards me. And I don’t know what to do. I just know that the pain I felt so long ago, it’s hurting ten times more. It’s like I realized way down inside, I’ve always been lonely for something, but I don’t know what for. You know how, when you turn off the TV or come out of some concert and everything just feels empty?
Sometimes the littlest thing in life changes something forever and there will be times when you wish you can go back to how things used to be but you just can’t because things have changed so much.
I just wish I could roll back the clocks to when things were the same. We were all just a bunch of crazy teenagers looking for a wild time. But now, things aren’t the same. Each of us has gone our different ways. We change, people change, things just change, and we aren’t crazy teenagers looking for a wild time anymore. We’re adults looking for a person to love and a person to hug when we’re in need.
If you have a problem, you have to face it. That’s called reality, and sometimes reality is the hardest things to understand and the thing that takes the longest to realize, but once it hits you on the face, you’ll never forget it. It will always be there in your memories and sometimes that is the best way to look at it.
Perhaps the most obvious challenge posed by depressed people is their apparent lack of passion or enthusiasm for anything. A passionless person seems different to other people. Not only is a passionless person different, they are also without any intrinsic motivation. There is no feeling that urges them to work or love. Unless they have unusual faith, they seem chronically stuck. No amount of persuading, cajoling, encouraging, manipulating, or screaming will get them moving. As a result, friends are willing to try any proposed treatment for depression, and when the treatments are exhausted, they tend to give up and gradually withdraw from the depressed person.
“Do you want to get well?” This might seem like a foolish question. Of course depressed people want to get well. But, for some depressed people, we should ask it often because the answer is more complicated than a simple “yes.” It is a place to begin in enlisting their participation.
If depressed people have belief systems that have led to depression, they tend to be very loyal to those systems. As such, they want to get rid of depression but they don’t want to give up their entrenched, sub-biblical, or unbiblical system of interpretation. For example, they may find personal identity in being the martyr, the guilty one, the oppressed one, or the one whom God has abandoned.
Feeling down from time to time is a normal part of life, but when emptiness and despair take hold and won’t go away, it may be depression. The lows of depression make it tough to function and enjoy life like you once did. Just getting through the day can be overwhelming. No matter how hopeless you feel, you can get better, but first, you need to understand depression. Learning about depression, including its signs, symptoms, causes and treatment is the first step to overcoming the problem.
If even the thought of tackling depression seems overwhelming, don’t panic. Feeling helpless and hopeless is a symptom of depression. It does not mean you’re weak or you can’t change. The key to depression recovery is to start small and ASK FOR HELP!
The counseling unit of UNMC offers various ways in coping with depression. Some types of therapy teach you practical techniques on how to reframe negative thinking and employ behavioral skills in combating depression. These therapies have helped me work through the root of my depression, helping me understand why I feel a certain way, what my triggers are for depression, and what I can do to stay healthy.
“Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering your own imperfections but instantly set about remedying them- every day begin the task anew.” Saint Francis de Sales