How did you realize you were depressed?
November 9, 2012 7:58 AM Subscribe
How did you realize you were depressed? What convinced you to seek treatment?
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (35 answers total) 33 users marked this as a favorite
On a bad day, I will sleep past noon and wake up convinced that I have alienated and estranged everyone I love, that I have squandered every opportunity I've been given and regret every decision I've made, that I am qualified to do nothing of value and too immature and lazy to fix myself, or some variation on these themes. I will not feel sad in any conventional sense, but just empty, bleak, alone, and stuck: an unfeeling background state that pervades everything. I've never had the urge to hurt myself, but on a really bad day I do want to disappear. I want to withdraw into total aloneness, shrink my world to no bigger than my bed and maybe even to a point so small that it could blink out of existence without anyone noticing. It's pretty messed up! Worst is knowing that all these thoughts and feelings are diseased, disordered, and untrue, even as they occur.
On a good day, these unfeelings are there, but they are further away. I can get things done, and I feel pretty normal. I might be well enough to read truly horrifying accounts of depression by William Styron or David Foster Wallace, start to doubt whether I've ever been that ill at all, and wonder if I am just malingering and trying to wrap exaggerated suffering in medical legitimacy. (These thoughts do not—cannot—occur on a bad day).
I've had a string of good days lately, and I have an appointment to see a psychiatrist soon. I've been managing this for a few years now, and I think I've followed all the standard advice, escalating from vitamins and exercise to CBT and now maybe to medication as needed. I will share everything I've shared here with my doctors. But I am interested in your experience. What made you realize you were depressed? Were you doubtful on your good days? What convinced you to seek or escalate treatment? I am surprised the question has not been asked here before, and I hope it will be useful to others like me.