What I've Learned About Depression

Christopher Lukas Health Guide
  • Over the years, I've learned a few things about depression that would have surprised me when I first started having symptoms. More importantly, I've learned a few things about myself.

    If I'm angry at someone, but afraid to state my anger, I can get depressed. It used to take days or weeks before I figured out the cause.

    If someone's angry at me, I can get depressed.

    If I'm not depressed, but the stock market goes down, I get depressed. And it can take me a few hours or a day to realize that that is why I got depressed.

    If I don't want to go out, but it's an obligation, I feel depressed. But I get over that pretty quickly.

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    If someone doesn't like something I've created - a photograph, a film, a tv show - boy, do I get depressed.

    But, and this I find to be very heartening, this kind of depression can go away as quickly as it comes.

    When I get irritated or blow up at someone, and there's no really good reason for it, I figure I'm depressed.

    For a whole year, I couldn't find work. My depression got deeper and deeper and deeper. I was out of my mind.

    When I find myself sleeping a lot - I mean a lot - then I know I must be depressed. This isn't just long night-time sleep; it's long day-time sleep, too. Naps.
    When I'm endlessly wakeful, I know I'm depressed.

    If my body aches or I have a sore throat or headaches or diarrhea, and my physicians say there's "nothing wrong," it's usually depression.

    Have you ever noticed those small tasks around the office or home don't get done because you just can't find the energy to do them? A phone call. Sweeping the cellar stairs. Writing that one thank-you note. Ordering replacements for the vacuum cleaner bag. If that happens a lot, it might be depression. At least it is with me.

    For a whole year, I couldn't find work. My depression got deeper and deeper and deeper. I was out of my mind.

    If that one "special" person doesn't respond the way I want her to respond, I figure I'm never going to feel good again; I mean never.

    If I don't get a good review for a television show, well, I'll never get a good review. Never!

    If someone doesn't think I'm funny, or clever, or handsome, I feel depressed.

    None of this is life-threatening, mind you.

    It doesn't make me suicidal.

    But it does make me down in the dumps. It hurts more than it should hurt.

    Maybe you recognize these reactions...

    And if you think none of them will go away, that you'll never feel at ease again, or enjoy life again, that's depression.



Published On: July 23, 2008