Depth of Depression, My StoryTweet
Posted by Craig T : Feb 5, 2011
I wake up every day with ringing in my ears. Some days it is worse than other days. I don’t mind, as getting out of bed is an accomplishment. I suffer from depression, and it almost cost me my life.
My story is very similar to most people that suffer from severe depression. Contrarily, very different from others that suffer from depression, because there is not a precise diagnosis for depression.
The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) defines Major depressive disorder as a combination of symptoms that interfere with a person's ability to work, sleep, study, eat, and enjoy once-pleasurable activities. Major depression is disabling and prevents a person from functioning normally. An episode of major depression may occur only once in a person's lifetime, but more often, it recurs throughout a person's life.
I have often been considered to be an upbeat, positive individual. I have a degree in Finance from a major University. I have had a reasonable professional and personal life. I have several people that I consider friends, and several acquaintances throughout the United States. I appear on the outside as I’m living the American dream; meanwhile, I am progressively getting worse internally with my illness. This is my story dealing with major depressive disorder, and how I am confronting my affliction.
Four months ago, depression almost defeated me. Over the last few years, I had spiraled into a severe depressive condition after mini bouts of depression over several years. It would be effortless to point out professional or personal tragedies that caused the eventual hospitalization of me for my dual diagnosis and suicidal ideology. However, as defined by NIMH, it is a combination of several symptoms and there is not a true indicator. You cannot get an MRI, a blood test, or an X-ray. Some of my symptoms included systematically withdrawing from friends. Isolation became my best friend. Lack of energy and interest in things I have always done were the norm, not the exception. The distinct feeling of a tornado ripping through my soul constantly made me ill.
The feeling of a tornado destroying your inner soul is something I wish on no one. People that suffer from severe depression or bi polar disorder understand. Hindering proper diagnosis, I was confronted with people that had no idea how to handle my crisis. I’ve heard problematic concerns such as “I have my head in my ass” or “what is wrong with you?” Regrettably, there was not recognition of a bigger problem, identified by several smaller problems. I became unable to function in a society that still holds a stigma for an illness that impacts many. I am fortunate to share my story, because 15% of people similar to me with my condition are successful at committing suicide.
Fortunately, today, I am on the road to recovery thanks to a dream team of support. Just like a diabetic manages diabetes, I manage my depression. I am treated by cognitive therapy, prescribed medicines, and a proper balance of boundaries in my life. I confide in trusted friends and regularly follow up with my doctors. I set small goals, and prioritize my day to achieve those small goals. There is no “snapping out of” this illness. It is a slow and gradual climb back to health. As for the ringing in my ears, it lets me know I’m alive.
Posted by Craig T : Feb 5, 2011
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