Depression is something that has hit the world for years, some people are outspoken about it and others are ashamed.
Stats show that 1 in 4 people suffer from severe depression. A few people have said to me that I should speak my rollercoaster story. For a while I held back, but looking at it now I want to share my story and help others do the same.
There are so many different routes when it comes to depression. It's understanding what level of severity it is people have. Years ago if you were said to have any form of mental disorder many families would have been ashamed, disgusted and in many cases would have the person sent away to a facility.
I've come across a few people who have dealt with this horrible illness. Some would say they can speak openly about it and feel that having officially admitted that they are dealing with this they feel so much better. Others just close themselves in from the world and hide the truth.
LIVING WITH DEPRESSION - Kat Napiorkowska
I for one did that for quite some time and if it ever did come up in conversation about my mood, people would just say "Well come on! Just be happy". Unfortunately it's not as easy as that.
I was diagnosed with depression back in 2012.
It was a year of moving cities, a new job, a new life. One thing many people didn't understand was, is how I was acting towards them – being quiet, excluding myself from conversations. I just wanted to be alone and do my own thing.
My confidence dropped and my social skills were non-existent much like my appetite. I never spoke to anybody about it as I knew it would just be a case of people not understand. Outsiders would see I had friends, great family support, a nice place to live. Why would I have a reason to be unhappy?
When I decided it was time to open up about my depression I got some hurtful comments.
Just get over it.
Just be happy
Have you taken your medication?
You're just having a bad day.
You have so much going for you! Stop being selfish...
Celebs who have opened up... Via BuzzFeed.
Whenever I got a little bit upset or annoyed people will turn around and say have you managed to take your medication today?
Just like a magic little pill will make everything go away it's not like that at all. (Sometimes I wish it was!!)
One reason I'm opening up about this is I know so many people are in the same situation and yet we all deal with things in this world completely differently. One thing is true, that you can have all money in the world you can have the best career you could have all of the greatest friends and family and yet, you feel so guilty when you're feeling low.
This might come as a shock to some of you, but one thing that did change my life completely was the arrival of my ragdoll kitten in 2013 that my boyfriend bought me for Christmas.
Now it wasn't just me, I had a beautiful cuddly kitten who depended on me.
I wouldn't change it for the world she has been an absolute star and I think people underestimate how powerful pets can be and you don't need a bunch of medication and therapy you just need to have the things that make you feel good and it is a work in progress, you won't be 'cured' over night. I feel a lot of people that do go through this don't really have someone to talk to or open up to. The terrifying truth is there are so many people that deal with depression in secret. When you pass people in the street, you see them wearing nice clothes, they seem happy but 9/10 times it's a cover. Just because you can't physically see 'depression' doesn't mean it's not there.
At the end of the day, you are driving the car, no one is forcing you to take roads you dont want to take, unhappy with work, quiet and find something that does, want to travel, go for it, new hobby or workshop get working! Things will get there and it will take time, but understanding you are not alone and establishing what it is that makes you unhappy is the first step! The rest works up from there.
What does it feel like to be depressed?
The feeling of depression is deeper, longer and more unpleasant than the short episodes of unhappiness that everyone experiences occasionally.
You will notice:
persistent sadness or low mood
not being able to enjoy things
losing interest in life
finding it harder to make decisions
not coping with things that used to be easy
feeling restless and agitated;
loss of appetite and weight
difficulties getting to sleep
loss of sex drive
thoughts of self-harm or suicide.
Doctors grade depression as mild, moderate and severe to help them decide which treatment to choose.
One thing that deeply helped me (along with my Ragdoll –Pancakes) is my family support. I know how extremely lucky I am. Unfortunately not everyone has the same support, and some people have had to take drastic measures for people to realize what's really going on.
It's all about support, being open and honest and even if some people don't understand you 100%, you can feel so much better in yourself for being honest about the situation and so open and you don't feel alone. Sometimes opening up and having someone listen is just what you need.
Facts & Stats on Depression
People of all ages, backgrounds, lifestyles, and nationalities suffer from major depression, with a few exceptions.
10 times more people suffer from major depression now than in 1945.
The average age of first onset of major depression is 25-29
Up to 80% of suicide deaths are in sufferers of major depression.
Depression has different triggers. People have a higher risk of depression if they’ve recently been through a stressful life event, if they’ve had depression in the past, or if a close family member has been depressed. Sometimes depression develops without any obvious cause.
Depressed people might not look depressed. “Depression is a hidden illness,” says Jeremy Coplan, MD, professor of psychiatry at SUNY Downstate in New York. Some people can seem upbeat and cheerful, but inside they’re struggling with the symptoms of depression.
About a quarter of suicides in the US are felt to be due to undiagnosed, or misdiagnosed major depression.
Depression makes it hard to give. It's very hard to think of other people when you're wrapped in a prickly blanket of sadness, and all you can think about is your own pain. Be proactive and just a few steps you need to heal. Try reading a book to help you understand what you are going through and how best to deal with it.
If you or anyone you know needs help, reach out to the following links below. Or give me a message for a chat.
You are not alone.