I was chatting with a friend today and something struck me. I think a lot of people feel alone in depression. A major tenant of bipolar II is a very deep depression that does not respond to typical medication the way most people do. Because of that, I have lived with deep depression on and off for as long as I can remember.
Part of depression is thinking that you’re alone and nobody understands what you’re going through, as you’re the worst in the world. Your self esteem is so low, that it’s impossible to convince yourself otherwise, and nothing that anyone says will convince you either. It’s part of the disorder. Ironically, one that that helps a lot of people climb out of the depressive black pit is simply knowing that you are not alone. That others often feel the same, and that you’re not weird or bad for feeling down on yourself.
Another suck pit of depression is the absolute lack of motivation and complete apathy to everything. You don’t care about anything, you can’t get up off the bed or couch and then it becomes a vicious cycle. You feel like crap so you don’t get up, then you feel like crap about yourself BECAUSE you can’t get up. It’s a seemingly never ending cycle of despair.
Something I have recently discovered, and only because I was put on a new medication that makes me able to do so, is that if I FORCE myself to wake up (before noon) and GET up and do something, I tend to keep going. As one of the laws of physics (or something, I can’t remember…thanks meds) say, “a body in motion tends to stay in motion.” And so I tell myself this over and over. If I have to stop because of pain, I will bend over a counter or something. Because I know that if I sit or lay down, it’s all over. I won’t move again. I’m done and it’s finished. Enter mortal combat joke, “finish her!”
My most important advice, and one I will stick to and say often, is PLEASE SEE A THERAPIST! Medication can only do so much. It is designed to help get you unstuck, but it is not a miracle worker (well, it kind of is…but that’s not the point of this). A therapist can give you tips and tricks to challenge your negative thoughts and get you un-stuck. They are absolutely invaluable. One website I’ve used to find my therapists is https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/therapists. This is a great resource to search and find someone close by that will take your insurance and has the skills and specialties that you need. Another resource I found that is mighty neat is http://www.betterhelp.com. I signed up for the trial and so only used it a week, but it seemed like it was wonderful for someone that cannot get out of bed or the house to see someone. It’s also a lot cheaper than typical therapy if you don’t have insurance. It was great for the week I used it.
Of course, if you are having any thoughts of suicide, PLEASE reach out for help. Call the suicide hotline (1-800-273-8255), go to the ER, reach out to someone who can help. People do love you, and want to be there for you. If you need to talk to someone, I’m also happy to talk (but totally NOT a therapist!)