noticing depression, symptoms of depression, depression, this stuff is golden, mental health blogger, mental health advocate,

Noticing Depression

Trigger warning: self harm and depression

I notice depression a lot easier now because I know what to look for in my behaviour, as well as how I am feeling.

Over the last couple of weeks I have been in a very low place mentally. I have only gotten out of bed to look after my daughter. I have cut my arm multiple times. I have felt that aching, heavy feeling in my heart and throughout my body.

Depression also attacks your motivation and inspiration. A common symptom is that you have lost interest in the things that normally bring you joy. I have noticed my depression by not only feeling very low but also the loss of my favourite habits and hobbies.

Habits and Hobbies that have been missing

1. Writing in my journal. My counsellor suggested that maybe I am afraid to meet myself on the page. I think she might be right.

2. Writing (anything). I’m forcing myself to make this blog post because I think if I publish something, it might break this no-writing cycle. I’ve been getting ideas for things to write but when it comes to it, I can get a sentence or two and then I give up.

3. Using my planner. I make my usual to-do lists most weeks, but I am no longer looking at them. I’m just getting through each day best I can, even if that means avoiding admin type stuff, general house chores or social engagements.

4. Working out. I still go for runs and do Pilates or yoga, but not as often as I used to. It gives me a short term release from stress but that’s about it.

5. Talking to friends/ family. I’m taking much longer to reply to people through Whatsapp or DM’s or emails. I suppose I feel like I have less to say. Or perhaps, less value in what I have to say. I have also noticed that whenever I am on the phone to my mum, and am asked how I am, I give a very quick; “I’m fine thanks you?” as an answer. It also feels like a lot of energy to spend to be social.*

6. Reading. Weirdly, reading has seemed like a hard task to concentrate on, even though it is a form of escapism.

What I’ve been doing instead

  1. Watching endless Youtube videos. Normally it’s compilation videos of Vines, but it also includes ASMR videos and old Jenna Marbles/ Safiya Nygaard videos.
  2. Making art. Thankfully I haven’t really stopped making art stuff on the living room floor during the evening. I think it’s been the only way I’ve been comfortable to express myself. (If you want to see some of my art stuff, check out my Etsy shop!)
  3. Scrolling and scrolling and scrolling. Instead of reading as much at night time, or even during the day (whenever I get the chance), I will sit scrolling through Instagram videos or stories for far too long.

I hope one day soon I’ll be feeling okay enough to do the things I have been missing, especially writing and writing in my journal. I worry that once my counselling sessions finish, I will feel a great loss (I’m already anxious about it ending) as well as have no coping mechanisms to take it’s place.

I suppose I can only take things one day at a time.


*= Sorry if I have been slow to reply to any of you. It’s nothing personal I promise!

2 Comments

  1. Quinn

    Can you ask your counsellor to extend your sessions? Or ask her to provide you with a workbook moving forward so that you can continue your work in some sort of a structured way? Also do you live near any universities that have counsellors/psychologists?

    The dread about everything is always the worst part, for me.

    Also, scrolling through instagram for you = scrolling through reddit for me. I absorb and insane amount of unnecessary information about other people’s lives through the sometimes hilarious, sometimes depressing posts on reddit.

    Keep art-ing. Every task on my ever-lengthening To Do list has been feeling Sisyphean lately, and as a result I actually just CANNOT make art. I sat down and tried yesterday and just…. couldn’t do it. I’ve taken to baking as a pressure release valve but it’s not working as well as it usually would.

    Stop cutting. It is a band-aid over a bullet wound, and not even one of those helpful bandages that soak up the excess fluid; more like one of those shitty ones that somehow manage to peel away at the edges when you just want it to stay on, and also GLOM stubbornly to your skin so that when you actually want it to come off it feels like you’re peeling a layer of skin off your body.

    Basically there’s no upside to it other than the brief flutter of relief that is NOT WORTH the negative damage it is doing both to your body and to your mental health. Knowing you’ve done it AGAIN and feeling guilty and shameful about it, and then feeling rubbish because why did you do that AGAIN when you KNOW BETTER, and so on and so on in a neverending spiral that it triggers every time. If you feel like doing it, read this and remember that I have to explain my scars, STILL, to people I meet and it’s been over ten years. One day if I have children I’ll have to explain my scars to them too. It never stops sucking. Some downsides of that coping mechanism never go away.

    You’re stronger than you believe yourself to be.

    1. Lauren

      My counselling is a limited number of sessions because it is through a charity, and because they have so many requests the waiting list means that you can’t have an indefinite number of sessions with your counsellor, unfortunately! I can however apply again – but in 6 months after I have finished my 16 sessions. It’s a great service, and I adore my counsellor. It’ll be hard to let go! I’m hoping she’ll have some strategies to teach me before the sessions end.

      The world needs your amazing art Quinn! I hope your creativity for it comes back soon.

      <3 sorry to remind you of your scars, I hope this wasn't too painful of a read for you.
      xxx

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