This particular post has become more “scientific” than I intended. Please remember, I do not hold any scientific degrees or training and everything here is purely my personal views and opinions.
Naturally I can’t speak to or try to generalize what each individual may experience when going through the trenches of depression/anxiety. There are meme’s, quotes, interviews, etc. that seem to sum-up what I feel during those low points, and since any search on Google will populate the same generalization of what I feel, I can only assume that we all can be categorized under the same umbrella of feeling lost, judged, alone, tired yet can’t relax or sleep, and any other cocktail mix you’ve been dealt.
I believe everyone has their own extremely unique personal battle, and everyone who battles may be able to say “yeah, I agree I feel like [fill in the blank]”, no one really ever shares the specific words, images, or thoughts that smother them; people just share the end-result, over-generalized feeling. There’s still a huge stigma around mental health. There’s a fine line of who you can tell, who you can share some things with, and who you can get to the dirty truth of it all with. No matter what, the struggle is real!
So many of us seem to associate to the umbrella feelings…I wonder if some of us suffer from the same ruminating thoughts and imagery too? My hypothesis is that maybe there is a link or deeper common factor (not just the general trauma/abuse, environmental factors, etc.) between us that can identify the WHY ME? of it all.
I’ve often felt like I was another number or statistic, type-casted into a psychological bucket flooded with information and treated like a clinical lab rat; being told to go to that support group over there (in your spare time and when you’re actually able to power through the morning to get moving), or come to this doctor’s appointment over here, or try this drug and in a few months we’ll see how you reacted to it. Sadly, it wasn’t until recently while reading “Women Conquering Depression“, that a bigger picture came to light.
The Magical “Ah Hah” Thought:
If depression is considered a disease in the brain, then maybe these thoughts/feelings are because of a deficiency. Similar to when you suddenly crave chocolate, it generally means your body has a magnesium deficiency or when a vegetarian might crave red meat, it can mean there is an iron deficiency.
So, what does my brain “need”?
I think so many of us suffer from “out of sight, out of mind” when it comes to our internal organs. As long as there isn’t something catastrophically wrong, then we assume everything is working as it should. There’s no visibility of a wound; there’s no scrape from a fall. There are a million examples of the effects that the body endures because of heart problems, liver problems, strokes, etc. And, while SPECT imaging can help in identifying the problem areas in the brain, more and more research in various scientific fields are finding that the whole body needs to be treated. If you take a symptoms oriented approach to fixing an issue…it’s just going to create more symptoms because you never deal with the root problem. I’m not trying to get spiritual here, but our bodies and our lives do require balance. For some of us (and I’m definitely the pot calling the kettle black here), attempting to achieve balance is a lot of effort! It becomes another overwhelming task or expectation that weighs us down, making it feel impossible. Where does one even start to work on this? I mean, it’s hopeless!
But…after awhile you realize that something HAS. GOT. TO. GIVE. You can’t take another day of chronic pain. You can’t take another drop of guilt. You can’t live through another morning of waking up feeling more exhausted than you were when you went to bed. You can’t stand another second of feeling stressed, but not knowing what is causing it!
This is where so many people break. The daunting undertaking of change becomes too much, and they give up. How do I know? I’ve been there, recently. It led to the creation of this blog. I know change doesn’t happen overnight, and I know there are going to be times where I just want to give in to the “easier” path. However, I know now that is a vicious rabbit-hole to go down and all it will do is encapsulate you into a catch-22 vortex of misery. I have to break the cycle. Being aware of the cycle isn’t enough…actions must be taken. I mean, the very definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results, right?
Eating better, drinking better, exercising, relationships, socializing, more me time. Bit by bit, I am making subtle changes to my lifestyle to take care of the “whole” me. The first thing I’ve been working on these last few weeks has been drinking more water throughout the day and having less alcohol throughout the week. I was also working out 30 min to an hour at least 3 times a week…until I sprained my ankle (no, it was not from working out)! I haven’t set required amounts of water or completely cut-off alcohol…I’m not trying to set myself up for failure…but I’m taking steps, and that’s all that matters.