Depression Is Not About Feeling Blue

Depression, it's such an ugly word, isn't it? It is a word that is often confused by others as 'feeling blue' or 'a bit down in the dumps'. But if you're a sufferer, you actually know the difference and you know that inside, you are dying but on the outside people don't see the pain that you feel. I have bipolar, which I have mentioned a few times in the past, and people are more than okay with the way that I act. They love it when I am in a happy mood because I am so much fun to be around and that's when I am often the ring leader in things. But sadly people don't always know how to cope when I am feeling down.

This last bout of depression was probably the worst one for a few years. Quite how I don't know because we have had to deal with some crap over the past two years. But as it was coming up to my grand daughters second birthday, I could feel it starting. I could feel the black fog approaching and there was nothing I could do to stop it. When you suffer from depression, there is nothing you can do to stop it except rely on anti depressants and even then, they don't always work. So I did what I do best and I struggled in silence for as long as I could and one day I let it all out on a Facebook page about how the school summer holidays make me feel depressed and that I can't cope. My comment on the post went completely ignored and not one person offered me support. I was upset, disappointed and devastated all rolled into one. The group that was like a support group for bloggers had completely ignored it. I know everyone else has problems and it is easy to ignore someone who says 'actually I need help' or 'I can't cope' because you don't want to be dragged into it and have to pick up the pieces of someone else's life when you're dealing with your own. But sometimes just saying that you're in someone's thoughts or that you want to send them a virtual hug, makes the person with depression smile. Of course, it may just be a comment that you forget you have done 5 minutes later BUT it has made someone's day.

The hardest thing I found this time was the ignorance for depression. I was told that I needed to cheer up by someone who is well aware of my mental health problems. Comments like that make you want to punch people because it's not as easy as just cheering up. Another comment was about making myself out to be a victim and always moaning about how my life is always so bad. The fact is that I rarely do that. We all have our bad days and we have a little moan about it. If you didn't do it, then I would say you are not real! But to take me whilst I am down and say that I am always feeling sorry for myself is wrong. It makes a person suffering from depression feel even worth - suicidal even if you run them down for the depression.

Others however, hold your hand through it. They support you and they check you're okay. You might not want the contact and when you suffer from depression, you think nobody cares. But the truth of it is that you put on such a mask to hide the depression that nobody actually notices how you are feeling. They just think that everything is fine because you have become a master of disguise.

So as I am finally coming out of this last bout of depression, I am thankful that I am feeling better. I am working my way through 500 unread emails and trying hard to fill in the gaps of my blog where I have missed days. Depression is hard, it's not something you can get over, or recover from the next day, it takes time. You need to be that friend that has the time to wait until your friend feels better, give her space but make sure she knows you are still there for her. I know it's not easy, but if someone knows you are there then it makes a huge difference to them.