Depression and Its Symptoms
Depression is debilitating, paralyzing, and discouraging prohibiting the process of communication and daily activity. What you find effortless to do, such as getting out of bed in the morning, feels almost impossible to do on a day where depression takes over. Depression not only affects the one experiencing the burdensome symptoms, but it also affects those closest to that person as well. Symptoms may range from not taking showers to not being able to clean or do daily chores. The face of depression is different depending on each individual and needs to be approached with compassion and empathy.
I only recently realized the symptoms that not only affect me but my family and friends as well. As I move forward in my mental health journey, I not only must understand what I do because of my depression but also how I can be better at asking for help when I find myself falling into a depressive state.
There are two symptoms of my depression that are consecutive and recurring no matter how hard I try to disguise or place a mask over my feelings. One symptom leads to the other almost making it impossible to fight back.
When I feel triggered, I often become completely silent unable to communicate with anyone about how I’m feeling. I feel as though a spell took my voice stunting my ability to ask for help. Think about the Little Mermaid when Ursula took Ariel’s voice to sabotage her, this idea closely resembles this symptom. The silent spells leave me feeling alone and afraid that no one will listen or understand the thoughts that prohibit me from asking for help. These silent spells frustrate me as much as the people around me who often give me confused looks as tears rush down my face because I’m unable to speak. Silent spells because of this almost immediately progress into isolation cycles.
Isolation cycles are like the “part two” of the effects of the silent spells. Because I’m unable to express myself, I lock myself in my room to deal with the heavy weight of depression on my own. I do this to hide and possibly search within myself the courage to gain my voice back. Think of my room as the hyperbolic time chamber in the Dragon Ball Z cartoon. I go to my room to get stronger as I fight to gain strength to talk again. My worse fear is affecting someone with my mood so I hide away until I feel more stable and ready to socialize. I usually have these cycles in three-day increments depending on the trigger. I try my best, however, not to hide away for too long.
Next Steps in Helping Others Understand Me in My Depression
Because I’m hyper-aware of my depression, I often try to stay around people that keep me calm and grounded. The more I’m around these people, the more I’m able to absorb their calming energy which helps me gain control over my depressive symptoms. I’m also learning how to identify my biggest triggers in order to talk about them. The more I communicate, the better my loved ones are aware and can help me avoid those triggers.
I know when I hideaway or become nonverbal my family and friends may become annoyed and confused. I want them to know I’m working on it. I’m working on being better for myself and for them. I want to be better at communicating and explaining my symptoms is a healthy next step for my healing journey.
Tips and Tricks
Have you ever felt frustrated with the misconceptions others have about your condition? A helpful tip is to think of creative and thoughtful ways to communicate your symptoms. If possible, communicate before or during a difficult time teaching others how to be more helpful. You are strong, capable, and able to get past any obstacle even if that means asking for help.
Nina is a Latina from Brooklyn, NY who struggles with depression and anxiety. She finds refuge and healing through her writing since she graduated from college in 2016. Nina writes to spread awareness and hope to those who struggle with their mental health silently. She also strives to motivate and encourage self-acceptance. She enjoys creating creative and uplifting content on her blog SparklyWarTanks.com where she shares her experiences, notes, poems, quotes, and articles.