While I wouldn’t wish depression on my worst enemy, I do sometimes wish I could inject the knowledge about how it feels into my partner’s brain. Because, there is no way to really explain it with words.
I realized today that one of the reasons is that during my episodes, it is ever-present. And there’s no way to fully explain this part of the agony to someone who hasn’t experienced it without putting them through this part of the agony, is there? You can read this post and depending on how fast you read, it will take you seconds to a few minutes and then you are through exposing your brain to the thoughts it conveys. You can listen to someone tell you how they experience depression and even if they talk for a half hour or hours, it is still only in your mind for a finite time frame. Or maybe you ponder it occasionally the rest of that day or week. But you have the option to take a break from it the minute the person stops talking.
Experiencing a depressive episode is not like that for me. The depression is with me every second. In fact, during my episodes, my depression convinces me that it will be with me for the rest of my life – every second. My personal history tells me that it’s very plausible that I will, some glorious day, come out of it.
Here’s the curious part for me. When I’m in an episode, I can’t imagine what it feels like not to be in one, how I will get out, or that because I’ve gotten out before means I likely will again. I know I wrote down in the paragraph above that this is what my personal history tells me but that was my logical brain. My feeling/imagining brain outright denies my logical brain.
I’d like to write more later regarding the relationship of those two brains of mine, but first I’ll get back to the difficulty of being caring while imparting the description of my depression. I feel writing or speaking about the agony of the consistency of my depressive episodes falls short of conveying the agony. But actually conveying the agony would be harmful to my partner, overshooting my goal.
Without understanding this, I feel like my partner doesn’t understand the best way to help me. They can’t even be truly sympathetic. This is why people who have this disease and feel and understand it need to stick together. Tell the rest of us that they understand. It combats the stigma and loneliness.
2 thoughts on “Describing Depression – The Agony of Consistency”
I can relate 100% – I had a bad episode of depression several years ago and my husband had no idea how to help me. It was hard. I had no idea how to tell him what I needed from him because for one, I didn’t know myself. We got through it though. I am sure you will too.
Thanks kimi. It is a disastrous disease. Glad you guys got through it.