My experience with clinical depression has taught me to take it seriously. I wish other people would also take clinical depression seriously. Clinical depression is not just the blues or feeling lazy.It's a serious and debilitating condition that can lead to suicide.My first encounter with clinical depression was when I was nine years old. I felt sad and I didn't want to get out of bed.I couldn't wash myself. School was really hard. It lasted about a month. My mother thought I was being rebellious. My teacher thought I was acting up. I hear how children and teens commit suicide and it's a surprise to the parents. If they paid attention to the symptoms I don't think they would have been surprised.
The next time I was clinically depressed was when I was fifteen years old. I don't know how I made myself go to school. I did every day but it was hard. I couldn't think clearly or make decisions. I was clueless in math and chemistry class. Other kids just thought I was stupid. My handwriting was really bad. I had a hard time concentrating. I don't recall being suicidal. My sister was becoming ill with Schizo-affective Bipolar Disorder so my mother was really distracted. I got D's in all my classes and nearly flunked out of school. My mother doesn't recall this. It goes to show how clueless parents can be of their children. Depression is sneaky. It can look like other things. It's important to communicate with your children and notice any changes in behavior or grades.
I was in college the next time I was clinically depressed. It was in 1989 and I was going to the University of Colorado at Boulder. I couldn't stay awake in class. That was the first thing then I couldn't stay awake at all. I just wanted to stay in bed. I began missing class. I couldn't function. It was like my brain stopped working. I couldn't concentrate. I couldn't move out of bed . I felt incredibly sad and hurt for no reason at all. I felt hopeless and I hated myself. I felt like a disappointment to God. I felt in sin all of the time. I couldn't move. I was totally debilitated. I stayed home from my finals and got incompletes on all my classes. This lasted about six months. I got suicidal and tried to commit suicide with pills. I saw a counselor but she was useless. The next year I felt better.
In 1991 I got depressed again. I got suicidal and dropped out of school. I moved to denver and got my own apartment. I got a job doing surveys over the phone. I saw a doctor who said the depression was caused by low thyroid. He prescribed pills for my low thyroid. I got worse. I got suicidal. I tried to commit suicide by burning down my apartment. I was arrested for Arson. I went to jail. I was evaluated by the jail for mental illness. I was sentenced to 2 years deferred sentence. After two years my record would be cleared. I was given an anti-depressant after I got out of jail. This triggered a manic episode and I was in the hospital for a day. I was correctly diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder after that.
I didn't want to go on disability like my sister so I enrolled in a program that would get me back to work.I got a job at the Denver Post doing data entry. I moved out of my falther's house and worked steady until 2000. I still struggled with depression especially when I was on medications that didn't work. Lithium seems to work best I have been on that medication the most.
When I tell people I am depressed they seem to think I am talking about my mood. Mood is only part of this condition. When I am depressed I can't work. I can't function. It's totally debilitating. It's not that I don't feel like working or going to school. I can't. My brain ceases to function. I can't concentrate. I don't know how to express the despair I feel. I remember being so depressed in 1989 that I wondered the Boulder campus screaming at the top of my lungs. It's that painful.
I tried 3 times to get disability. I was turned down. The judge would say things like I can't work my former job but I can get another job. I was so discouraged. The judge said that I was stable on my meds because I didn't go to the hospital. I was suicidal but I didn't go to the hospital because we couldn't afford it. I was staying home to avoid medical bills. If I went to the hospital every time I was suicidal we would have had too many hospital bills. I was really frustrated. In 2003 I tried to to keep a job. It lasted a week. I was so exhausted. I couldn't do the job. It was customer service from home. Really easy. I couldn't do it. It was too hard.
I have spent most of my time during the day in bed. I stay up all night and have a hard time sleeping. It's hard trying to find a job when I sleep during the day. I tried staying awake all day. I still stay awake during the night. I can't seem to sleep at night. I go to bed at around 4 am. I sleep for a couple hours and am up in the morning. I get tired in the afternoon and take a nap. I have had this problem since 2006. I don't know how to fix it. I am trying to fix it on my own but it is difficult. I still have days when I can't function. I don't know how I am going to get a job but I have to try since my husband is out of work.
The thing about depression is that it is so insidious. It can lead to suicide and often does. I have learned to handle my suicidal feelings until they go away. A person who isn't used to this may not understand that the feelings go away and may commit suicide. It's important to pay attention to your children or relatives if they are sleeping alot and talking suicide. Take them seriously don't just treat it as a mood swing.It may save their life.