Paralyzed By Depression

Depressed man sitting on wooden floor with head down on lap

Day Consumed By Depression

Anyone who has ever experienced depression knows that it’s sometimes brought upon you by an unexpected wave that you never saw coming. It’s not like you wake up one day and you’re depressed; that’s not what we’re talking about. You don’t see the depression coming but you can definitely sense the bits and pieces of it trickling in. In other others, you’re not going to point at a calendar and say, “I’ll probably feel depressed July 4th.” It just happens.

But when the feeling hits you on that particular day, you’ll definitely know that you’re experiencing it. It feels like the inside of you is melting; you feel the pain spreading through your arms and legs and it’s especially heavy in the center of your chest. It’s as if your heart is pumping depressed blood and you’re slowing becoming paralyzed in mind and body; you can feel your soul kicking like the legs of a fetus in the uterus of a pregnant woman.

When the episode has begun, it’s very hard to just snap out of it and turn your day around. This takes a lot of strength and past experience and who wants to be that guy who has a lot of experience snapping out of depression? It’s not something that you necessarily want in your arsenal. It’s difficult to snap out of depression during that day because like I previously said, you feel paralyzed and out of options, as if riding the wave is the easiest thing to do.

If something exciting happens during the day, it makes snapping out of the depression much easier, but let’s be honest, how many of us have random exciting things that we can rely on to snap us out of these episodes? On second thought, even wealthy people who have tons of things to be excited about often can’t snap out of their depressive fits; the wave is just too powerful.

So what you’ll end up doing is trying to hold on for dear life and avoid drowning. If you can get to the end of the day near your bedtime, you’ll know that you have made it. I want to make clear that the depression that I am referring to is not the psychiatric diagnosis of “major depressive disorder.” I am referring to a general feeling of sadness that you can refer to as feeling “depressed,” but it’s not the same thing as major depression, which involves symptoms such as decreased sleep, interest, appetite, concentration, guilt and suicidal ideations for at least two weeks in a row.

We all experience sadness, but it’s one thing to be sad for one hour of the day and another to have your entire day consumed by depression. The latter involves your day psychologically going to waste. You may have accomplished chores and tasks and even have done fun things, but nothing was truly enjoyable because depression was eating you alive from the inside out. Sometimes talking to someone may help alleviate your depression, but keep in mind that it’s quite difficult to surf your way off the wave when you feel like it.

Oftentimes, when the wave arrives, it’s fair to say that you’ll be riding it all day. Your goal is to alleviate the falls and try to maintain as smooth of a ride as possible. If you can coast throughout the day without falling, consider yourself having experienced a minor depressive fit. When you wake up the next day, make sure that you maintain positive thoughts from the moment that you open your eyes, so that you don’t give depression and its associated wave a second run for its money.

You are not in this alone. Always feel free to engage with The DSM Ready Community for help and support!

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

I Am The Master Of My Depression

Depressed white woman wearing bunny ears outfit with hands covering face

Positive Affirmation: Controlling Depression

“I am the master of my depression because I don’t deny its existence when its wave comes upon me. Rather, I experience its associated symptoms and do not attempt to fight back, and realize that I am truly in control of it by reminding myself that I am stronger. Depression may strike at any moment, but it is I who still hold the keys to my mind and it is I who am the master of this ship!”

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Paranoid About The Government

Beautiful paranoid white woman wearing pink top

Schizophrenia In The Elderly

Imagine having no family history of mental illness and being highly functional for the first thirty years of your life. Imagine being very pretty and all the guys chasing you, replacing boyfriends left and right. Imagine meeting a handsome man who not only is a physician, but is employed by John’s Hopkins. Imagine everything falling in its place and not knowing what else to ask for in life, until your husband decides to get a divorce and schizophrenia decides to enter your life.

Environmental hits such as divorces may be strong enough to induce schizophrenia in those who are genetically prone. The problem is that we do not know who is genetically prone. After your husband slaps you with a divorce tag and schizophrenia parks itself in your mind, imagine becoming paranoid and delusional, believing that there is a government conspiracy at play.

You start to believe that the government has either recruited your husband or that he was in it all along. You then start experiencing auditory hallucinations of male government figures whispering random things in your mind. You also start to believe that your apartment is being gassed by the government, prompting you to frequently leave your place at random times.

When you finally get admitted into a psychiatric unit for stabilization and care, imagine starting to believe that the medications are altered by the government, the evidence being the different numbers engrained on the pills. Imagine believing that these altered medications are designed to harm you, when in fact they’re the best shot at getting you well again.

Imagine turning against yourself but it’s not really you turning against yourself; your mental illness is doing it to you. This is called paranoia and delusional thinking and it’s worse when it’s directed toward yourself, such as not taking medications. Without medications, how can the schizophrenia ever be treated? It can’t. So the cycle repeats itself and you end up being hospitalized numerous times, sometimes resulting in the delusions going away and you accepting the medications.

But without consistent medication compliance, the delusions often return, reigniting the same cycle experienced for the last thirty to forty years. By this time, you’re already a senior citizen somewhere in an adult home, desiring to “escape this mess.” What I have just described above is one version of a psychiatric patient’s life experienced from childhood to elderly.

There are thousands of different versions of psychotic states of mind. Each person in this world has a different story when it comes to mental illness. That’s why it’s important that we listen carefully to each other every single day!

Are you listening?

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

I Am Free Of Psychosis

Bald man in Adidas jumpsuit holding burning umbrella

Positive Affirmation: Psychosis

“I am free of psychosis because I listen to my psychiatrist and take my medications consistently, attend my outpatient appointments on time, make an effort to better myself by giving it my all in therapy, all while staying clear of alcohol and drugs and remaining physically healthy by exercising and maintaining a good diet!”

I Am Free Of Panic Attacks

Scared white woman crying while wearing face mask

Positive Affirmation: Free Of Anxiety

“I am free of panic attacks because they no longer control my life, my emotions, my presence in public and they no longer make me experience fear, uncertainty, doubt and sadness!”

I Am Free Of Depression

Grayscale photo of depressed woman sitting on bench against wall

Positive Affirmation: Depression-Free

“I am free of depression because depression does not have control over my sleep, emotions, appetite, energy, movements, interest in activities, concentration and drive to do whatever I want in life!”

I Am Proud Of Myself

Photo of smiling white woman wearing orange shirt looking at mirror

Positive Affirmation: Proudness

“Despite my mental illness, I am proud that I have character, stamina, endurance, a good heart, a strong mind, a will to succeed, the drive to carry on and the desire to help others who have a mental illness!”

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

Just Take The Meds

White woman's face with color splatters on hair and face

Ashamed Of Taking Medications

The stigma marches on . . . the shame of having a mental illness and the embarrassing thought of having to go see a psychiatrist who will prescribe you medications. You look at yourself in the mirror and ask yourself, “How? Just how in the world did I become like this?” Does it really matter how, Johnny? Jenny? At this point, you are suffering in pain and you need help; stop denying it.

But no one has to know; not your friends, not your family, not your siblings, not your significant other. No one! In some states, minors are allowed to seek mental health therapy without their guardian’s consent. You have to understand that performing a root cause analysis on yourself by attempting to discover the origin of your mental illness will not do you any good; you’ll likely never find out the reason why you became sick!

But being sick does not mean that it’s the end of the world; many are mentally ill all around the world and continue to lead normal lives. Some are mentally ill and more successful than you will ever be; they’re accomplished actors, celebrities, politicians, businessmen, doctors, lawyers, you name it! Being mentally ill and success should not be combined in the same basket; one has to do with luck, hard work and connections, while the other has to do with a malfunctioning circuitry in your brain.

But can you pick the common denominator of success and mental illness? It’s called, “blessing.” Just because you have a mental illness does not mean that you do not have food on the table, shelter, warmth, family, friends, an education, etc. You are blessed regardless of whether you have a mental illness or not. So stop being ashamed of your new reality and go seek a psychiatrist who will prescribe you medications; you won’t regret it if you are honest with your therapy and yourself.

For some reason, the stigma of mental illness is still alive and kicking. It’s going to take many more years until people no longer feel ashamed of their internal mental battles. It’s going to take an international platform like The DSM Ready Community to bury the stigma of mental health and allow the citizens of Earth to proudly stand on their rooftops shouting, “I have a mental illness and I am not ashamed of who I am!”

Take the meds.

Are you Ready? (This is Defeating Stigma Mindfully)

I Am Blessed Because Of My Enemies

Happy woman standing on hill with extended arms under cloudy sky at sunrise

Positive Affirmation: My Enemies

“I am blessed because of my enemies, I have more strength, determination, stamina and drive to power through my daily struggles, including my mental illness which attempts to bring me down everyday!”