Hey. I know we barely know each other and all, but let’s pretend that you’ve been feeling shitty, off and on, for a long time. And by “off and on” I mean “pretty much always feeling shitty but you’re doing okay, so can’t we just drop it?”
This may not apply to you. Please accept this video of dogs in slow motion as consolation and enjoy your day. Otherwise, let’s talk.
Let’s define clinical depression. You don’t have to be paralyzed by despair to qualify, you don’t even need to be really, really sad. The one defining characteristic of depression is that it disrupts your ability to live your life. While this is fine and dandy after something terrible happens, what if your low mood is screwing your life over for no obvious reason?
Your life situation is okay! Maybe you’re in college, or have a good job, or both. Maybe you have a girlfriend, or a husband, or both! You resent your depression because “why should I have the right to feel sad? My life is great.”
That’s what makes it depression, dumbass.
If you had a reason to feel sad, it wouldn’t be a psychiatric disorder, now would it?
Your hobbies stopped being fun, and everything started feeling like too much trouble. Even if you’re doing fine at work or school, it feels more and more like treading water for hours upon end. Even when you’re happy, you’re kind of not happy.
Please go get medicated. Make the freaking psychiatrist’s appointment, or ask someone you trust to do the hard parts for you. If you don’t know where to start, go to a regular doctor and ask for a referral. If you go to college, you can probably get this shit for free.
Oh, but maybe I’m overreacting. Your life is characterized by quiet, creeping desperation; but you just need to work out more! And eat right! And get out more! Sure, all of that is getting harder and harder, which really sounds like what happens during clinical depression, but maybe this week you’ll be able to make a whole lot of life changes.
Shit, maybe you’re right, and that would solve everything. Know who would be a good person to make that call? A psychiatrist.
Now, I’m no pill-pusher. I only take pain-killers when I have to, and you’d have to give me a damned good reason to take antibiotics. That said, psychiatric medication works, and it can make you feel more like yourself.
I repeat, it can make you feel more like yourself.
You know how you used to feel, when things were fun? Or maybe over the summer, when you were working out and that one relationship was going well, and things were pretty cool? That’s when you were you. That’s when you’re at your most self-like-ness, because your brain isn’t stuck in a cloud of dreadful blah. Things are easier, things flow, because you aren’t slogging through knee-deep pools of psychic shit. This person that you are when you’re constantly “down” or “not feeling it”? A shadow. A pale imitation of who you can be.
So, I’m saying there’s a magic pill, right? No, it’s just a regular pill. And you’ll have side effects, and maybe you’ll need to try a new pill if the side effects are bad enough, or maybe a combination of pills. Each new medication will take a while to start working, and it might be so gradual that you might not even notice your depression lifting. It’s not even close to instant gratification, so do future-you a favor and start now.
Go to the psychiatrist. Get medicated. Consider asking for a referral to a talk therapist, who can help with the lifestyle changes thing. You’ll feel better, and you’ll be a better friend, wife, boyfriend, worker, student, or all of the above. Get this ball rolling, get some momentum going, and things will start changing. Good luck.