On Facebook, a #FaceOfDepression flashmob has begun — the Face of Depression, where people share their sad and painful experience of meeting her. Painful, because depression itself is like a quagmire, it drags you deeper and deeper every day.
Our expert, professional psychologist Elena Shpundra will tell about the #FaceOfDepression flash mob and personal experience. And also about how to recognize depression and why the banal phrases “Smile, hold on, everything will pass” will never help.
Outside the window is autumn. Not for everyone, this is the time for harvesting, a warm blanket in an embrace with a cat and unhurried conversations with friends over mulled wine. Autumn is a traditional time of exacerbation of depression.
It all starts seemingly trite, with “I’m tired” or “I have no strength.” Well, who among us does not get tired in this frantic rhythm of life?
However, the usual fatigue goes away as soon as you allow yourself to rest — a day, two, a week, even a month. It all depends on the load that caused the fatigue.
Fatigue as a sign of depression does not go away with rest. On the contrary, every new day you are blown away like a balloon, “elasticity” — a vital resource — is less and less.
Now you can’t go to a meeting with a friend, a children’s party doesn’t please you, but it seems like another factor that takes away strength, but they don’t exist anyway, crawling out of bed in the morning seems an impossible task, your appetite disappears and even perform your daily care routine it becomes more and more difficult.
Against this background, “psychosomatics” can still develop — migraines, pressure surges, especially for those who do not understand what is happening to him, but strongly blames himself for lying and doing nothing. The body begins to throw him “excuses” of passivity.
Why do depressions occur?
There is no single answer. I think at some point a person cannot withstand the burden of life circumstances.
It can be some big troubles and losses. Or just a period of small failures, but it lasts a long time and there are so many small failures that they merge into one big trouble. When reality frightens (doesn’t suit) so much that you want to run away from it, close yourself in some small world where it can’t reach.
There is also a monoamine theory, according to which the development of depression is associated with a deficiency of dopamine, serotonin, norepinephrine.
Deficiency of “hormones of happiness” is typical for residents of countries with a damp, low-sun and rainy climate.
Only the facts
- For example, depression in Sweden is the number one reason for sick leave.
- In the Netherlands, an employee diagnosed with depression is entitled to one year’s paid leave.
- At the same time, in the United States, where the climate is very different, more than 26% of women and 12% of men suffer from depression. So the climatic factor, although it affects the state of the body, everything is not decisive.
Depression comes in varying degrees of severity, so many manage to hide it quite successfully, even from themselves.
#FaceOfDepression: a flash mob that exposes the face of trouble
In this flash mob, people share how they managed to maintain the belief in others that everything is “ok” with them — for example, go to work and build a career, only at home they fell down and burst into tears for no reason, but what is happening at home, only we and the cat, if there is one, know.
Someone posted their smiling photos on social networks and communicated with others “as usual”, but at home the husband and children could not understand why the mother completely stopped cooking and cleaning and always tries to avoid communicating with them.
Oh, this is the power of persuasion “keep your brand”, “save face”, “so that people do not think bad things.”
Personal experience: how I faced depression
There are depressions, severe, clinical, when hospitalization is indispensable.
My mom had one just like that. But at that time the word “depression” was not even in use, and hospitalization in the PND meant the stigma of “crazy”.
A painful divorce from my father, the collapse of the Union, attempts to find oneself in business, later the betrayal of a business partner — all these troubles formed a big snowball that literally crushed my mother.
I was a student, we lived in the same apartment, each new day became worse than the previous one, but neither she nor I understood what was happening!
At first, my mother stopped doing something around the house. A neat and tidy woman in the past, she suddenly didn’t care that the furniture was covered with dust, and there was a mountain of dirty dishes in the sink.
Cleaning passed into my hands, but later she refused to even leave her room for me to clean it. Refusing to cook, narrowing social contacts, soon my mother stopped taking off her nightgown.
“Later”, “tomorrow, yes, I will get up tomorrow, I promise you”, “I feel bad, I need to lie down” — these words were repeated to her from day to day, but nothing changed.
So she lay for several years. It was only the need to move to her grandfather, her father, who was decrepit and required supervision, that made her get up. Mom moved and even started cooking for her grandfather, but she never got out of depression. She did not want to take care of herself, cleanliness, she took animals and was happy to communicate only with them.
I used to be very angry with my mother. I thought she didn’t try, didn’t want to, didn’t make any effort on herself. Now I understand that my mother simply could not.
But then I didn’t want to go home. There was a complete misunderstanding in my head how to live and what to do. But I was afraid that if I didn’t do anything, I would lie down next to my mother and together we would die. Therefore, I ran through interviews with such speed and with such energy that a job was found. I think it was this mother’s depression that gave me tremendous resilience and the will to move forward.
I feel like I have to live for her too. And enjoy for it. Times did not work out together.
But back to the flash mob and depression. As a psychologist, I can’t help but notice that few people write about seeking professional help or taking antidepressants.
This is despite the fact that the experience of living in depression has 3, 5, 8 or more years. Some kind of aura of “shameful illness” persists around depression — go to a psychotherapist, psychiatrist, go to a neurosis clinic, take antidepressants — many continue to think that this is like signing that you are a psycho.
If someone finds out — shame, shame, so it’s better to “handle it myself.”
You won’t make it. Even with “minor” depression. You will drive deeper, you will learn to endure more, but it is better to pretend. But you won’t make it.
Seek help from professionals. At least for the sake of your loved ones who live depression with you every day. So that they do not want to lie down and die next to their mother, since I am in my 20+.
Share this information on social networks — perhaps for someone it will be vital!
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