If you or someone close to you has ever experienced depression, then you know it’s not a joke. And I’m not talking about just a bad mood or a bout of the blues here. No, I’m talking about that debilitating 1,000-pound cloak of self-loathing and uselessness that settles down for a long, long stay. So, if you, or someone you love has experienced it, then you know it’s a very real, very powerful thing. You also know that it can destroy anyone, or anything, in its path.

At best, your relationships can suffer. Unfortunately, many of them just fall apart and end. Even the best of friends can only take so much before they have to save themselves. It’s not what they want to do. But since their sense of self-preservation is so much healthier than the sufferer’s, they want to help, but regrettably, end up having to save themselves.

Jobs are, at best, difficult to hold down. Sometimes if you are lucky enough to have a job that doesn’t require you to interact with too many people, you can hide for a while. But, because the lack of motivation gets stacked higher and higher with layers of bland apathy, even the most essential jobs begin to feel menial and pointless. And of course, none of this is good for long-term employment.

Sleep is either a constant friend that offers hours of relief and seclusion, protecting you like a fur-lined leather cloak with outfacing spikes. Or, if you are really cursed, sleep becomes a fleeting joke. A whispered promise of escape that is always just out of reach, waving to you from the far banks of some distant river.

And then there’s always the food problem. For many, there’s really no point to eating since they don’t have anything remotely resembling an appetite anyway, even for their most favorite dishes. And with that, of course, comes the weight loss, the ill-fitting clothes, and the omnipresent questions about your well-being. That is, unless you are the type who gets their comfort from food, and lots of it. For those, a normal serving size doesn’t exist. The only question they have is, “How much you got?” This self-imposed-prison is all around them. It lurks in the daily nourishment we take for granted. For them though, food is like a rogue tiger – large, fierce, powerful, and stealthy. And fighting against it only seems to prolong the inevitable.

And the thing is, this kind of depression doesn’t lift on its own, and it can hit almost out of nowhere. I say almost because I firmly believe that if you dig deep enough, with enough tools, you are bound to find a source… or even many sources.

For whatever reason though, we depressives actually seek to make things worse for ourselves. We begin listening to sad, depressing, or angry music. We keep our feelings to ourselves, our noble goal is to try not to spread our mood to others. Yet, even by those very same actions, we reveal to everyone precisely what our mood is. And then of course, someone reaches out to help… and if we even bother to acknowledge their offer, it’s only to turn it down. But when no one offers, we’re offended and sullen.

Even though there are probably a number of ways to get out of this deep funk, by virtue of our thoughts, actions, and body language, we almost guarantee that the only thing that will help us, sits squarely on our own shoulders. And that, is both a blessing and a curse.

There are ways though. Stay in touch for some posts on solutions, very soon.