Depression and Isolation
When I’m in a depressive episode, I feel as though nobody cares. I know that’s not the case, but it still feels that way. When I’m depressed, something as small as a loved one not glancing at me when I enter a room or a loved one not returning the smile that was so hard for me to muster can spiral me into destructive thoughts of worthlessness and uselessness.
When I’m in a depressive episode, I am painfully aware of the absence of my loved ones. The logical side of me tells me that most people aren’t aware of my depression and therefore wouldn’t be around to give me the extra support I might need. They can’t help if they don’t know what’s going on. But the depression tells me that I’m a burden to absolutely everyone, which is why they keep their distance.
I have had a depressive episode nearly monthly for the last 15 years. They started as just a few days of being sad, letting the weight of the world push me down for a little bit. They’ve gotten progressively worse, lasting weeks or even a month. Last year saw the worst of them. I carried it into 2019. What a way to start the year.
I’ve sought counselling several times throughout my life, but it always fell through in one way or another before I could get to the first session. My depression can be blamed for that too. And my phone anxiety.
I don’t reach out because my depression tells me that I’m hated. I’m a vile, toxic person who has no business being around people, ruining their lives. I tend to not respond when people reach out to check on me because my depression tells me they’re only doing it to be polite and they don’t actually care.
Depression thoughts can sneak their way in to any situation and thought process. It really doesn’t matter what your logical side tells you because the depression is screaming so loudly that it’s hard to hear anything over it.
Someone didn’t message me back? It’s because I suck. Doesn’t matter if they were actually busy. Someone didn’t acknowledge me? It’s because I’m not worth acknowledging. It doesn’t matter if their attention was on something important. Someone forgot about something I said or about something important to me? It’s because I’m forgettable and not worth remembering. It doesn’t matter that they’ve had a lot going on and can barely remember their own name.
This is what untreated depression can do to a person. I am surrounded by people who love me. I have a huge support network. I have a multitude of people I can reach out to. But when I’m in a depressive episode, my brain tells me that I’m completely alone.