“The biggest difference I have found between sadness and depression is this:
Sadness can occasionally be felt by the heart,
Depression always takes root in the soul.”
Image Source: @joe_lizzzzzz_yoga
(Note: A part of me feels like the title of this blog post: Depression by Joanne Phipps, could be the title of my memoir.)
I have battled with depression for a decade now: the physical aches in my body, the debilitating migraines, the weight gain from seeking out food for comfort, the constant indecisiveness, the irrational anger (which as a mother now is one of the hardest parts of depression to deal with because I have to really work hard to not completely lose my shit over something as simple as a dropped animal cracker or a stuffed animal left in the back of my car), the sadness that takes my breath away followed by the hollow, eerie presence of feeling nothing.
According to the Mayo Clinic: Depression is a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest. Also called major depressive disorder or clinical depression, it affects how you feel, think and behave and can lead to a variety of emotional and physical problems. You may have trouble doing normal day-to-day activities, and sometimes you may feel as if life isn’t worth living.
Depression can, sometimes be a one-time occurrence in your life, but it often times occurs multiple times over the course of a person’s life. The symptoms of depression typically occur all day for the majority of the day during the episode and include:
- Feelings of sadness, hopelessness, or emptiness
- Sleeping problems including both sleeping too much and insomnia
- Lack of interest in normally pleasurable activities
- Slowly thinking
- Frequent/reoccurring thoughts of death/suicide
- Feeling of worthlessness
- Fixation on past failures
- Unexplainable physical aches/pains
Typically, medication and psychotherapy are the most common treatments for depression. I personally, prefer a most holistic approach to my chronic battle with depression and include extra meditation and yoga in my daily routine when my depression becomes more prevalent. Because one of the symptoms of depression is frequent and/or reoccurring thoughts of death and/or suicide, it is important that you do seek help if you feel as though you are battling with depression. If you are unsure of where to seek help, please check our support tab at the top of our website.
***Please note: the following video does include suggestive adult content: sex, drugs, etc. that may be inappropriate for younger views as well as may be triggers for other viewers***
My Personal Depression Story:
Back in the mid 2000’s I found myself in a horribly unhealthy relationship that in the end left me devastated and eventually led to substance abuse problems, depression, and the majority of the mental well-being issues I have today stem from this initially.
When my violent and unhealthy relationship ended, I completely cut ties with my family because I was so ashamed: not only of what had happened to me but also of who I had become. I lived on a friend’s couch and over time because a heavy drinker and drug user. It was my way of coping, my way of escaping reality, and ultimately my way of erasing the sadness (depression) that had taken root in my being, even if only temporarily. Eventually, I had to face reality. My family, my friends.
I fell in love. I was happy again. I was pregnant and had a beautiful son. And then, I was depressed again. But this time, with postpartum depression. Thankfully, a large concern for new mothers, and I didn’t suffer alone or in silence that time.
If you follow me on social media at all, or you’re friends with me on facebook, you’ll see me talk about motherhood quiet often. About how EVERYDAY I LOVE being a mother, but somedays, I don’t LIKE it. About how my biggest pet peeve is mothers who act like their children have never been little shits in the middle of the supermarket or they’ve never gone out to get the toilet paper they forgot wearing two different socks with cheerios in their hair (we ALL have been there lady) because that it one of the most detrimental things we can do as mothers is make other mothers feel as though they’re inadequate because we don’t want to accept that we are imperfect just as they are and just as our children are. Later in the year we will be doing a longer segment on parenting with a mental illness, but to all the mothers and fathers out there: it really is ok to not always be ok. I would actually be more concerned about you if you always had rainbows shooting out of your butt than I am if you occasionally ugly cry in the shower.
Even now, as a mother and wife, a semi-successful social media influencer, stay-at-home crafter extraordinaire, depression is something that I battle with very often. And the idea of being depressed again and having to crawl my way back out of that hole is a constant fear in the back of my mind.