So I am currently in the midst of my first major depressive episode. Just curious to see if any of you guys have had one and how you coped. If you're not sure what a true major depressive episode is, here's the wiki link:
Suffice it to say, this isn't just your everyday blues. I have experienced minor depression before and never understood why people needed medication. I was like "Shit, I'm sad, but so what? Life goes on."
A major depressive episode, however, is not "sad." It's hell. It's a constant feeling of being utterly worthless, completely devoid of a single ounce of hope. It's suicidal thoughts that creep into your life on a daily basis. It's holding a knife up to your wrist and pondering whether you should just go ahead and do it, not calling anyone first for the drama, not half-assing it for the attention - just really planning to do it. (side note: I didn't do it, and I won't - not for myself but because I'll be damned if I'll let this disease rob my dad of his son).
A major depressive episode can mean crying - not just a little weeping but full-on sobfests - on a daily basis. It can mean being afraid to go to bed because your evenings are actually decent, but your mornings are hell, and you're terrified of having to feel that way for one more day.
And it's not just the emotions that are difficult. A major depressive episode carries physical symptoms as well. The first time my appetite was so far gone that I literally gagged and almost threw up at the sight of food even though my stomach was completely empty, I was surprised and almost intrigued. By the third or fourth time, the phenomenon began to get old.
A major depressive episode can mean alternately sleeping 9-10 hours a day and having great difficulty waking up because sleep is the only place where you have some relief, and it can mean waking up ten times over the course of six hours because your hypersomnia has suddenly decided it would rather be insomnia. It can mean going from a brainiac to a moron because you have completely lost your ability to concentrate on anything but the never-ending stream of hopeless thoughts that replay over and over in your brain. I think that's the most frustrating part; knowing on a rational level that I'm going to be perfectly fine and yet not being able to convince myself or stop those god damn thoughts from invading my brainspace. Head and heart are existing in two completely different dimensions and there's not a damn thing I can do about it.
I could go on and on about just how hellish this experience has been. But I won't. Either you've been here and you recognize yourself in what I'm saying, or you don't. And I'm not coming here for help, either - I'm getting help. I have a therapist. I'm beginning to understand what I can do myself to combat this (exercise good! junk food and TV bad! etc.) and, despite everything I've ever said about psychiatric medication, I'm finally giving in and going to a doctor's appointment Friday to get put on some meds. I didn't want to do that, but I can't take the risk that, at some point, this will become too much to handle and I'll do something stupid.
So yeah, I'm not posting this for any of those reasons. I'm posting this because I know statistically that I am not alone, and I want to hear from those of you who have been here - so I don't feel alone, and maybe so you won't either.