Here’s a video I did a while ago before I figured out what was wrong with me. I was on a high dose of antidepressants and looking back, I was not well. But the antidepressants did help. I explain a bit in there, and I’ll explain below.
My experience of depression:
- Whenever I was walking anywhere, especially at night, I’d feel like I was going to get jumped. Someone behind me would suddenly grab me or something. Extremely on edge.
- I felt like I was mourning. Every bit of happiness I had would just be sucked back down into a tar pit of black. I’d laugh but then I’d be unhappy. Smile, then immediate unhappiness
- I was so angry. Slow people walking down the block, someone who doesn’t use their signal light, talking in the library? I was the one who would get up and tell people to go outside if they were going to talk in the silent space. Some people aren’t bothered by this. (I believe that some of the anger issues were from being on the birth control pill).
- I was irritable at people I love. This is one of the worst parts. It was the people closest to me that irritated me the most. It didn’t even have to be very irritating. But I’d yell at them.
- Depression pushes you away from the people you are closest to. It makes you more of a downer to be around. It pushes people away.
- It’s scary. I used to read horror books when I was a kid so that the feeling of fear made sense.
- Buried in books. I know that not everyone who reads is depressed, but it was a huge escape for me.
- A panic attack feels like your body is out of control. First, I’d feel my heart start racing, and when your heart rate increases like that your breathing is hard to control. Then sometimes my hands would start shaking. Sometimes it was physical for quite a while before I started freaking out mentally.
- Worrying about unlikely situations. When I was depressed, and when I have a reaction I can start worrying about the most unlikely situations. But in my head, they seem totally probably. It’s almost impossible to doubt yourself in situations like that.
- A constant pit in my stomach
- My shoulders were always raised up, kind of ready for an attack or to protect myself. It would take a lot of energy to straighten up and relax my shoulders.
If you see yourself worrying about things that you probably shouldn’t really worry about, or crying over things that you probably shouldn’t be crying over, or getting mad at people you love, it’s depression/anxiety, not life. (It feels more like they just become more annoying, it doesn’t feel like it’s you at all).
Life is great. You should be happy every day unless something serious is going on. When my dog passed away last year I was heart-broken. But I wasn’t as miserable as I was when I was depressed. I thought losing my dog would be the end of me. I thought that would be a good example of what being depressed is like but it’s not. Losing my dog was way easier than being depressed. Being depressed feels like there’s a poison in your soul that you’re trapped with forever. Surprisingly enough, it’s because there is poison in you. But it’s not forever.
I thought life was supposed to just kind of be. You just survive. If you feel like you’re just surviving, that’s not good enough, but it’s not your fault. Depression isn’t something you can will yourself out of. Exercise can help, (shown to reduce levels of inflammation), but it’s not your fault if you’re not happy. It’s not your fault if you get panicky or if you can’t sleep or if you sleep too much or if you’re angry all the time. Depression is awful. It’s like falling into a deep dark pit and never reaching the bottom. It’s hard to believe that something this awful could be diet related. It is. It’s not a chemical imbalance because we evolved wrong. That’s such a stupid theory. It’s your body screaming “something is WRONG”. But sometimes it comes on gradually, and because it’s so psychological, it’s hard to figure out. Get rid of the junk in your diet. Gluten and dairy are the big ones. And soy. Sometimes people feel better with just that, but it wasn’t enough for me, and if you have an autoimmune disorder it might not be enough for you either.