turtle wrote:What in the world are people talking about when they say a person is depressed?
I have been diagnosed with major depressive disorder, for me it is much different than others have expressed or discussed on this thread. I was diagnosed after my suicide attempt last year. The root of my problem is the circling thoughts I had no control over.
I would continually have a random thought start circling in my mind and I could not break the cycle. I could not get my mind off of the subject, I would run in over and over, looking at it in every possible way but stopping was not an option. It caused severe fatigue and high irritability.
I would run conversation in my head with other people before I had them. I would practice what I would say, then think how the person would respond. Then I would think of how I would respond in return. Eventually carrying out the entire conversation. When completed I would start over with them responding differently, running every possible scenario. This would lead to me often having a hostile or combative approach when I actually had the conversation with the person.
These question and answers you all have asked about how one feels when depressed never crossed my mind because my mind did not have time for such questions. My mind was constantly obsessing over what I should or shouldn't do, how I should or shouldn't react. There was no time for self-reflection. My only relief from these circling thoughts come from self-medication (drugs and alcohol).
This state of mental being created me to lose interest in most of my hobbies and activities. The things I loved and enjoyed became too complicated for me to continue doing. If I was passionate about something my mind would circle more and more about it, until it became a debilitating hinderance in my life. I wanted the thoughts to stop so badly I would quit the activity or hobby.
This desire to stop thinking drove me from the things I loved and the people I loved. I became very isolated and unattached. As a very outgoing and people pleasing child, this created a thought of not being who I was or wanted to be. This was the source of my low self-esteem and self-confidence. I was not the person I was or wanted to be anymore.
With my uncontrollable thoughts, I became very tired: mentally and physically. The lack of ability to shut it off caused many sleepless night. Over the years (15-20) my body became wore down. Getting out of bed and physical exercise became impossible. The circling thoughts drove me to the point I could not go on any longer. I could not see the things going on around me or even notice what was going on around me, it had debilitated me to the point of complete introversion.
I am now on anti-depressants and even though the thoughts try to keep circling, I now have the ability to stop them. I have also learned techniques to get them out when they need to be worked out. For me depression is not a condition because of outside influences or even a conscious thought about my own current situation, it comes from me not being able to control my own thinking.
I will never forget that first day, at the age of 38, I was able to look out my window and think of nothing but how beautiful that tree was on the mountainside. That peace of mind was priceless.