Sometimes I’m hit with a crushing sadness for no real reason. It’s not pms(I checked the calendar) and there’s nothing really specific going on and it’s only occasionally so I don’t say it’s depression. It’s just a need to curl up and cry for a little while until it passes. I confessed last week on facebook.
I found that I wasn’t alone, not by a long shot. A few of you suggested that it could be an introvert thing, just getting mentally overwhelmed, especially during a busy time. Others said it could be hormonal, even if it isn’t technically that time of the month- which makes sense since my hormones seem to be all over the place the older I get(thank you, aging).
And really, it could just be the build up of so many little things, which is why I can’t point to something specific that made me feel that way- it could be the sum total of it all. Add a dash of being tired and a splash of stress and there you go: a feeling of sadness and a need to cry.
But, I cry or take a nap or read a book or simply let the day pass, and the feeling passes.
Which is why I won’t say it’s depression.
While someone who has depression doesn’t necessarily feel that sadness all the time, they aren’t just able to do something small and get over that feeling.
They can’t just suck it up and be happy.
And I can.
I might allow myself to wallow a little bit because acknowledging how I’m feeling in the moment tends to help me more than if I try to squash those feelings down. But it’s allowing myself to wallow, not an inability to shake that feeling off.
And I can move on from that feeling- there isn’t an underlying sadness left over that seems to follow me the majority of the time.
If I were to say that I have depression and then tell people how I just decided not to be sad any more or how I was able to feel better after a good cry, it feels to me like I’m trivializing the very real problems that people with actual depression go through.
People who are given advice like suck it up, just choose to be happy, shake it off, it’s a choice, etc. Advice that isn’t helpful at all. I don’t want to be a part of that- where someone says “Oh, well, Shell was depressed but she decided to be happy and she was fine, so why can’t you do the same?”
No, mine is just the occasional blues that pretty much everyone feels at some point because life isn’t always easy.
You could look at this like it’s just an issue of semantics and wonder what’s the big deal about a word. Maybe there isn’t, but it’s never felt right to me to say it was depression unless it actually was. It’s my way of acknowledging that depression is real and it is serious.
Last Week’s #PYHO Highlights
- Seasons of Friendship from Rant Rave Crave
- Where Was God in All of This? from The Mom Cafe
- Working Mother’s Guilt from A Mama Collective
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