Depression comes in many forms and varies in degree. Some are very serious, need to be clinically treated while others are mild, possibly not even noticed. But it doesn’t mean that it’s not there.
The latter best describes how I would diagnose myself if had to diagnose myself for depression. I don’t have it. But sometimes, some days, it feels like I do.
I am a generally cheerful person. Positive. Optimistic. Some say naive but I like to think that I have the pleasure of a youthful demeanour to keep my guard against the cynicism or darkness of the world.
Speaking of darkness, it’s not to say I don’t feel negative, or upset or bitter or whatever. I do. I have very bad days, like anybody else.
Lately however, it feels like I’ve been having so many of those. And after trying to understand my predicament, I realised that I’m fine. But I do have this thing that I like to call 5 minutes of darkness.
I’ve totally made this up by the way. But I know for sure many feel this. It’s the feeling when you’ve had a very long day at work, with no time to even catch a thought, and then come back home to let it all out.
This typically happens when it’s been a rough day. Since I naturally reflect about everything, I would find myself sitting on my chair or the edge of my bed and think about stuff. “What a shit day.” “My God do I have to work tomorrow?” “I’m really not good at this.” “Why did I say that?” “Why did he say that???”
You know, casual thoughts.
But for the few minutes (sometimes it drags on) my head feels very dark. It’s a dark space and I almost feel trapped. Like I am trying to find a way out of these negative thoughts but there’s no room for air. It feels like I’m drowning in my self inflicted negativity.
A few tears would shed (sometimes).
And then I’d realise the time and I’d get up, grab my towel and head into the shower to freshen up.
Life resumes as normal. But you know, the episode would repeat itself over the course of weeks, months.
So am I being dramatic or do I have signs of depression? Or am I simply too hard on myself?
I guess only I know the answer to that question. But one thing’s for sure. The dark cloud always passes for me and a new day shortly ensues. I know I will probably face the same thoughts again but it’s okay. It’s normal. I can’t force myself to feel incredible all the time. But I can definitely develop strength and resilience from continuous minutes of self doubt. After all, the only person who should make you feel better is yourself.