I could write a book about depression. I struggled with periodic depression even before the brain injury. It is never ending now.
If you have been experiencing some of the following signs and symptoms most of the day, nearly every day, for at least two weeks, you may be suffering from depression:
Persistent sad, anxious, or “empty” mood
Feelings of hopelessness, or pessimism
Feelings of guilt, worthlessness, or helplessness
Loss of interest or pleasure in hobbies and activities
Decreased energy or fatigue
Moving or talking more slowly
Feeling restless or having trouble sitting still
Difficulty concentrating, remembering, or making decisions
Difficulty sleeping, early-morning awakening, or oversleeping
Appetite and/or weight changes
Thoughts of death or suicide, or suicide attempts
Aches or pains, headaches, cramps, or digestive problems without a clear physical cause and/or that do not ease even with treatment
Two of the risk factors for depression are trauma and change. Brain injury is both. It’s physical, mental, and emotional trauma. For some, it is spiritual as well. Brain injury brings change. I hate change. It interferes with my function. It’s not routine. This is part of my response to my brain injury.
Depression. Recovery is a long and frustrating process. I swing between hope and despair. Some days I hope for more healing and start working toward acceptance. Right now, nope. The last month or so has been a fight against the demon of hopelessness: the “gift ” of depression. For me, the feelings of hopelessness, pessimism, restlessness, fatigue makes life a chore. I experience sucidal thoughts periodically. But, for some reason I don’t understand then, I keep going. I hate change but want change. I want a life that is meaningful and like it was before.
I put in the exhausting fight to look “normal.” I even seem “happy” from the outside. “High functioning ” depression is a good and bad situation. I look stronger on the outside but my soul is screaming. I feel alone all the time. I watch life, act like I’m living, but I feel numb, hopeless, and anxious inside. Usually, others don’t see beyond the mask. Or they presented they don’t because they don’t know how to respond or are uncomfortable.
Things don’t change. The road continues through the muck. I’m so tired. But, imswimg my pack on and keep marching forward.
I hope some day I can get behind the sadness of my loses and just see it as a different life path; something that isn’t a crisis but a new chance.