Sounds confusing, right?
Yes. That’s exactly what I felt five months ago. To give you a brief background, I work in the corporate industry-with good pay, a car, per diem allowance, great benefits, and travel incentives. I was working well for the past four years until I was diagnosed with major depression and at that time, I was in denial. Yes, I WAS IN DENIAL. I thought I was just experiencing some kind of work fatigue because of my new boss. I tried to please her. She was the tough one and competitive in her ways. She made sure to push everyone. God knows I tried so hard to please her. Still, it wasn’t enough for her.
One day, I woke up tired. So tired that I didn’t want to get up and work. That feeling turned to a few days which turned to weeks until I reached a point where I felt my job is already dragging. I was forcing myself to go to work. I tried discussing it with my boss because I thought our relationship will somehow work out. I told her everything that was bothering me only to hear this from her: “Maybe this job isn’t really for you. Maybe it’s time for you to resign.” I didn’t know how to react. She’s my boss. She should be encouraging me. She should be somehow considerate of my feelings. But no – she didn’t care.
My husband and I talked. Believe me, I almost cried every day. There were so many thoughts running in my head. I couldn’t focus at work. I couldn’t focus at home. I would always blame myself for not being good enough. I had self-pity. I grew paranoid. I was grumpy. I could hardly sleep at night. My husband suggested we consult a specialist (we’re both Nurses btw) and I know what he meant by specialist. I don’t want to go through those kind of stuff because – well – I do not feel depressed. I told him this is just fatigue. Maybe we can take a vacation to relax. Yes, we had our vacation but I was still unable to focus. We talked again and this time, he told me his observations, that he would always see me staring blankly, etc. But what hit me the most was the fact that I was already ignoring our son. I cried and told him that it was unintentional, like really, I didn’t notice I was already ignoring my son’s needs. That was the time I finally decided to I seek consultation.
We went to a Psychiatrist and told him everything. He said I’m having anxiety with depressive episodes. He advised me to rest for a month, prescribed medications to establish my sleeping pattern. He even asked my hobbies and me to consider going back to it, and do regular exercises. For the meantime, he told me to detach myself from work as I was on leave. And so I did.
My stress decreased but I’m still not 100% A-Okay. What do I mean by 100% not okay? Hmmmm. I still had numerous episodes of staring blank, I still get anxious easily, can barely sleep at night, and I’m still worried about work – my boss, basically. So we went back again for our weekly appointment and told my doctor about it. He assessed me again and told me I’m having a Major Depression (click link for more info) So I had to file for a 2-month leave to sort things out.
This time, I religiously followed his advice- I did cross-stitching, cooked for my family, brought our son to school, watched Netflix, and I did a little walking. Hehe. I even limited myself in answering work Emails. I prayed hard and offered everything to the Lord. Fast forward and two months later, I felt better. Slowly, I’m beginning to return to my old self. This is a slow process and it will take time to fully recover but I won’t give up. I won’t lose hope.
To someone who is reading this and is experiencing the situation I had been to, I want to tell you: YOU ARE NOT ALONE. You are not crazy but you must admit to yourself that something is not right. You might say “I don’t know where to start” or “I’m afraid people I know will judge me”. Depression is common nowadays but it is something you should pay attention to.
If you are still unsure of your situation, try the following steps below (not in order):
1. Try to open up to your loved ones
It can be your partner, parents, friends, or your most trusted colleague.
Be open to their observations – if they have one.
3. Assess yourself
You can list down what you’re feeling and its effect in your daily living.
4. Consult a specialist
This can be tricky since you have two options: either go to a Psychologist or a Psychiatrist. You can check this link for a more in depth description.
5. Accept the situation
Acceptance is the key to everything. Hey, it’s not your fault but you have to accept that stuff like this can happen to everyone.
Well, you can do this in moderation. You need to detach yourself from what’s causing your depression but at the same time, you also need to address it one at a time.
7. Do activities
It can either be your hobby or something new you would like to try and explore.
A simple walk or jog is considered an exercise and the best part is this: it will make you feel good because it releases chemicals like endorphins and serotonin that is scientifically shown to improve your mood.
This might sound cliché but trust me, I came to know him well. Nothing is impossible with God. We just have to trust him at all times. Pray about everything and give thanks at all times. Okay, this one deserves a separate topic which I will cover on my next post!