Depression is so sinister. It creeps in with negative thoughts, and without any warning, those thoughts almost go viral in our minds. Without even knowing what is going on, we are suddenly feeling lonely, then empty, then numb. Then just dark. A cold, empty, lifeless darkness that won’t go away.
No one should ever have to feel this way.
You don’t have to feel this way.
Your life matters.
If you are feeling this way, contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline for immediate support by calling, texting, or chatting 988. Please? Your life truly does matter, and there are people there who want to help you.
How Does Depression Start?
Depression can start with just some negative thoughts. Maybe we hear someone say something, maybe the thoughts are our own. Usually, it is subconscious, we don’t even realize those thoughts are there. While we know the chemical and physical reasons for depression, there is also a process in which depression takes hold of our thoughts and minds.
The original thoughts give way to more thoughts and those thoughts just keep multiplying exponentially. Soon, it is like a giant, dark cloud that surrounds our minds, and all of our thoughts and experiences are seen through this negative cloud of thoughts. Like someone might say “Good morning!” and our thoughts range from “There is nothing good about it” to “They’re just saying that because they feel sorry for me,” to “It would be a good morning for you if I wasn’t here.” Meanwhile, nothing remotely like that is going on in the other person’s head. This is one way in which the thoughts distort our vision of reality and change even the simplest greeting into something dark and altered state.
When the Clouds Turn to Storms
That dark cloud of negativity darkens and intensifies in our minds until it becomes a storm. Not even just any storm, but a category five hurricane kind of storm. This process can take place over an hour or two in extreme situations, or it can take weeks or months. The problem is that there is no accurate weather reporting for our minds. We think we are fine, and without any notice, the darkness is there, and it is really hard to reach out for help.
Some people live in numbness or darkness for extended periods of time. Some are fortunate enough to have the clouds lifted for a while. But the statistics are not pretty:
• The percentage of people aged 13-24 who suffer from depression range from 8-13%, and those are only the ones who are diagnosed. That is at least one in ten people.
• The Centers for Disease Control reported suicide rates climbed steadily from 1999-2014, with the biggest increase amongst adolescents. Suicide is one of the leading causes of death for those aged 10 to 24 years old. No one wants to be a statistic, we deserve to be known for other things.
How Do I Make It Stop?
No matter how incredible you are, depression is one of those things that requires medical intervention. We simply cannot fight it on our own and expect to win. Just as most cancer that is left untreated is fatal, the risks of death due to depression are also high. The problem is that our brains will tell us when our bodies are sick. We will feel pain and have other symptoms that alert us that there is a problem. But when our brain is where the problem is, it doesn’t always give us the same kinds of alerts. We don’t know that there’s a problem until it’s almost too late.
The best way to make it stop is to see a medical professional. Any licensed doctor is able to diagnose and treat depression. However, as with most specific medical issues, a specialist is ideal. In this case, we want to see a psychiatrist. They may get a bad rap from people who are uneducated about mental health, but they are just like any other doctor, sometimes even nicer. A psychiatrist is also ideal if we also have anxiety, have used substances, or have any other co-occurring disorder.
Our doctor can prescribe any number of treatments for us, depending on our unique situation, including therapy (or counseling,) medication, diets, and many other types of treatments. Because depression can often be a long-term or lifelong condition, and it impacts all aspects of our lives, an outpatient treatment program like Embark Behavioral Health is really helpful to help us learn more about improving our mental health. This program also helps to improve our communication skills, transform the way we look at life and more. In many situations, it can be used as an alternative to hospitalization.
Coming Out of the Darkness
No one should ever get to the point where they are so alone and so deep in the darkness that they don’t want to live anymore. But if you do feel this way, contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline for support. Immediately. You are worth it.
If the darkness is looming and has a hold of you, but there is no immediate threat, call a doctor and get help as soon as possible. Even if you feel like the clouds are settling in, it is always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your life. By reaching out for help, you can free your mind from the clouds and the darkness. You deserve not only to live but to thrive. Come out of the darkness and take your life back. Today.
*This article is for informational purposes only and not to be considered medical advice. If your child is having a mental health emergency, contact the 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline for immediate support by calling, texting, or chatting 988. You can also text HOME to 741741 -the Crisis Text Line- from anywhere in the country to talk with a trained crisis counselor.
Embark Behavioral Health can help you learn to live life without darkness. Call 1-855-809-0409 right now. Your life matters.