Symptoms of depression | You are not your thoughts
As humans, we are often plagued by symptoms of depression. Over the last six or seven weeks I really haven’t been feeling myself. I had a personal health tragedy that really rocked me to my core, I am OK now but I will maybe never be the same again. That’s OK, I am human and I am here to change – that’s my job.
Over the last few weeks I have felt like I have been a “bad person”. I have been really grumpy, depressed, harsh with those I love, moody and irritable. I just feel kinda tired all the time, a bit lost and unhappy. If optimal mental health is 10 and crisis is 0, I have been coasting along at about 3 for some time now.
What are the main symptoms of depression?
I have written about trying to nurture myself. I have previously written about my bad manners and how they get worse when I am feeling sad and low. I have written about trying to work out when sadness becomes depression but the good news is – I have always gotten through the rough patches in my life.
My favourite blogger Penelope Trunk has blogged recently about major depression and suicidal thoughts. Her blog post is titled I want to die. I found this post very hard to read as Penelope is someone I look up to; someone who is more mature and stronger than I am; someone who is valuable and loved – and yet she is saying that she simply can’t go on. It’s a bloody difficult read, let me tell you!
What is depression?
We all go through periods that are very difficult, periods that really test us, times that we think we really will crack. I am in one of those times right now and when you’re “down in the dumps” it can be so difficult to pull yourself back up again. We all know that, right? We’ve all been there before, bought the too-small T-shirt.
I would like to say that I will be OK and I know you’ll be OK too. I have a feeling that Penelope will be fine as well. An esoteric teacher told me something that really resonated with me a few years ago and was a huge relief to me.
You are not your thoughts
….and here’s another notion
Your thoughts are not truths
That’s right – just because you are thinking something, just because your brain is chattering something to you – you do not need to listen to it. Everything you think and everything your brain, or that “little voice” tells you is not definitely, 100% true.
A thought may be partially true, completely true or not true at all. But remember this – just because you are having negative thoughts about yourself, or someone else – you DO NOT NEED TO LISTEN TO THEM.
The signs of depression can be difficult to spot in some cases
If you’re like me, you have a very busy mind, one that chatters to you almost non-stop. Your thoughts may tell you unhelpful things like, “This person doesn’t like me,” or, “I am making a fool of myself.” The voice in your head may get even worse at times and say things like, “You are worthless,” or “No one could ever love you.” But these thoughts are simply that – just thoughts – they are not truths.
If you are experiencing some symptoms of depression, then you know what to do. Reach out to professionals, stay close to those you love, and try not to be too hard on yourself. Suicidal thoughts are common, and the thoughts alone won’t hurt you but seek professional help if your thoughts become persistent. Where I live in Australia, Lifeline is 13 11 14 and you can head to their website for a depression test and to find out more about the symptoms of depression.
One final note on depression
Your current life is just a blip in the ocean, but infinitely valuable. Think of all the great men, women and gods who have come before you – everyone has struggles. When times are tough I like to read back on ancient history and mythology to remember how vast and amazing this ball of rock is.
Gilgamesh ruled the city of Uruk for 126 years – His name is translated to “The Ancestor is a Young-man”. Modern scholars are not sure if he’s a historical or fictional figure but he was said to be a king who reigned between 2800 – 2500 BC. The Epic of Gilgamesh is, “a magnificent poem, which deals with such eternal human problems as sickness, old age, death, fame and the craving for the unattainable.” Even this man-god had problems, and he was 18 feet tall!
Life is a challenge but you are strong. This too shall pass.