Depression and Presentation

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When I was a kid, I thought that people were pretending or exaggerating when they claimed that they were so depressed or anxious that they couldn’t get up, or couldn’t go somewhere. I didn’t know what that felt like. But I knew what depression felt like. I knew what it was like to have my head full of static and feel so tired and overwhelmed all of the time, and to be certain that nothing would ever get better. But in spite of that, I also knew that if I needed to do something, I could always step up and do it. So, throughout my adolescent years, I pretended to be unable to function because I thought that’s what people did to prove they were depressed. I wanted to be taken seriously.

As an adult, this has continued to be a battle, although in many ways it became a more challenging one. See, I realized at some point that people were not pretending about the whole not being able to function thing. That’s something I haven’t really experienced. And I also stopped being able to put on a show without feeling like a very disingenuous person, rendering any attention I got fairly useless. But I didn’t stop needing to be validated and heard when I was sad (or when I was anything else — being mirrored is definitely my jam).

I had basically one time in my adult life where I felt like I actually was not capable of getting up and going to work one morning. Things had been so bad for so long and one morning I woke up and I just couldn’t go in. There had been mornings I had occasionally chosen not to but that morning I couldn’t. It freaked me out so badly that I decided to make a doctor’s appointment and finally go on medications. This is not the norm for me.

See, this is relevant because really I’ve been pretty depressed all quarter. I’m not engaged with my school, which sucks because I have some really good classes and I really wish I was more invested in them. I dislike the way I feel about doing only the minimum I need to, but I don’t have it in me to do more. I know that’s more or less what’s going on. But it’s not immediately obvious. I still get all my homework done. On time, which for me means at least four or five days early. I do my reading, I engage in class discussions. I have even set up extra work for myself. I have more or less kept up with this blog, I’ve been doing my recaps, I have maintained and even sometimes expanded my social life. It’s not obvious. And it’s not as bad as it has sometimes been in the past. But I’ve been unhappy and when I come home, all I really want to do is sleep and watch movies.

I know I’m not doing great. It’s tiring and it makes me feel whiny. And then, when I complain, I feel like people don’t take me all that seriously. Because I’m not crying, because I’m not having a panic attack. Because all of my work gets done, because I still manage to socially engage. It’s hard to explain (especially when I’m already just frustrated and tired) how much more effort that takes for me right now. Of course I’m functional, I’m always functional. I’ve been functional right through periods of being suicidal (which I am not right now, for the record), but that doesn’t mean I’m doing well.

I’m not really sure what the point of this is. I guess I just wanted to talk about it because it’s my blog and I get to do that. This is what’s been on my mind lately. Monday I had a crying fit about how sad I was and was feeling very dead and depressed after. I went to David and the Superhero’s house and we watched Superman II. It was ridiculous and silly and I felt better afterward. But I don’t know when I’ll feel totally better. I hope when this quarter ends, I hope this is about me being burned out, but obviously that’s not a guarantee.

We will see what happens. Maybe I don’t explain the response I want very well. Maybe I will learn more about how to be content with the people in my life who do see me and support me. Maybe some of this is leftover or a throwback as a part of my depressed brain times to being a kid and feeling like attention will fix it, all the attention, any of the attention. All of that probably deserves thought. But tonight I’m gonna go watch Desperate Housewives instead.

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