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Trying to explain "depression" to mother.


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mum says" i'm sorry you feel so sad". i try to tell her that "sad" is not necessarily always what depression is. "OH, I thought it was"

its so lonely when you feel like there are ever the right words to help someone else "get it".

i feel like i'm about 1000 lbs and eveerthing inside is weighed down- drugs helped the horrible anxiety from earlier.

last night had the worst moments of terror ever- i swear i thought i was dying it was like this intense heat of fear rushed through me. it was awful and i didn't know what i was afraid of except the symptoms themselves.

i also was a little frieked out by the fact that when i was outside- it looked to me like it was raining- but no drops were falling on me- nothing getting wet. wondered if some weird illusion, or some kind of aura (never had one) or if i'm hallucinating.

well definately relating to the ole depression hurts commercial. typing thes sentences is the most activity i've had all day. didn't even get the mail.

feely mopey.

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Some times I find blogs or articles that explain a point really well...in better words than I could ever come up with. Do you have the energy to do a google search and see if you can find a description that you like and mom might understand? A print out she can read might help.

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I once read someone describe depression like a marshmallow being squashed...everything feels pressed down and flat.....it still feels an apt description at times...for me...

similes are often a good way to describe things to people who haeven't experienced them...as in 'it feels like...'...

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My mom died about ten years ago and I miss her, but I'm sure glad I don't have to try to explain depression or my use of psychotropic meds to her. I don't envy your position.

As Tom said, it's hard to explain depression to someone who hasn't had the misfortune to fall into the abyss themselves. My usual description is to say that the clutch in the transmission of my head doesn't work anymore - the motor runs fine, but when I step on the gas, nothing happens.

If you've ever burnt up a clutch in a car, you know what I mean - the engine revs and sounds great, but you put the car in gear and let the clutch out and the car doesn't move. My brain does the same thing when I'm depressed.

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Mrsloony:

Here's something you might try with your mom. I've used it with people who have known me for 50 years as a "happy" person and don't understand why I'm depressed and not the olga they used to know.

I tell them that there are chemicals in the brain that get out of balance, just the way your sugar level can get out of whack when you have diabetes. When the chemicals get out of balance, it changes the way you think and feel and react to everything.

Using the diabetes metaphor a little further, you need to take medicines to get your brain chemicals back into shape---so that your synapses and mind connections carry on the way they used to do. This is the same thing that diabetics have to do with insulin. And there is constant "tweaking" and adjustment of meds, because nothing in the body stays really constant.

I have found that if you discuss it as an illness like a physical illness, people can sometimes understand a little better.

If they don't, I just slap them silly! ;)

Have you talked to your doc about your meds? It sounds like you are in a yucky place and maybe need to adjust a dose or try something new? Just a suggestion 'cause you sound like you need some help. I hope things get better for you.

olga

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The first thing I use to explain this to people is - "The glasses of a flower child are rose-tinted. Your glasses likely have no tint. My glasses are currently shit-tinted."

Frankly, my Aspie sense of hyperrationality/hyperrealism has probably been the only thing that's kept me alive the past 13 years (since I first had the big D). Helps drag your eyeglass tint towards clear. (Now, the fact that it's otherwise been a horrendous curse, that's something else...)

"Okay, you're saying the glass is half-full, and he's saying it's half-empty. What's the difference and who really cares??!?! IT'S HALF A GLASS FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!!"

Anyways... if the tinted glasses thing doesn't work out, the SOP is then to sneak large doses of reserpine (5HT/NE depleter used for high blood pressure) into their food and/or drink. That'll show 'em ;) ****

**** This is likely illegal in most locales, so I highly do NOT recommend doing this, and if you do, I assume no responsibility for what happens.

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Olga wins.

When I must explain it, which happens rarely, here's what I say:

Depressed people want to kill themselves. You can get a good idea of why if you look at sane people who kill themselves. Why does a sane person kill themselves? Well, it's because the stock market crashed, they'll spend the rest of their life in jail, or the love of their life died. But that's not the real reason, the reason is they can't go on with the future they are facing. So, what's so bad about the depressed person's future? It hurts. It hurts so bad. It hurts like you lost all your money in a stock market crash, as intense as if you knew you'd have to spend the rest of your life in jail, and it cuts as sharp as if the love of your life died. Every day. That's what depression is, and that's why depressed people want to kill themselves.

Why do they feel that way? No reason. And that's the whole problem. It's an invalid thought. Brain is broken. Things normal people enjoy cannot be enjoyed by a depressed person. Just like they wouldn't be fun to a person that, say, just had their dad die or something.

It's a level of miserableness regardless of outside variables. If there were any outside variables, then that would be sadness. And, yes, we can have sadness on top of our depression. It is not a real hoot.

(or something like that)

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It's nearly impossible to explain depression to others unless they've experienced it themselves. Sad is not a very good word to desribe it.

I don't know if I can explain it to myself. My behavior back then doesn't make a whole lot of sense, and didn't at the time either. But I say that depression is like having shit colored glasses welded to your head. Well, maybe I'm still a little depressed. But I'm so much better it's hard to tell.

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My pdoc told me that the depression I experience as a BP is actually different than that of a person with MDD. I've heard this in other places, but I'm still not sold. In any event-

Depression isn't a good word. Whoever came up with it ought to experience "depression" for a day and see if they like it. It is used so casually in our society that people use it to describe a bad day or feeling sad. There is a huge difference between the power and intensity of crushing depression and bad day blues.

The people with bad day blues usually snap out of their spazz in a few hours, whereas the person with MDD does not have that luxury. It is a curse that goes on and on. Often, people with MDD are convinced others do not like them, because often they do not like themselves. They (people with MDD, like you) are often convinced that everyone is talking about them (and this is often the case, as we behave strangely). Depression takes your motivation. You can sit there and stare for hours at the wall and have no get-go, no energy to put away that laundry or do those dishes. In the not liking yourself part, you may decide that your spouse doesn't like you either. You grope for words that just don't and can't come out. There is no lightheartedness, and rarely anything that brings you joy. You could witness the birth of a new baby and be totally flat about it. Flat and even unmotivated to feel differently.

It takes motivation to seek help for MDD, so many do not and go through life without help. Often, the MDD shows itself through physical pain, and that is how a person with MDD ends up in the MD's office and sometimes the MD catches the MDD.

In my BP depression, I get really paranoid that people hate me and am convinced that I am worthless, and also cannot recover emotionally from the loss of my dad. Instead of accepting death as a part of life, I struggle with those meds on the shelf, and know that I have enough drugs sitting there to end it all. It is a DIFFERENT feeling than mourning. In a "normal" state I accept this loss. In a depressed state, I take it further and want to end this life of pain.

Can any normal person understand what it is like to just feel so drained, unloved by others and unloved by yourself, so worthless and caught in this cycle that they would want to end it all?

Describe it like this- the word "depression" is really Major Depressive Disorder and is NOT "sad". It takes over your brain and makes you feel like I stated above. It is having abnormally dark thoughts constantly and always feeling everything as either a flat experience or a disaster. Mood stability? Yeah, right Many people with MDD DO cycle through moods, there is just no mania. The moods may go way down and back up to baseline and way down.

That is my best.

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When I was pretty depressed (not severely but for me it was pretty depressed), two things seemed very odd to me. The first was that my hobby activities, which normally would lift me out of any temporary crankiness, didn't affect how I felt at all. I could do them, but wondered why I was bothering. The other, and maybe this was the first one I noticed, possibly a couple of years before my dx, was that I was notably more fearful of things that didn't used to worry me at all. One that got me in real trouble with my ex was that I could never make myself use the gift certificate for a balloon ride and it expired. (That was an awfully nice gift, and I guess she had no way of knowing I'd freak out about it. The helicopter ride didn't freak me out at all.) I'd also get nervous retrieving things from trees, which I'd been doing with enthusiasm all my life. I know that some of these activities make it seem like I wasn't really depressed, but I could really tell the difference in those two items. And I very much didn't like the depression/dysthymia dx when I got it.

What's truly odd is that the above didn't seem to prevent me from finding my new s.o. I'm sure she had a LOT to do with my mood lifting. But now I have all this energy and she doesn't. At least, not before noon or so.

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