by JW Holland
During my life, especially before starting treatment, I had times when depression and anxiety almost completely shut me down. I still appeared to be alive and well, but inside there was nothing that could only be described as terror. The kind of fear that allows you to see only destruction and everything in life ending badly.
This is not a good feeling at all, but the effect it had on the people around me was equally difficult for me to bear.
My wild mood swings put a strain on even the best relationships. This was usually written off as capriciousness or a generally bad mood, but it was much more than that.
Those of you who have suffered this terrible pain will understand. The problem, however, is that people who do not suffer from the disease sometimes have difficulty accepting that it is beyond the control of the affected person.
What may seem minor to you turns out to be too much for us, and the reactions get exaggerated and out of bounds.
In my worst moments, I was a terrible human being who could not be reasoned with or consoled. I will abandon all my usual decency and pour out my pain on whoever happens to be there. If you made the slightest mistake or said the wrong thing at the wrong time, you saw a different side of me that I’m not proud of.
That time was difficult for everyone, especially for me. In my mind, even when they were happening, I was screaming at myself to stop, just stop! But I couldn’t do it, I didn’t know how, and sometimes I wondered if I even wanted to.
I said a lot of things at that time, most of them I regret, but the problem was that I couldn’t say them all. Those things which do not or cannot come out of my mouth.
My brain won’t allow it; My emotions kept them in place, my depression locked them in a place I couldn’t reach. It is difficult for many of us, especially men, to fully express our feelings, emotions and thoughts. When you combine depression and anxiety, those things become almost impossible.
In those moments, there were some things I couldn’t say no matter how hard I tried. Many men have the same struggle, and it’s important to recognize when this happens.
Here are 4 heartbreaking things people struggling with depression won’t tell you:
1. We can’t tell what’s wrong
When someone is in a bad mood or is upset about something, many people want to try to fix it, especially wives. They say they can only help if we tell them what’s wrong. The problem is that we don’t know, we have no idea what is wrong.
We know deep down that whatever the trigger was it probably wasn’t the real issue. We want to be able to say what’s wrong; We want to calm down and get rid of it but we can’t.
2. We can’t say we’re sorry
In anger, in the midst of an episode of depression or anxiety, we may say hurtful things. We may have even made you cry, and we’re sorry we can’t express it. At least, for me, it was a defense mechanism to somehow prove to myself that I was right about whatever irrational thoughts were running through my mind.
Forgiveness usually comes later, and even then it is harder and usually comes in some other form. The problem is that it’s usually too late and the damage has already been done.
3. We can’t say we need space
I never could anyway, even when I knew I was in a bad place mentally, I could never express that I needed some alone time.
This was really when the saddest thing I could say came out. It wasn’t that I meant anything by it, it was that I needed to be left alone, I needed space, and I needed time to gather myself, I just couldn’t say no. I know it sounds ridiculous and somewhat childish, but it’s true that the more pressure I was put on, the more cruel I could become, until I pushed someone away.
4. We can’t say we need help
This is absolutely true for many men with mental health problems. We still live in a society that looks differently at people who admit there may be a problem. Our culture is changing, but it is changing very slowly. We are taught from childhood not to show weakness, and this makes it more difficult to find healing. Even when we finally admit to ourselves that something is not right, we are unable to express it to anyone else.
It took me a very long time to get someone to admit me and get treatment, very long. The time I wasted gave me some great experiences and opportunities. Regrets will always be there.
I’m certainly no mental health expert, and I don’t claim to have all the answers. I know how this terrible disease has disrupted my life and the lives of my family. This is not something I am proud of, and the hurt I have caused can never be fully forgiven. Moving forward I can only take care of myself and work on getting better every day.
If you or someone you know is experiencing a mental health crisis, there is a way to get help. To connect to the crisis text line, call SAMHSA’s national helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357) or text “HELLO” to 741741.
JW Holland is a blogger and former politics editor at The Good Men Project. He has been featured on Babble, Fatherly, and others.
#heartbreaking #people #suffering #depression #wont
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