The thing with depression is it never really goes away. Even with therapy and even with medication, it never really disappears. It goes quiet, sometimes it becomes so quiet it’s easy to ignore and even forget it’s there. And then one day, suddenly, it roars again. Loud and oppressive and impossible to ignore or forget.
The thing with depression is it’s complicated. Sometimes it’s lured out of hiding by unkind words, or unfortunate circumstances, or terrible thoughts. Sometimes, it decides it’s time to come out of hiding with no prompting necessary. Sometimes it’s easy to see what drew depression out of the shadows, easy to blame someone or something, and sometimes there is absolutely no rhyme or reason to it. Sometimes anxiety shows itself too, sometimes not. Always, though, when depression is around, motivation, energy, self-esteem, reasoning, sociability and interest beat a very hasty retreat, not to be found again for many weeks.
The thing with depression is it’s difficult to explain. It’s even harder to understand, and it’s even harder still for those around to understand and live with it. It’s awkward, it’s quiet yet menacing, it’s unpredictable and dark and scary, and it’s stubborn. It can be dangerous. No-one on the outside really knows how to tame it or treat it. Depression itself doesn’t know what it wants.
The thing with depression is it’s a little like a baby. It needs indulging, it needs to be acknowledges and tended to and to have its demands met. For a while. And then it needs to realise it can’t always have its own way. You see, it’s always just a phase, as my 90-year-old Mama would say. Life is dark and bleak and lethargic and unengaging. For a while. And then it passes. The dark fog lifts, light creeps in, depression gets a little quieter and fades to a whisper, and the phase has passed again. For a while. Until the next time.