I’ve often wondered if you can ever fully overcome depression. At the age of 19 I was formally diagnosed with depression and told I’d been depressed for around four years.
It wasn’t a surprise, it was reassuring in all honesty, as it confirmed that there wasn’t anything inherently wrong with me. I was depressed and it actually explained so much of my behaviour.
By the time I was 20, my depression was better. Then several months later, my mental health declined again. Usually my descent begins with high levels of anxiety that don’t subside and then I get into a negative cycle of thinking and an extremely low mood.
I know the signs of my depression as I’ve lived through the cycle many times.
Right now, I don’t feel depressed. I’m very peaceful, things are bringing me good energy and I generally feel good – if a little tired. And obviously, as good as I can feel during a pandemic when I haven’t left the house that much in months and the world is a frightening place.
There have been low days, but generally it’s been an even keel, which was not the case in January.
From my own experience, I don’t think you ever fully overcome depression. I think you get better, but you will always have bad days, which I’ve written read more about here.
I can’t even say that it never gets as bad as it was before, as sometimes it does. It always feels slightly different, especially when you become conscious of what’s happening there’s always new layers of guilt or frustration that seep in with the depression.
You will not always be depressed and you are not a depressing person. I used to think I was (when I had depression) and that always conflicted with who I wanted to be or who I am really.
I think most people that know me would say I’m a bit bonkers, happy and laugh a lot. I imagine it may also be hard to believe that I was depressed in some ways, if you didn’t know me then.
I don’t often write about depression as much as I could, as I get worried that I’ll feel depressed when I do, as I remember that time in my life or how I felt. When I feel good or content, like right now, it’s quite sad to remember how my mental health was,
In some ways, you do overcome depression, more than once in your lifetime. As every time it comes back, you overcome it again.
Depressive thoughts return as it’s an easy habit to slip into and they know you’ve accommodated them before, also life is pretty tough sometimes, so it’s no surprise to anyone really that they might pop back.
Just remember that you’ve overcome them before, you can disarm them again and your life won’t be any less joyful or magical simply as you’ve lived through depression. If anything you’ll appreciate the peace and joy you do find more.
Each time you overcome depression, you become stronger mentally and in your sense of self. It’s never easy, in fact it’s brutally difficult, but you can get through it, trust me, I’ve been there.
Have you had or overcome depression before?