When You've Hit a 'Dead End' With Depression

I feel like I have hit a dead end.

I’ve been dealing with depression for over five years now. I’ve been to countless therapists, I’ve tried the “natural” route (changing my diet, exercising, meditation, etc.), I’ve been on medication, I’ve been hospitalized —  I’ve tried all of this.

I’ve reached a point where I know what works for me and I know what doesn’t. I know what I need to do when I have urges, and I know how to force myself out of bed. I know writing helps me, and that going on walks clear my mind. I know Netflix is distracting and playing my guitar or keyboard is therapeutic. I have playlists for the hard days with songs that aren’t triggering and I have people I can reach out to if I need to talk. I have a bag of letters from people over the years to read that let me know I’m not alone and I have myriads of quotes and encouraging artwork around my room. I got this pretty down pat.

But, just because I know what works doesn’t mean I always do what works. It doesn’t mean I always can do what works. People who haven’t been there don’t understand this. It’s not their fault, it really isn’t. They just don’t get that in the valley of depression, motivation and strength are the absolute hardest things to find. They say, “If you know what works, why don’t you just do it?” It seems pretty basic, I know. It seems like a no-brainer, common sense — just plain logical. And I wish I had a better explanation, but it’s not that easy. It’s just not that easy.

It makes no sense. And I know it makes no sense. There is no reasonable explanation for why I can’t do the things that help me except that the exhaustion depression causes is, in it of itself, unreasonable. It is a persecuting, consuming, drowning exhaustion that causes a loss for all motivation and strength that is near impossible to escape when it hits at its worst.

I know what works. That’s not the issue. I just need to figure out how to do the things that work when it feels like I can’t. And I don’t know how to do that right now. Right now I’m at a dead end. But there’s always hope, there’s always light and there’s always a reason to keep trying. So just keep on keepin’ on my friends.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via JZhuk

Find this story helpful? Share it with someone you care about.

Related to Depression

lonely sad young woman watercolor illustration

6 Symptoms That Might Indicate You Have Depression

We never know how much pain other people endure. Sometimes we sit beside a stranger with scars deeper than the ocean, and we literally have no idea how much pain they live with. These survivors keep fighting regardless of their desire to raise a white flag to the well-known Grim Reaper. If the voices of [...]
split screen of a woman smiling

Woman Posts Side-by-Side Selfies to Prove You Can't Always See Depression

When someone Whitney Fleming knew was hospitalized for severe depression, a friend texted her a message that might sound familiar: “I wish I would have known she was depressed. I mean, she didn’t look like it.” This inspired Fleming, a blogger who writes about parenting, to post on Facebook about what depression really “looks like.” [...]
Therapist is talking with a couple about their problems

Why It Can Be Beneficial to Go to Couples Counseling... Alone

Wouldn’t it be great if we could wave a magic wand and make others go to therapy when they really needed it? Unfortunately, it is just not realistic to expect that. You really can’t force someone to do something that they do not want or are not yet ready to do. Many of the individuals I [...]
Portrait of a pretty girl with long hair and eyes wide open. Butterflies flying through her heart.

4 Things Depression Disguises Itself As

This piece was written by Lisa Bryant, a Thought Catalog contributor. It’s not often one realizes they are struggling with depression. Depression is an uninvited guest that doesn’t call in advance of its arrival or knock on my door — it slips right in, unbidden, and stays. So often I’m not even aware of its existence because [...]