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

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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.

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Thinkstock photo via JZhuk

Originally published: September 28, 2017
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