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When the Waves of Depression Make You Exhausted

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I have experienced depression on and off for a period of about six years. It is one of the darkest and loneliest places to be. For me, depression is not feeling “a bit sad” after a fallout with a friend, or having a week of wallowing after a breakup. Depression is when I no longer recognize myself; it takes over and consumes my whole being. It becomes so toxic and almost poisons everything around me, including my relationships. It is one of the worst things to experience, but is also heavily misunderstood.

One of the most irritating symptoms of my depression is fatigue. No matter how little or how much I sleep, I still feel exhausted. This is mainly because of the emotional turmoil going on within me even when I am “resting.”

What is more exhausting are the ups and downs; feeling like I’m getting better and then getting hit by another wave of depression. It’s believing that there is an end, and then realizing there might not be one.

I’ve struggling with this mental illness for quite some time, and unfortunately, I still can’t say if it will go away forever. I really wanted to believe that it did. There have been long periods of remission that have made me believe I had overcome depression for good. I even forgot what the darkness felt like. But I did end up having another depressive episode.

When I get hit by a wave of depression after a long period of remission, I remain in denial for a while. I don’t want to believe that it’s back again. I keep myself busy and tire myself out so at night I just sleep and have no time to think about the possibility of being ill. I withdraw from friends so I’m not faced with their looks of pity when they realize something is up.

I realize my depression is back when I start to feel a deep sense of loneliness and I can no longer relate to the people around me. I want to reach out for help, but how can I burden them with this all over again? So I recoil into my mind, which makes the depression surface even more.

For me, depression is not just a bad day. It’s an illness and it can be one of the most tiring things I’ve experienced. When I finally confront that the depression is back – fatigue hits me the worst. I don’t have the strength it takes to fight this illness. I don’t have the energy to “think positively.” I struggle to pray and I struggle to interact with family and friends. I just want to sleep all day until the cloud of depression passes.

I get so exhausted. I get so tired of fighting.

But I have to keep fighting, I can’t give up. To anyone struggling with depression, you can overcome this. If all you did today was shower and change your pajamas – celebrate it! Take it one day at a time and keep fighting. When you have a period of remission, savor it and enjoy every minute, but don’t live in fear of the cloud returning — don’t let depression win.

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Thinkstock photo via jacoblund

Originally published: July 6, 2017
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