Those struggling with anxiety or depression will understand this well, but for those of you who don't- please continue to read! That you might better understand what your loved ones may be feeling when the Bad Days come.
Depression follows no schedule and is different for every one. For me, it can come whenever, but I find it will almost always come after I have experienced something that is emotionally draining. I don't mean a break up or some stressful and sad situation- though that most likely will bring a bad mood too. I mean a birthday party, thanksgiving, meeting up with an old friend..whatever brings me particular joy I find as soon as it is over, or maybe part way through, my body says " Okay! You have used up your limit of happy emotions. Now you're going to feel sadness...or nothing at all." In a way I've come to dread happy moments because nearly every time, a depression filled day or week will follow.
I had a wonderful birthday party this weekend. A lot of my best friends were there and my family too. I had so much fun being with every one and I was feeling really good..But on cue, my mood has plummeted and I just want to be alone and sleep for as long as possible.
When the bad days come you feel exhausted, like you just worked a 15 hour shift. Your body is so tired it's hard to get anything done. In my mind, there are two different types or stages of depression. The first is intense sadness. Everything brings you sadness and you can't find joy in anything. You just dwell on dark or sad things and there are a lot of tears.
The other is worse..You don't feel anything. You don't feel joy or sadness, or pain or loss. Your mood is grey. You want to sleep to escape it..or you want something really good or bad to happen so you can form some kind of emotional reaction inside yourself. But even then, you probably wouldn't feel anything. Those are the scary moments. Because you don't care about yourself or what happens. You don't care to eat or shower, and there is no motivation for anything. These moments are more rare than the first type, for me any way, but I dread them.
The best advise I can give any one who struggles with these bad days, or for any one who knows someone who struggles with this, is first of all Prayer. God created our bodies and He knows everything we are experiencing. In my darkest hours, it is my knowledge of Him that keeps me going.. The second is to not let yourself be alone for too long- or at all. You don't want any one around. You want to sleep, or sit beside your bed and stare at the wall, not thinking about anything at all.. But just to have someone there to watch a movie with, or to hold you for a little while makes such a huge difference. Their presence offers a sense of security, when every thing else seems to crumble.
If you are trying to help those struggling with this, as I said, the best thing you can do is pray, or be there for them. But never try to force them to talk or to explain how they're feeling. These are questions better asked when the day or moment has passed and they have strength again. Forcing them to talk will cause them to close off more internally and adds unneeded stress. Just offer your presence and if they open it up to talking, then you can.
I hope this helps any one struggling to understand the "Bad Days" or helps those who already know the feeling to know that they are not alone.