Geez, where to start…I have been taking a cocktail of psych meds for 27 years, without them I would have committed suicide, the pain of a depressive episode is excruciating.
Here are a few analogies:
Every few minutes your mind whispers to you (and every time it’s like hearing it for the first time) your mother or your child just died and it’s your fault.
Imagine sliding down a greased pipe to your death. It’s dark, it’s cold and you are desperately alone. You keep grasping at the sides of the steel for something to hold on to but there is nothing. You are powerless, can’t stop it.
Imagine the terror of being in a plane that is about to crash and you know you will not survive. Imagine that that pain goes on for days.
Deep depression is so unimaginably painful you want to die because you don’t see any other way out. There is a weird thing that happens, it’s called globalizing, you think it has always been like this and it always will be.
When the episode finally starts to loosen it’s grip on your mind, you are exhausted and need rest. You get scared. When will it happen again? What do I tell the people who were expecting me to show up someplace (like work) why I didn’t come, why I didn’t call? Do you tell them you have a mental illness?
You better not! In this culture you are not a person with an illness, when it comes to mental illness, you are the illness. Do you ever hear anyone say “that cancer person”? But you do hear “that mentally ill person.”
If someone in your life has a mental illness and is sick, (which means having days where drugs are not working,) please treat them the same as you would treat a person who is sick with any other illness. Be quiet, don’t ask questions, bring them something to eat and keep them warm. Occasionally sit with them for a few minutes. And very quietly tell them they are not alone and they are loved.