The past month has been really hard here, as I know it has for a lot of people. For about almost two weeks I could feel myself sinking into tunnel vision. I could go through my routines, help the kids with their schoolwork and teach my classes, but I couldn’t do anything more than that. I barely even read anything. I napped lots.
Mental health problems are like weather conditions for me. It used to scare me, when after a period of time doing well mentally, I would feel myself sinking back into depression. Now it doesn’t bother me as much. I know how to handle things. I know I can endure it. I know as well what steps I can take if they get too serious or don’t go away in a timely manner.
Thankfully, I can feel myself start to come out of it the depression. The last few days I’ve had more energy for house cleaning. I give a great sigh of relief and look forward to getting back to everything I normally do. But I’m also thinking about others who might struggle worse with the challenges of depression.
So, I have a few reminders for people:
- Never feel guilty for depression. Seek help. Reach out. But know depression isn’t a personal failing. It is always tempting to see depression as a sign of weakness but it really, surviving depression is an amazing sign of strength.
- Covid makes socializing hard, but depression adds another level. How does one listen when one is having trouble concentrating? How does one talk or write when one has no interest in the things one normally talks about? How does one fight off the voice in one’s head that says, “you’re a burden to people”? Remember that depression lies. You are valuable and your friends still want to hear from you.
- Try to limit decision making during times of depression.
A few days ago, I saw a twitter thread about a medical student who asked for a bit of time off from her residency to go to counselling and ended up being pushed out of her program. I don’t know for sure the truth of her situation, but I do know that we need for people to not worry about losing their careers if they admit to mental health challenges.