Tuesday 30th January
Firstly, I must say that you don’t. Coping comes nowhere near – putting up with, living with and eventually surviving comes about closest. And you know you are depressed and the rational part of your mind keeps telling you that things aren’t that bad, but the mind is also irrational and you can’t help feeling that everything is wrong, the world is against you.
The strange thing is the level of incomprehension and the total lack of sympathy out there, given the statistic that one in five people will suffer with depression during their lives, how come so few people have any understanding of another person’s suffering. Because believe me, if you think that having a depressed person around is boring, a nuisance – then just try imagining being that depressed person. Because it is utter misery, you feel that your mind is trapped in a very dark place with no way out. Experience tells you that usually and very gradually you will come out of it. So, it is no good people telling you to cheer up, or to snap out of it, or to try to think happy thoughts. None of that works at all.
In fact, in my opinion nothing really works. You can start the day trying to be positive, but the feeling that the treadmill you are on is getting steeper with every step, the oppressive feeling re-enforced by every trivial incident during the day and even worse the knowledge that you are depressed and are probably depressing everyone around you too just gets worse. And as you trudge to bed you tell yourself that tomorrow is another day – and then that dread thought – Oh,my God, not another day to get through.
But eventually the clouds do lift, and you look back and are just as amazed as everyone else that you have been so miserable. Sometimes a touch of sunshine in a long dismal winter can work wonders, or just being able to relax, to let the shoulders un-tense, to drift off to sleep.
Coping with depression is not really possible. Getting through to the other end is all you can really hope for.