Recently I read an article about this woman in Sweden who posted before and after pictures of her bedroom. She is battling depression and what many don’t know, I didn’t know, is that one of the symptoms of battling depression is the lack of motivation to clean. Reading this took me back to a conversation I had with my sister Charlene about four years ago.
I was over at her house after a procedure I had done because of my kidney stones. We were talking and out of the blue, she asks me if I was okay. I know I looked confused and answered, yes, I’m fine. Why? She responded with how lately I had been letting my house go, even more than normal. There really was no reason for me to let it get as bad as it was, since I was laid off several months ago and I was still looking for a job. Now mind you, I was doing little things here and there. I made sure everything we needed was done, but, I wasn’t going above that.
So, I told her I was fine and to drop it. I didn’t mention to her that my neighbor, who had come over to make sure my cat was fed and okay had offered to help get my house in order. An offer I had thanked her for, but, rejected. My sister persisted for a few minutes before giving up. But, when I got home after recovering, I made sure to get my house in order. I started off slow, but, got my act together. While it wasn’t perfect? It was marginally acceptable.
I look back now and wonder. Was I really okay? About twenty years ago, I was put on anti-depression medication. A lot was going on in my life and I was unhappy with my job. The counselor called it situational depression. I took myself off of the pills and started jogging. I refused to let life get me down and dealt with it on my own. There are different depressions. People can look at you and ask, “What do you have to be depressed about?” Well, it’s not always about the outer shell that we put on. It’s about what we are dealing with inside. In my case, and since then, I know it’s happened a few other times, I get situational depression. The main way for me to heal myself is to deal with the situation or, remove myself from the situation. ***PLEASE NOTE ~ I am NOT a psychiatrist or psychologist. What works for me may not work for you.***
So, when my sister talked to me about it, was I really okay? Well, lets see. I was laid off at that point for five months. I was sending out hundreds of resumes a week and in that five months I got TWO interviews. I was trying to avoid going back to a job that I knew caused my depression. (Spoiler alert. It didn’t work and I ended up back in a customer service job….) I was on Medicaid and food stamps. I just spent the past month dealing with kidney stones. The first trip landing me in the hospital overnight due to a kidney infection.
During that conversation, I felt that I was just down. Everyone can’t be in a good mood all the time. We can’t be expected to be perfect and put on a smile regardless of what you’re feeling inside. If it lasted longer than a month? That’s okay. You’re allowed that too.
So, was I okay? Looking back at the situation, probably not. What did I do? I started sending out double the resumes I was previously. Got on unemployment, but, still looking for a job. Two months later I ended up with a job. Not the best job, but, it was a job and would allow me to keep a roof over my daughters and my head. Food on the table. I was taken off food stamps, but, only because I made too much by $10. Ummmm. Yeah, the cheapest food I could find is what we ate.
Per WebMD, there are several types of depression. They are:
- Major Depression
- Persistent Depressive Disorder
- Bipolar Disorder
- Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
- Psychotic Depression
- Postpartum Depression
- Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder
- Situational Depression
- Atypical Depression
Also, per WebMD, situational depression is labeled as such:
This isn’t a technical term in psychiatry. But you can have a depressed mood when you’re having trouble managing a stressful event in your life, such as a death in your family, a divorce, or losing your job. Your doctor may call this “stress response syndrome.”
Psychotherapy can often help you get through a period of depression that’s related to a stressful situation.
At this point in my life, I must be pretty happy. And I count myself lucky. I’m not letting my house go. I actually look forward to cleaning. My sisters won’t believe that! LOL. But, I do. I spend my Saturday mornings getting things done around my apartment and then get on with my weekend. I’m not as tired as I was for no reason. Now? My exhaustion is my own fault. I go to bed too late and have to get up way too early for a longer commute to work since I’ve moved. I leave an hour earlier now than I did a year ago. One thing I now have to start doing, is forcing myself to go out. I’m finding myself more comfortable in my apartment and don’t want to go out and do anything. But, it’s baby steps!
Have you experienced any situational depression times in your life? What were you able to do to get out of it?