Let’s say, you’re going about your day, and you get a sudden sinking feeling that you’ve forgotten something.
In the back of your mind, you know that there is something pretty important that you have forgotten to do, or say, or find, or bring. There’s something missing. Something isn’t quite right.
You try to convince yourself that if it was something important, then it wouldn’t have been forgotten. You try reason and logic to make the nagging feeling disappear.
But it still resurfaces. It hovers around, and whispers, “You have forgotten something.”
And you know it’s right.
You know there’s something you have forgotten, and it’s tearing at you. Maybe you are thinking about it every other hour, or every other minute. Maybe it’s all you can think about for days.
“You have forgotten something.”
Depression is a lot like that feeling.
But the voice isn’t so nice when you have depression. Instead of a small voice, it is loud,
Instead of whispering “you have forgotten something”, it screams at you;
“You are making everything difficult for the people around you.”
“You are not good enough”.
“You are terrible.”
“You are garbage”.
“You are hopeless.”
This nagging feeling is persistent.
You might try to tell yourself that you have a chemical imbalance, and its not a real feeling. You try reason and logic to make the unnecessary emotion disappear. But the nagging feeling continues.
It is relentless.
You keep coming back to the same feeling.
you’re a terrible person.”
And you start to believe it.
Your reasoning falters, and what was once just the product of a chemical imbalance sounds more and more like the truth.
Why would these feelings and nagging guilt keep creeping into your mind if they weren’t true?
If it were really just an imbalance, wouldn’t it have stopped by now? Wouldn’t it have changed to the truth?
But the depressed mind doesn’t work that way. Depression rules the brain without logic or reason, and it makes people believe in complete lies about themselves and their surroundings.
Soon, your own thoughts begin to sound like the nagging depressive thoughts. You start being too hard on yourself, and angry statements creep into your inner monologue.
“It’s too bad I burned dinner…I am terrible for wasting food, and I didn’t provide for my family… I am a terrible person.”
“That was an emotional argument I just had…I must be awful to live with.”
Depression is a difficult thing to live with. It is a conniving mental roommate that consistently finds new ways to torture you.
For those who love a person with depression, it can be difficult, too. Mood swings and constant anxiety are a drag on other people’s energy, as well as the owner’s.
The best combatant for depression is unconditional love.
There is no greater weapon against depression than a love that
No matter the thoughts, no matter the pain. No matter the mental roommate.
In a relationship bound by unconditional love, your words can make an enormous difference in the depressed person’s inner monologue.
Because when unconditional love is present, a new narrative can form. It’s harder to hear depression’s screams if there is someone else talking, too.
When unconditional love is the rule, even the most uncontrollable mental roommate will, eventually, fall in line.
Ruby is a writer and activist, living with her partner in Northern Minnesota.
Follow Ruby on Twitter: @rubysorion