3 signs to recognize depression

Hey lovelies,

Today I will share yet another post about my personal depression story. I have written an article about ‘The story behind my smile’ almost a month ago and I got a lot of sweet and supportive reactions. (Click here for that post)
The reason why I wrote that post is in order to inspire others and to let you know that it will be okay. I have ‘survived’ depression and even though I still feel down at times, I am not in that big black hole I once was in.

The thing with depression is that more people have had depressions than you might think. Dealing with depression is difficult. Hiding it is not.

I remember when I had my ‘big coming out party’ where I told my family and closest friends about my depression and that it was time for me to seek help. (almost) nobody saw it coming. I became a master in hiding it.

It was so weird. I did wanted help. I just did not want to ask for it. Asking for help was (and sometimes is) so difficult cause I am a very proud person. I do not like to show my weaknesses so I kinda strung my self along un till I hit rock bottom. And than I decided that the life I was leading was not the life I wanted to lead and that therapy was something I could really benefit from.

During my time of depression, sometimes I was dissapointed in my family and friends. ‘Why did they not offer me help, I mean, isn’t it obvious that I am not doing well?’ – I kinda played the victim role cause that was easier than to admit that if I wanted help, I should just ask for it.

However, I still want to share some signs that I thought were clear for others to see but appearently were not. I really want you to read them carefully and look in your innercircle, look at your friends, colleagues and try to see people. Acknowledge them, see their real colors. And if you recognize some of these signs just ask them this 1 question:
“So, how are you really doing” … I guarentee you you will get some answers you never thought were possible…and who knows, you can be the gamechanger in this persons life….

1.  WEIGHT GAINING OR WEIGHT LOSS
When a person is happy you won’t see a dramatic difference in their weight. Unless of course someone is intentionally trying to lose weight and is on  a strict diet. With me, it was the other way around. During my depression I gained almost 17 kilo. This was something I was really embarrassed about at first but trust me, when you feel fucked up on the inside, the outside does not really matter. I know that people noticed that I gained wait, obviously, 17 kilo is really a lot but nobody really asked me about it. Yes, it is an awkward subject, “hey you used to look different in a bikini, what happend’ is not a question anyone would like to get, but sometimes it is needed. By asking about it (and of course it is not nice to hear) you really can be someones wake up call. To be honest, at some point I did not even realize how much weight I have gained. I knew that I did not fit my clothes anymore. But than I just went to the store and bought some new stuff. By addressing this subject you will create a window to have an even deeper conversation

2.  SMIZING
OMG, did I really just say smizing? Oh yea, I did. I think it is so annoying, the way Ms. Banks uses this term. For those who never watched America’s Next Top Model; smizing is smiling with your eyes.
When you are depressed it is easy to fool people with ‘smiling’ with your lips or even laughing a bit out loud. But eyes are really the window to your soul. When someone is laughing, try to see if their eyes are laughing too. Is someone genuinly happy or is that person faking it. I have fake laughed so many times during my depression my jaw started to hurt. But still everyone thought I was this perfect girl in her perfect girl living the perfect life, while on the inside I was broken.

3.  SOCIAL WITHDRAWAL-OR EXTENSIVELY GOING OUT
The best place of a depressed person is back at home in their own bed. During my depression I spend most of my time in bed. Of course I still went to work, kept up appearance – but the second work was over I went directly home. For me this was a weird thing because I have always been a very outgoing girl. I also always loved cocooning at home, but I also went out a lot. At some point I just stopped. The thought of being in a busy and hectic crowd drove me crazy and I even felt so depressed by just the thought of it. I spend so much time at home and I isolated myself from others. I always gave some lame excuse until I reached the point where I would even ignore my own boyfriend.- So really try to look in the change of behavior of people. Is that one really outgoing friend suddenly not going out anymore or perhaps the other way around- maybe someone who never went out is extensively going out, getting drunk- doing who knows what.

I am not saying that if someone does these 3 things (or one of them) that that person is depressed. Of course there can be other factors too. People change, people act differently or want different things in life. I am just sharing the things where I kinda gave away that I was depressed but nobody noticed. So I do want you to look around and perhaps if you suspect that there is something going on in someones life, there probably is. Don’t be shy and just ask about it. Even if you think it is none of your business. Show that person that they are not alone- cause I can guarantee you, that person is dealing with a depression, he or she is feeling alone. And that is the worst feeling out there.

Be kind to others. Be kind to your self.
Perhaps we know eachother, perhaps we don’t. Either way, you can always send me a message and I will try my best to help you, or at least just to be there for you…

Have you ever dealt with depression or know someone who dealt with depression? How did you recognize it? 

xoxo

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Dealing with depression- The story behind my smile.

Hey lovelies,

Today I will discuss a serious matter with you guys. Something raw, honest and real. I have thought a long time about writing about this subject and I always found reasons not to do it. Call it shame or having a sense of privacy. Somethings are meant to be kept for your self right? And it is not really ‘cool’ to share stuff like this where I actually come across as a weirdo but than I thought..What if my story can help others. What if my experience and thoughts can actually help others, perhaps you.

Isn’t it worth it to put my self out there than? Perhaps my story can change one life, touch one life or influence just one person in a positive way.. Would that not be worth it?
The answer is a 100% yes. So here we go… A little part of me for you.

When people are reading my articles and checking out my Instagram (Click here for my instagram) I often get really nice comments. I love to connect with my followers and readers. You guys send me the sweetest messages and they really touch my heart. But sometimes I read things you guys say and I am like, how sweet it might is for you to say that, it is not always that glamorous.

not good enoughDEALING WITH DEPRESSION- my story
When I was a bit younger I always felt that there was something a bit of. While others were happy and playing with kids their own age, I developed this weird obsession with death. It all happend when I was in school and I was about 9 years old. The mother of my classmate died and my teacher explained the word ‘death’ and from that day on something inside me just changed. I realized that one day we would all die and that thought gave me a lot of anxiety. At some point I became really silent and I was obviously not happy and about a year later I went to therapy. The therapy I had was some kind of  “play therapy’- and of course at that point I did not realize that I was having therapy. I just went to this friendly lady, twice a week and I just played their with awesome toys, colored in the color book while chatting with her. Looking back I realize that that was my first therapy session and I do not know what the conclusion was but at some point the therapy stopped. For a few years everything seemed to be better and I was not so occupied with the thought of ‘dying’ anymore.

Than when I was 12 I have lost someone I have loved more than life itself. And there it was again. “Death’. And this time I had to deal with it. Not being able to deal with this loss I became depressed again and I developed an eating disorder. The thing with me is, on the outside, nobody every noticed. I was a spontaneous kid, I was never bullied, I had many friends and a great childhood. But again, something was always off. I had my ‘rebel period’ where everyone always saw me as this ‘bad ass girl’ being tough and all but on the inside I was crying and dying.  I started therapy again but I the therapists I have seen in that period were not great ones, or at least, I could not connect with them. I felt misunderstood and extremely lonely. I felt so many things inside and I could not discuss this with everyone.

Even though I had great friends and a very loving family, discussing my feelings felt like failure so I never did. I felt like I was drowning all the time, suffocating, being choked but the moment I had to go to school or I had to be around people I could put my biggest smile on my face and I could pretend everything was okay.

I always have had a very good life full of social gatherings, party’ing, social events. Nobody would have ever guessed that after the party was over I could go to bed, shut the curtains and lie there in my bed crying for no reason feeling really sad and bad.
In my late teenage years, when I finally told people about my depression they were so surprised that I have had experienced these kind of feelings because I have always ‘seemed so happy’.

For a long time I went through life feeling completely and utterly lost and for others this did not make any sense cause I did have a good life. I come from a loving family, I did not have to go through a divorce (my parents are still together), I have a fantastic sister, great friends- so why was I so depressed? I really did not have an answer for this. I felt like nobody understood me and I felt like it would never get better. I was so afraid that I had to live my life in this constant fear that I  experienced and that was a thought that drove me even more crazy. For a long time it was really hard for me to be myself, to be me. Cause who was I? Why was this so hard for me to know? I had a really hard time with accepting myself because I always thought that there was something wrong with me. I was never good enough (for myself) and I became my own worst enemy. I developed a very destructive pattern and way of acting and thinking. Whenever something went good in my life, or well, really well, I waited and counted until the day came till everything fell apart. And when it did not fell apart as fast as I expected (or perhaps on some weird level even wanted) I sabotaged myself and ruined the good things I had going on- just to come back to that point in the circle where I felt extremely sad and depressed again because something again went terribly wrong, not realizing that the only reason it went wrong was because of my own behavior and actions..And the even more weird thing is that this behavior gave me a satisfied feeling because it was the feeling of being in ‘control’. Not realizing that controlling my happiness aka making sure I wasn’t, was not a good thing. It was not satisfying, it was sabotage and it was horrible. But this feeling for sabotage became my drug and I was a huge addicted for this feeling.

JUST BECAUSE YOU DO NOT SEE IT DOES NOT MEAN IT IS NOT THERE-
That is such a powerful phrase. Invisible diseases are the worst of any because they are not visible to others, people can’t help you either. When your arm is broken it is easy for someone to offer you a helping hand. But when your soul feels shattered and broken there is nobody who can help you as long as you do not ask for help because your shattered soul is not visible for the outside world. For years I have not asked for help. When the therapists that I visited did not work out I just gave up. I thought that it will all just ‘pass’ but how can things pass if you don’t work on them? You just put your thoughts and feelings away and I can guarantee you, someday they will pop out!

MY REGRET- Learn from my mistakes.
My biggest regret is, is that I waited so long to actually handle my issues. The longer you wait the more difficult it actually gets. I never knew what was ‘wrong’ with me and why I could have these periods where I felt so extremely down. In stead of getting help I chose to fake smiles and just continue life. People often say that you should not regret anything, I agree with this statement a bit because if I did not wait for so long I would not have developed myself the way I did now. I feel like a strong independent woman who overcame so many bad things. I may have chosen the difficult route but I got there. However, it does not have to be that way. If you are feeling down or depressed, get help. Talk to someone. Even though the person you are talking too does not feel like someone who understand you, do not just quit your sessions. Continue these sessions because you will get to a point where things will begin to make sense. I promise you this.

I have continued this path for too long. The path of feeling lost and sad without knowing why you feel this way. Nobody did me wrong. I truly was (and sometimes still am) my own worst enemy. I am a perfectionist and sometimes it gets the best of me. I was really hard on myself and I set expectations that were really unrealistic and when I could not meet these expectations I felt extremely sad and I felt like I had to punish myself. In my case I punished myself by not eating. Or by binge eating and than puking after worths because I felt so bad. – When I look back on that version of myself I feel so sad and I wish I could go back in time and tell her that it would be okay, to love myself a bit more and to be milder. That I did not have to be ‘perfect’ all the time cause let’s face it, what is perfect these days?
We are so influenced by the image that is created by social media, magazines, tv etc of ‘perfection’. We live in a world were we always want more and more and it seems like nothing is ever good enough. Feeling like nothing is ever good enough is a very depressing thought I can tell you. Feeling like you are not enough is a thought that can definitely make you go crazy. But why would you do that to yourself? Why don’t you let those things go?

EASIER SAID THAN DONE- but I believe in you
When I look back on the days where I could lie in bed for days in a row it honestly feels like a totally different world. At some point I got the help I needed, I went to therapy and I had very long and intensive therapy sessions for over 1,5 years. I combined this with my ‘normal’ life so sometimes it was difficult to keep up appearances but I did it. What really was a turning point for me was to just ‘surrender’ to my depression. In stead of fighting it and trying to fix it (by blocking and denying it) I surrendered to my depression. I accepted that I felt a certain way because deep in my heart I knew that that feeling would not be a feeling I would have for the rest of my life. I was ready to fight. Fight for myself and fight for my life because I knew deep down in my heart that I deserved a life where I felt happy too. Nobody feels happy 100% of the time, but a good 85% was something I would settle for and not for anything less. I grabbed my depression by the balls and I said that I would kick it’s ass and I did. It was a long journey, one from over a decade but I came to a point where I really think I got it under control. Therapy has taught me so much. I would not consider myself ‘healed’, I still have anxiety and panic attacks but I can deal with them in a healthy way. Also because I accept that side of me the attacks have decreased with more than 90%. Where I would feel panic almost daily for over 10 years I now perhaps have a panic attack twice, three times a year and for me that is a really big step forward.

THE LIFE OF BLOGGERS IS NOT JUST GLAMOROUS- trust me.
So next time when you look at my pictures and think that I live a perfect life, know that I don’t, I really don’t. I won’t complain, my life is pretty damn good but I am not perfect. When you look at other bloggers lives or lives of celebs or even the life of your friends, never compare yourself with them. You do not know their full and complete story, you do not know their every day struggles and thoughts. And you do not know what happens behind closed doors. Do you think people will post pictures of themselves, lying in bed, depressed, in the dark, stuffing their face in chocolate? No – of course not ! Perhaps we should do it though, because that would be more of an reality than just flat lays, sunsets and unicorns.  Everyone is fighting their own battle and has their own ups and downs.

DEALING WITH DEPRESSION- What to do?
If you are dealing with depression too please look for help. Tell your parents, a sibling or a very good friend. Even if you do not know why you feel this way, share your thoughts and ask for help. There is nothing wrong with asking for help and you should not be ashamed for your thoughts. Do not wait for over a decade to work on your issues. Grab your depression by the balls too and say I am going to beat you Mtherfcker. Cause you can. And you will. I do believe in you and you should believe in your self too.
Invisible diseases are shitty, sucky and fucked up. But you can beat that thing. You just need to take the first step……

And if there is anything at all that I can help you with, please do let me know.

I will be always here for you, even though we maybe have never even met.

Have you ever dealt with depression? And how did you work on it? 

xoxo