I'm very excited to write this post as it's the first one using questions from my online question box! Thank you to everyone who has submitted something, if your question isn't answered as one of the three I'm choosing for this week it'll more than likely be in next month's post as I'm hoping to use the first Monday of the month for this purpose (depending on the number of submissions I receive).
Question One: What do you find is the worst symptom of depression for you personally? Or alternatively, the most misunderstood?
In terms of the worst symptom I'd have to say that it varies depending on the episode for me as sometimes some things are worse to deal with than others. But one that frustrates me and I think can often be misunderstood is the fatigue and lack of ability to concentrate. For me sometimes it can be almost impossible to engage with a lecture in uni and although I want to be there and I want to learn it's like my mind won't connect. Similarly I can find at times that spending time with more than one person can be the most exhausting thing in the world. I think it can often make you appear lazy or like you're not trying when actually you're trying the hardest you possibly could in the circumstances. But unless you've experienced this yourself I suppose it can be difficult to get your head around.
Question Two: Is there something you want to share about your mental health that you haven't done so before (and feel comfortable to)? I know that it's sometimes... cathartic to get something off your chest that you haven't been able to for a while, or that you've wanted to and haven't had the chance to.
Hmm okay, this is a difficult one but I've had a think about it. So often when I'm not feeling well I can struggle great amounts to react to other people's communication (particularly online) in the correct way? Regularly I find myself feeling being upset by people going out and enjoying themselves/having fun/generally being more socially successful than me and it leads to me getting mad at myself for being selfish and self centred because it can genuinely feel like people are doing things just to upset me? (And putting that in writing makes it seem even more ridiculous but what can I say?) Gradually I'm coming to terms with the fact that it's just how I feel when I'm not well and that beating myself down about it and calling myself such things isn't actually helpful? I'm not sure how to stop it but I'm working on a way out atm.
Question Three: I have lost all enjoyment in my passions. How do I stay motivated whilst stuck in my depression?
This is a super difficult question because as I'm sure you're aware, lack of motivation is one of the most common symptoms of depression and so it can be really tough. The only tips I can offer from my experience is to try your hardest not to be too disappointed in yourself if you take a break from the things you enjoy because sometimes it is necessary to do so. It's also worth trying to perhaps engage in one of your hobbies for a short period of time, challenge yourself like "okay I'm going to read for 15 minutes and see how I get on" and set yourself a timer to see what you can achieve. This way you've managed to reach a goal that day even if it is small and you may well find that it'll lift your spirits a bit too! Hope this helps even a tiny bit because it can be really tough.
That's it for my first Question Box session! I really hope you've found reading this helpful and please leave me a comment with your thoughts. Also if you want to leave me a question to answer in the next post you'll find the Question Box here.