EXPRESSIONS Opinion

THE FACE OF DEPRESSION – HOW IT STARTED

My name is Freda Obeng-Ampofo, and though not many people know, I was once depressed. Although, I didn’t initially think I was depressed. I’d always tell myself I’m just sadder (is that a word?) than normal and that it will be okay over time. My “over time” lasted 2-3 years give or take. I am happy to report that I now see life differently. So, today, I share my story with those who are grappling with depression. I understand your struggle and hope my story will be of inspiration to you.

How it started

Depression-Ball-Chain

I can’t really pinpoint when it actually began; however, I was in a serious long distance relationship. It’s safe to say the distance began to have a toll, among other things, on the relationship. Because I was truly in love, I fought for the relationship. I could not imagine being with anyone else. Things finally gave in, which really intensified everything for me. Being a strong woman (or so I thought), I thought I was okay. “I can deal with this, I’m a big girl,” I told myself. Yet, it affected me more than I could have ever have imagined.  What truly sent me to ground zero, more than the breakup, were the series of events that led to the end of the relationship which left me feeling paralyzed and sometimes continue to devastate me. It is also safe to say my faith in the spiritual everyday reality and good plan of God for my life was slowly deteriorating due to the intensity of my academic program at the time, and just the sheer agony of being away from my love, family and friends, and struggling to keep my relationship afloat.

In those years I was feeling so low, moody, easily irritated, always angry, scared, panicky, anxious and very unstable.  Whenever the depression kicked in, I’d just sleep, even when I didn’t want to; because I had no desire to do anything.  I’d always snap at people. If you know me, I’m so not a snapper so I’d actually feel worse afterwards which normally exacerbated my condition. I almost always felt like a teenager going through puberty.

I tried to stay away from people as much as possible. I felt excessively guilty and worthless all the time. My behavior affected my friends, family and anyone who happened to be around me. Being depressed is not fun and I wouldn’t wish it on my worst enemy – ask anyone who has been in that situation before and they’ll be able to relate. Depression changed who I was from the happy-go-lucky, free-spirited Freda I knew, to someone who just seemed moody and angry all the time. Every person or thing that crossed me was vulnerable to my attacks regardless of what they did or didn’t do…. and at some point even made it impossible for people to be around me.

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Being depressed also subjected me to extreme high and low mood swings that sometimes changed in seconds… coloring my days with snarky thoughts, impatience, and anger towards others. The worse is I hated this attribute especially when dealing with people I loved… yet it had been difficult to change because I didn’t even realize it was happening until it was over. I cried a lot and had many dark nights. For a while, I didn’t know what to do and had thoughts of suicide.

Sometimes it was just the burden of having so much on my mind and not knowing how to deal with it. It sucked because I tried to do all the things that were supposed to make me feel better a) pray; b) eat well; c) work out; d) have a hobby of sorts e) try and meet up with people, etc. It seemed like I was doing everything I should be, yet this grief, gloom, melancholy, kept getting worse. I was constantly broken. I remember the only answer I had to every question was “I don’t know.” And I really didn’t know and I’m not sure if it was the lack of desire to even think about it or that my mind just froze. Whatever it was, it definitely frustrated friends and family as I typically love turning up to events and being a social butterfly, but during my depression years, I felt completely empty. Every minute felt like forever.

Source : Fabulously Fit and Fine

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