Good evening, everyone.
I want to talk about something that I truly suffer from and something I feel that those of you who are on the spectrum as well may suffer from or struggle with also: Depression. In addition to Asperger’s, I also have clinical depression. which means I have the following characteristics from time to time.
- Feelings of sadness or emptiness
- Loss of interest in previously enjoyed activities
- Weight and appetite changes
- Sleep problems
- Feelings of being either slowed down or excessively agitated
- Tiredness and lack of energy
- Feelings of worthlessness or guilt
- Problems with concentration and making decisions
A lot of people don’t know this about me. I try to hide it well. The reason being is I have been ridiculed before for it. I have been told to “get over it” or “get a grip” etc. What people don’t realize is that it isn’t something I can simply “get over” and I can’t simply “get a grip”. It doesn’t work that way. If it did, then why would I continue to be sad? Believe me, it’s not fun and I wouldn’t wish it on anyone. I don’t begrudge the people who told me these cruel things because they were just ignorant and didn’t know any better. But I go through an invisible war with myself everyday from the moment my eyes open in the morning, until they close at night…if they ever close at all. Elizabeth Wurtzel, God bless her, said it best -“That’s the thing about depression: A human being can survive almost anything, as long as they see the end in sight. But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily, that it’s impossible to ever see the end.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself. Going back to using literary examples, my favorite book of all time is Bram Stoker’s Dracula. I do not empathize with Dracula, but I do empathize with the characters hunting him. Like Count Dracula, depression acts as an invisible and emotional vampire that torments and drains you without warning whenever it pleases. Unlike the count, however, depression can’t simply be dispatched and turned to dust by a knife through the heart. It is something that never truly goes away. There are days where it takes every bit of my strength to just get out of bed and start the day. There are days where I fell alone and hated by everyone. There are times where things that normally bring me joy, hold no interest to me. Depression is a truly terrible thing and I know those of you who suffer from it feel the same way that I do. You may feel alone and helpless. You may feel like there is no light at the end of the tunnel. you may just feel like there is no reason to exist in the first place. I know this because I have felt the way you do many times. I have felt that recently, in fact.
Depression is a horrible monster that will never be destroyed. but there are ways to keep the S.O.B at bay.
*Make others around you happy. I know what you’re thinking. “Why should we worry about making others happy when we can’t be happy ourselves?” I promise you, there is no greater joy than serving others. by making them feel happy, you fill fulfilled and you feel that you were meaningful to someone. By being a light to others, you don’t give the darkness much of a chance to show its face and slip in.
*Focus hard on the positives. There is always light in this world, you just have to look hard enough. You will find it though, I promise you.
*Be friendly…ALWAYS. When you are friendly and warm to others, sometimes that warmness will jump right back onto you.
*Talk. This is self explanatory. Talk to someone. Just let someone know what you’re going through, be it your mom, dad, friend, grandparents, even your dog (dogs are the best listeners BTW. They don’t say anything. they just stare and listen to you while you rant and rave and then lick you. No judgement at all.) I will admit this is something I’m afraid to do at times. But I’ve been getting better at it.
I hope these tips help. The struggle with depression is war that will never be resolved, unfortunately. But that doesn’t mean depression will win. much love to you all.