I'm Ashamed Of Being Depressed
Posted 18 November 2009 - 02:39 AM
Posted 18 November 2009 - 03:15 AM
I was recently reading a book about how to cope with overwhelming emotions and it read, "If you're in a painful situation and your emotions are going to overwhelm you and possibly make things worse, then often it's best just to leave." This reminded me of the many times I've left a party, a camping trip, a get together with family, or a friends house because I suddenly became profoundly depressed, with a sickening ache deep in my stomach. I would feel an almost uncontrollable urge to cry, but if I was unable to get away I would just shut myself out from everyone else and be silent, saying I was tired if someone asked if I was okay. Many times I have said goodnight to retreat to my room and cry. It is this side of me that I am ashamed of and have always tried to hide. To this day I hide my depression from my friends and sometimes family, so that I can have normal relationships with people and not be given special treatment. I feel shy and embarrassed in public, it is hard for me to look people in the eyes. When someone who cares asks me whats wrong I can't be real because I would be too emotional. I want so much to be close but I'm afraid and ashamed of who I am. I feel inadequate and unwanted. I feel like no one would want to be with someone insecure, hurt, and depressed. I keep finding out how much depression has been affecting every aspect of my life and been the driving force behind my biggest problems. It makes me want to feel like I'm a victim and its not my fault, and to forgive myself. For some reason I continue to feel like I am fundamentally flawed and should be rejected. I crave having a girlfriend to hold me and to be close to, and I feel ashamed of this desire, like it is childish or taboo. I do not feel like I am Okay the way I am, and even though I am aware of all the ways my thinking is flawed I haven't been able to feel differently. I can't lead a normal life when I feel like crying every day.
Before I start, I want you to know that I can only speak from a place of someone who does NOT suffer from depression - I am on the outside looking in. I joined this forum in order to learn more about how to support the people I love who have depression. That being said, the kindest thing MaBeau ever did was tell me, on our first date, that he had depression. No, it wasn't like, "Hi, I'm Beau and I'm depressed", but he brought it up in the course of conversation as we got to know a little more about each other. To this day, I appreciate his honesty and candor - I realize it took a lot of courage to share such an intimate aspect about himself. I know it is difficult for most people to present themselves to the world in a truly genuine and sincere manner - especially those aspects of ourselves that we don't feel comfortable with. And I feel that at times it can be even more difficult to share those truths with the people we love and care about most, because we don't want to be a burden. I say we, and realize I should be careful with that sort of generalization, so I apologize if that is how it comes across. I speak this out of my own observation, and my own experience. Everybody is flawed in some way - it is part of being human. From what I read, this is an extraordinary challenge for you, and I would like to commend you for reaching out here - it sounds to me like it is taking a tremendous amount of energy and courage for you to share these feelings. I haven't been on these boards for very long, and I am not by any stretch of the imagination an expert on depression, but I can tell you, in my opinion, that this appears to be a good, safe place to reach out to others and speak your truth. I don't know if these words offer much in the way of a solution, but I do want you to know that I honor your courage to talk about this, and I do hope that someone will post that can offer more than I can right now. But for right now, just know that I am in your corner, pulling for you. That is the best I can give.
Posted 18 November 2009 - 09:06 AM
I know what you mean about being ashamed of the depression. Logically, I know it's not right to feel that way, but I'm like you in that I can't tell people about my depression. My wife and my therapist know but that's all. I can't bring myself to sit people down and explain that I'm depressed and that there are times when I just want to withdraw so I make up excuses (tired, not feeling well, etc). If more people were like LMS, we would have an easier time with depression, at least someone would understand a little about what we're going through ( thanks LMS! ).
You might want to think about counseling. A trained counselor is there to help you through the depression and not make judgements about your illness. I know this is helping me.
Good luck and let us hear back from you.
Posted 18 November 2009 - 09:54 AM
First off, there is nothing to be ashamed about being depressed. It is the largest mental illness in the world that affects millions of people. It is also the most disabling MI. You are aware of what it's doing to you, which most people deny. It's also difficult to talk to uninformed people about depression-there's the stigma attached to mental illness to break.
If you haven't sought professional treatment, you should consider doing so. You can start with your GP or if your health insurance doesn't require a referral, contact a preferred mental health provider within your health insurance network (call your insurance for a list of MH providers in your area.) Depression can be a result of an imbalance of serotonin, dopamine or norepinephron that anti-depressants can help. Therapy can help also, but you have to put in the effort and self-work necessary for it to be successful. With proper treatment, your life can be better and more fullfilling. Don't continue to suffer when help is available.
We can listen, understand, give you support and feedback and share our experiences with you. However, we're your peers and none of us are professionals.
God will give you no more than you can handle. This is all a test to see if you are really ready for the good things that are going to come your way. All this pain is going to come back and make me stronger.-Clarence Clemmons 1942-2011
Everything I know, I know because I love. Leo Tolstoy War and Peace
Posted 19 November 2009 - 12:31 AM
You certainly don't need to feel ashamed for having an illness. Sometimes there are people that we limit as to what to share about our depression to. When it comes to friends or family especially if you are close to them, then it can make you feel worse and I know it's easier said then done. You seem to feel so much shame for several reasons and you don't need to feel that shame, with the right help and support you may come to understand depression better by sharing here with others who understand but most importantly if you haven't already you may want to think about professional help as they can also be of help with therapy and or meds. Keep posting. We are here.
If we can't stand alone to help ourselves,
with support we shall stand together
to make the changes and a difference within our lives
and the lives of all for the better.
Posted 19 November 2009 - 05:07 PM
I also hate that when I feel depressed or get depressed while out I retreat to my isolation. The next time I'm going to force myself to stay. It's not like my time would be better spent in isolation or that I won't be going back to it at the end of whatever I'm currently doing.
Finally, depression is a mental illness. It's only harder to accept that it's not your fault because it isn't physical. A broken leg is so much easier to see, fix, and get over than little chemicals in your head not being balanced or whatever. Maybe if our heads glowed red when they were malfunctioning it'd be easier to accept ourselves. I'm still ashamed of it and I still hate that I have it and give into it but I'm open to talking about it and understand it for what it is. It's sort of one step forward and a half-step back ... so still progress.
Posted 19 November 2009 - 06:42 PM
When you hide it, you are isolating yourself and not allowing important support that you need from others in your life. Just think, if you found out that a loved one had an illness and told you, you'd be there to offer support.
Posted 20 November 2009 - 08:13 PM
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