It’s not even noticeable at first. It’s something that goes unrecognized. Something that a woman could just contribute to hormones, something a person can think is situational. Until it isn’t.
For me, I was in counseling and working on building myself up for years. I grew into a person who became happy.
It started with one small event, but little did I know it would begin snowballing from there.
I started feeling a little down from time to time.
Then it progressed into losing my positivity and optimism, but I still felt fine.
I told myself it’s situation and just something I’m going through, because I’m typically happy.
It went from simply losing my positivity, and then I started having random bouts of negativity.
Over time, I noticed myself becoming irritable and impatient.
I am not the most patient person to begin with, and things would irritate me all the time to the extent of people on the road who can’t drive, slow walkers in the grocery store, etc. Minor things.
And then it became taking things out on my significant other, irritated by everything.
But I still attributed this to situational and just a phase.
I had Major Depressive Disorder as a teenager, so I know what it feels like. During that time, I didn’t want to get out of bed all day, I engaged in self-harm, and I had suicidal ideations. It would hit me like a freight train, and be extremely intense.
**National Suicide Prevention Lifeline; 1-800-273-8255
This was nothing like that, so I didn’t realize what was going on for a long time. I was still going to work each day, I was still grocery shopping, meal prepping, cooking, cleaning, etc.
I found myself one night just crying and not being able to stop. It was just this one incident so I assumed it was because of my work as a counselor and being emotionally drained. That all of my feelings just had to come out, and I also think it’s important to have a “good cry” from time to time. So everything seemed okay.
The random bouts of negativity became more frequent. The negative thoughts became more frequent.
Then it turned into numbness. Just general discontent…not happy, not sad, just still.
I began not caring about things. I began not wanting to socialize. I began wanting to just be by myself.
The grocery shopping slowly stopped, the cooking slowly stopped. The cleaning didn’t seem important.
I was just sitting there, alive, unhappy, and not realizing what was going on.
I questioned it…am I depressed? Surely I would know because I’ve been through it before and I’m trained to treat it.
I woke up one day and realized, I’m not myself. This is who I used to be, this isn’t who I spent so many years growing into.
Everything suddenly began feeling magnified in negativity. I couldn’t shake it. It felt like this was just my life now.
Over a period of 5 months, I realized I was having a very slow build-up of depression. And it took me to long to realize it because it wasn’t that intense, hit by a freight train feeling.
It can happen to anyone, and it just happens unexpectedly, and maybe unnoticed at first.