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What It Really Feels Like To Have Depression

What It Really Feels Like To Have Depression

Did you ever lack motivation until the point of asking yourself why you should leave your bed? Have you felt like you had no control over what is going on around you? Like, nothing makes sense and no matter what you do, it is not enough? Did you feel worthless and guilty for something out of your control?

Depression feels closer to that and then it finds the way to go beyond, because it’s goal is not to wound or disable. Depression aims to kill. It has beaten me down thousand times, and I want to show you its dangerous tricks.

1. Bye, bye motivation…

Welcome, apathy.

It is a weird feeling that starts crippling your being. It acts almost unnoticeable in the beginning, like things are getting heavier in your mind. They lose color and brightness, fading into something that becomes a duty more than anything else.

I remember not wanting to write or read. The TV shows I followed started making a queue. Thinking about projects or plans made me snap and complain. I avoided getting involve in new things because nothing seemed appealing.

From things that are intellectually engaging —like new projects- to the physical aspect —like sex or sports, nothing awakes your curiosity. All seems dull and pointless. Trips, festivities, visits… all have an odd taste, like flavorless.

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It is a tragedy, and it gets worse.

2. Being bored to death

This might be surprising if you have never been through a rough episode, but it can get really, extremely boring. Depression will suck out all the happiness of things in your life little by little.

Yes, since motivation doesn’t boost your spirit anymore, your enjoyment gradually decreases. Going out seems like way too much effort. Movies don’t make you feel engaged anymore, neither conversations nor hobbies. You might do it because it is what you are supposed to do —and because otherwise people would get suspicious.

But the truth is that your interests start decreasing until they almost disappear. You want to kill time but don’t know how, and days just get longer and longer. I sleep. A lot. Others get intro alcohol or drugs to boost their senses or get numb.

And one day you find yourself bored to death, wondering what happened to the person you used to be. Deep down you know that something is wrong, and that is when it starts getting really scary.

3. Depression brings up the guiltiness

This is probably the worst of all the side effects of this disease, and all its outcomes —professionally and personally— are devastating.

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When it reaches dangerous limits, depression will hold you back from carrying on with your normal life until the point of neglecting your duties and responsibilities.

In my case, I couldn’t get myself out of the bed in the mornings —it just seemed pointless- which led me to miss way too many classes. I wasn’t even able to go to birthday-parties or other kind of social gatherings. I couldn’t find a reason to move on.

I felt the worst human being on earth, and the more down I felt the less I wanted to engage with things. I know it sounds ridiculous, but it is a real trouble. You become fearful of others and guiltiness attacks your reason.

In any case you are responsible for not being able to get up. You are not lazy or irresponsible, but you will torture yourself again and again feeling disappointed for something you can’t even control.

That is why one of the first lessons I had to learn is to treat myself compassionately. Breaking through that circle of negativity is incredibly tough.

4. Hopelessly worthless

Do you know what is a vicious circle? “A situation in which an attempt to resolve one problem creates new problems that lead back to the original situation.”

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I can’t count how many times I caught myself thinking “you are worthless,” “nothing of what you do is worth it,” “you should just give up and crawl into your bed.” That is called irrational thinking. Of course, it doesn’t have to make sense.

You are demotivated, bored, exhausted and tired; you feel guilty and frightened; everything you do is wrong and everybody will blame you if they discover it. The light at the end of the tunnel gets smaller and smaller until the point you end up believing you deserve what is happening to you.

It is a terrible feeling, probably the worst I have ever felt. I couldn’t stop thinking and I made up any kind of stories and excuses to believe it. That is why it is so hard to fight this monster, because it uses everything it can despite making sense or not.

5. This is a never-ending battle

I have a recurrent, unjustified disorder. That means it comes and goes for no reason. If you ask me why, I can’t answer: it just happens.

Actually, I was doing incredibly great lately when all of a sudden, I found myself unable to sit down and work, sleeping 13 hours average per day and barely eating. All that after spending months rocking like a pro writer, freelancing and starting a bunch of new projects.

Do you realize how painful it is to look back and have no reason to justify that? And the worst is that I know it will happen again. For me, it is cyclic. I can’t know when it will be back but I now that one day I will find it hanging around the neighborhood again.

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What do you do when you face that kind of situation? I work. I work as much as I can during my good times. I give everything to make sure I will have something to hold on to while I am navigating through the storm. And, of course, I find support.

There are thousands, millions of people out there enduring this misery. There are communities dedicated to help and offer support. I do help when I can, because it is necessary. I know depression is something that will stay with me for the rest of my life, but I can’t wait for it to go away to start living my life.

So don’t let it win the war. This, today, is just a battle. It might go better or worse but what really matters is that you tried and that tomorrow you will keep striving. Never give up. Give your 100% each day, even if today’s 100% is just breathing and taking a shower.

You are worth living this life.

More by this author

A Sorry Letter To Myself, Though That “Me” Doesn’t Exist Anymore What It Really Feels Like To Have Depression 5 Reasons Why Youth is a Time of No Regret Step-By-Step Guide: How To Manage Your Anger

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Last Updated on September 28, 2020

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

The Pros and Cons of Working from Home

At the start of the year, if you had asked anyone if they could do their work from home, many would have said no. They would have cited the need for team meetings, a place to be able to sit down and get on with their work, the camaraderie of the office, and being able to meet customers and clients face to face.

Almost ten months later, most of us have learned that we can do our work from home and in many ways, we have discovered working from home is a lot better than doing our work in a busy, bustling office environment where we are inundated with distractions and noise.

One of the things the 2020 pandemic has reminded us is we humans are incredibly adaptable. It is one of the strengths of our kind. Yet we have been unknowingly practicing this for years. When we move house we go through enormous upheaval.

When we change jobs, we not only change our work environment but we also change the surrounding people. Humans are adaptable and this adaptability gives us strength.

So, what are the pros and cons of working from home? Below I will share some things I have discovered since I made the change to being predominantly a person who works from home.

Pro #1: A More Relaxed Start to the Day

This one I love. When I had to be at a place of work in the past, I would always set my alarm to give me just enough time to make coffee, take a shower, and change. Mornings always felt like a rush.

Now, I can wake up a little later, make coffee and instead of rushing to get out of the door at a specific time, I can spend ten minutes writing in my journal, reviewing my plan for the day, and start the day in a more relaxed frame of mind.

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When you start the day in a relaxed state, you begin more positively. You find you have more clarity and more focus and you are not wasting energy worrying about whether you will be late.

Pro #2: More Quiet, Focused Time = Increased Productivity

One of the biggest difficulties of working in an office is the noise and distractions. If a colleague or boss can see you sat at your desk, you are more approachable. It is easier for them to ask you questions or engage you in meaningless conversations.

Working from home allows you to shut the door and get on with an hour or two of quiet focused work. If you close down your Slack and Email, you avoid the risk of being disturbed and it is amazing how much work you can get done.

An experiment conducted in 2012 found that working from home increased a person’s productivity by 13%, and more recent studies also find significant increases in productivity.[1]

When our productivity increases, the amount of time we need to perform our work decreases, and this means we can spend more time on activities that can bring us closer to our family and friends as well as improve our mental health.

Pro #3: More Control Over Your Day

Without bosses and colleagues watching over us all day, we have a lot more control over what we do. While some work will inevitably be more urgent than others, we still get a lot more choice about what we work on.

We also get more control over where we work. I remember when working in an office, we were given a fixed workstation. Some of these workstations were pleasant with a lot of natural sunlight, but other areas were less pleasant. It was often the luck of the draw whether we find ourselves in a good place to work or not.

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By working from home we can choose what work to work on and whether we want to face a window or not. We can get up and move to another place, and we can move from room to room. And if you have a garden, on nice days you could spend a few hours working outside.

Pro #4: You Get to Choose Your Office Environment

While many companies will provide you with a laptop or other equipment to do your work, others will give you an allowance to purchase your equipment. But with furniture such as your chair and desk, you have a lot of freedom.

I have seen a lot of amazing home working spaces with wonderful sets up—better chairs, laptop stands that make working from a laptop much more ergonomic and therefore, better for your neck.

You can also choose your wall art and the little nick-nacks on your desk or table. With all this freedom, you can create a very personal and excellent working environment that is a pleasure to work in. When you are happy doing your work, you will inevitably do better work.

Con #1: We Move a Lot Less

When we commute to a place of work, there is movement involved. Many people commute using public transport, which means walking to the bus stop or train station. Then, there is the movement at lunchtime when we go out to buy our lunch. Working in a place of work requires us to move more.

Unfortunately, working from home naturally causes us to move less and this means we are not burning as many calories as we need to.

Moving is essential to our health and if you are working from home you need to become much more aware of your movement. To ensure you are moving enough, make sure you take your lunch breaks. Get up from your desk and move. Go outside, if you can, and take a walk. And, of course, refrain from regular trips to the refrigerator.

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Con #2: Less Human Interaction

One of the nicest things about bringing a group of people together to work is the camaraderie and relationships that are built over time. Working from home takes us away from that human interaction and for many, this can cause a feeling of loss.

Humans are a social species—we need to be with other people. Without that connection, we start to feel lonely and that can lead to mental health issues.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams meeting cannot replace that interaction. Often, the interactions we get at our workplaces are spontaneous. But with video calls, there is nothing spontaneous—most of these calls are prearranged and that’s not spontaneous.

This lack of spontaneous interaction can also reduce a team’s ability to develop creative solutions—there’s just something about a group of incredibly creative people coming together in a room to thrash out ideas together that lends itself to creativity.

While video calls can be useful, they don’t match the connection between a group of people working on a solution together.

Con #3: The Cost of Buying Home Office Equipment

Not all companies are going to provide you with a nice allowance to buy expensive home office equipment. 100% remote companies such as Doist (the creators of Todoist and Twist) provide a $2,000 allowance to all their staff every two years to buy office equipment. Others are not so generous.

This can prove to be expensive for many people to create their ideal work-from-home workspace. Many people must make do with what they already have, and that could mean unsuitable chairs that damage backs and necks.

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For a future that will likely involve more flexible working arrangements, companies will need to support their staff in ways that will add additional costs to an already reduced bottom line.

Con #4: Unique Distractions

Not all people have the benefit of being able to afford childcare for young children, and this means they need to balance working and taking care of their kids.

For many parents, being able to go to a workplace gives them time away from the noise and demands of a young family, so they could get on with their work. Working from home removes this and can make doing video calls almost impossible.

To overcome this, where possible, you need to set some boundaries. I know this is not always possible, but it is something you need to try. You should do whatever you can to make sure you have some boundaries between your work life and home life.

Final Thoughts

Working from home can be hugely beneficial for many people, but it can also bring serious challenges to others.

We are moving towards a new way of working. Therefore, companies need to look at both the pros and cons of working from home and be prepared to support their staff in making this transition. It will not be impossible, but a lot of thought will need to go into it.

More About Working From Home

Featured photo credit: Standsome Worklifestyle via unsplash.com

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