Your are not alone

As someone with bipolar disorder depression is something that I am very familiar with. My experience of depression is likely to be different to others. We all experience depression differently. However, due to the isolating nature of depression I believe it’s important to share our experiences in order to allow us to feel less alone.

My depression came in all sorts of forms

I spent years of my life believing that I had uni-polar depression, this is because, as is common with a lot of younger people diagnosed with bipolar disorder, I spent a year with pretty consistent depression when I was 15. Just because my diagnosis has changed doesn't mean that the depression is any less painful or persistent.

The thing is, when people think of depression they think of being curled up in bed, in the dark, crying. Sometimes it is, but not always.

For me, I probably spend around 20% of the time that I am depressed properly sad, that leaves 80% of time experiencing a range of other types of depression. Depression comes in all sorts of forms such as fatigue, low motivation, isolation, numbness and physical pain.

When I was younger my depression often took the form of excessive crying and desperately craving physical comfort. As I've gotten older my depression often takes the form of numbness and lethargy. If I'm honest the numbness is so much worse. It's a lot harder to know how to deal with, the feeling of numbness can be isolating, it’s something that is much harder for other people to empathise with. Depression is something I have experienced to be impenetrable to anyone who has not experienced it.

I had psycho-somatic symptoms

Depression can come with physical symptoms. For me I often experience extreme fatigue and body aches. It’s something less commonly talked about when discussing depression. This is because of the stereotypes that surround depression. It is normal to experience physical symptoms (often known as psycho-somatic symptoms) when you have depression.

There is support if you feel alone

Depression can convince you that you are alone. However, you are not alone. It’s important to remember that although everyone has their own unique experiences, other people have had similar experiences and have or are going through something similar to you. Communities online such as the Bipolar UK e-Community are there in order to help you to find support in others who may have experienced similar things.

Depression feels like there is no end, but there is an end. There is an end to the darkness, a light at the end of the tunnel. You can make it, don't give up. There will be a time where you realise you are so much closer to the light than you realised.