I wasn’t sure if I was going to write this and I’m even less sure if I’m going to post it. Hannah’s Happy is about happiness and wellbeing but, no matter how hard you try, you can’t always be happy and well. The past week has been somewhat hazy. It’s hard to think of blog post ideas when the most prominent thing in your life, at that time, is depression. So I thought I would write about that.
Depression is something that creeps up on you and always catches you unawares. I find it hard to deal with at the moment because everything in my life is going right. When there is no cause and effect you can point to, it gets harder and harder to admit how you feel. I just moved into a beautiful house. I just signed with a great new client. I’m actually living a very comfortable life for the first time in my life. What could possibly be so wrong that I feel this way? But that’s the first thing that I want to address: depression doesn’t always have a cause or a trigger. Sometimes, at least for me, it can be as simple as a flick of a switch. My hormones fall out of line and the result is impending grief and heartbreak for seemingly no visual reason.
Why it’s so hard to reach out
I’m the first person to preach that it is important to talk about your mental health. Maybe that’s why I feel like I need to write this. I am a hypocrite. When I feel at my lowest, I find it very difficult to talk to someone about it. Maybe it’s because depression and mental health in general is still such a taboo subject. Maybe it’s because I feel like it’s my fault and I’m just oversensitive or weak. Mostly it’s because I don’t want to burden anyone with something that’s invisible. I’m also already running the conversation we’re going to have in my head and I don’t want to hear the same old question: ‘why?’
Why there is not always a ‘why’ to depression
Please, when somebody tells you how they are feeling, do not swat it away with a ‘why?’ It seriously undermines the very nature of the problem. When you ask someone why they are feeling depressed, if there is no distinct cause, you are making them feel like it’s their own fault. Sometimes, I can safely say that I am triggered by a specific date or something I saw or a dream that I had. The people closest to me in my life already expect me to have a wobbly on those days. I can prepare for it myself. A lot of the time, it just is the way it is. As I said before, my hormones have a lot to do with it. Sometimes our brains are just out of whack.
What to do when someone tells you they’re depressed
There is no set protocol and it’s something we don’t talk about but I think it’s a conversation to be had. When somebody has a panic attack or a disability, we discuss how to make them feel better and how to attack situations so that they are accessible. We need to start doing the same for depression. Each individual probably wants different things but, for the most part, we want the same. We just want to talk. We just want you to know that we’re not feeling our best. It helps to have somebody know that’s what’s happening to you, who can look out for you. Please just listen and acknowledge it and just be around for that person, letting them know they are not a burden. I really hope that sometime in the near future saying that you’re struggling with your mental health a bit is as easy to tell someone as ‘I have a cold’ so that we can all get the help and support we need.
I am already coming out of the other side of this. It definitely appears to be nothing more than a momentary glitch in my hormones which I’m relieved about but I wanted to talk about it whilst it was fresh. I really want this to be an okay subject to talk about so nobody has to feel alone in it. Always here for you, also. H x