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  • Pedro Magrin Tannús

In the depths of depression

Chadwin G. Patrog



Since my adolescence, I have been dealing with the relentless weight of depression, a shadow that cast its darkness over the backdrop of my life. The diagnosis came at 25, but the roots of this internal struggle were already silently settling in much earlier.


In the depths of depressive episodes, I find myself submerged in a sea of desolation. It’s as if a dense fog settles within me, diminishing the vibration of life. Motivation becomes an elusive ghost, and even the simplest tasks seem like insurmountable mountains.


Sleep becomes a refuge, but it offers no solace. Instead, it drags me into a restless abyss, leaving me fatigued in both body and spirit. The world loses its colors, and joy evaporates like water in the sun.


However, there are moments when the sun briefly emerges from behind the clouds. Manias, as they call them. In these moments, my mind races with ideas, and a wave of energy courses through my entire being. I become a whirlwind of productivity, capable of feats that, in my depressive state, seem light-years away. Confidence reaches unprecedented heights, and creativity dances at the forefront of my consciousness. But, like a fleeting dream, this euphoria is destined to dissipate.



One of the cruel ironies of depression is its ability to distort perception. Activities that once brought joy now seem empty and devoid of meaning. The simplest decision becomes a Herculean task, and a heavy cloak of negativity envelops every thought. Self-esteem crumbles, and the echoes of self-deprecating thoughts resonate in the caverns of my mind.


Navigating the abrupt transitions between the peaks of happiness and the valleys of sadness is an arduous journey. In a matter of days, or even hours, the pendulum swings from the depths of despair to the dizzying heights of mania. This emotional carousel takes its toll on personal relationships, work, and the fragile fabric of my daily life. Friends struggle to understand the sudden mood changes, and I, in turn, withdraw to protect them from the inner storm.


Therapy and medication have become loyal companions on this tumultuous journey. Through therapy, I’ve learned to identify the early signs of impending mood changes and to develop coping strategies. Medication acts as a stabilizing force, softening the intensity of manic episodes and shortening the duration of depressive episodes.


Although the battle against depression is unceasing, I’ve unraveled fragments of light amidst the storm. In moments of clarity, I’ve discovered resilience and an enhanced capacity for empathy. The struggle has woven a tapestry of understanding and compassion for others’ emotional landscapes.



For those who have not treaded the labyrinth of depression, it is challenging to comprehend the labyrinthine corridors of despair that I navigate daily. I implore patience and empathy because, even if my emotions seem enigmatic or incomprehensible, they are an integral part of my journey with depression.


In moments of despair, I ask not to be seen merely as someone ‘sad’ or ‘unmotivated’. The darkness that envelops me goes beyond common sadness; it’s like a dense cloud that engulfs me, affecting all areas of my life. As much as I try to free myself from this sadness, I often feel trapped, hopeless, and struggling to find meaning in things.


Understanding that these mood swings are caused by a medical condition and not a conscious choice is crucial. Depression is not something that I can simply ‘overcome’ or control with willpower. It’s a complex condition that requires ongoing medical supervision and the support of friends and family.


Furthermore, it’s essential to recognize that not every day will be the same. I may go through periods of stability, where my mood remains relatively balanced. But I can also face mixed episodes, where I experience symptoms of mania and depression simultaneously, which can be extremely confusing and exhausting.


The journey with depression is challenging, but there is also hope. With proper treatment, regular therapy, and a strong support system, I can learn to better manage my emotions, identify triggers, and adopt healthy strategies to cope with the highs and lows.


Therefore, I ask not to be judged solely by the labels associated with depression. I am much more than this condition. I am a person with dreams, passions, and abilities. I know that my journey can be complicated and unpredictable, but with understanding and support, I can achieve emotional stability and a meaningful life.


*The account presented above was created fictitiously based on real information available about Major Depressive Disorder, commonly called depression. It is not based on any specific personal experience and does not violate the professional confidentiality between patient and professional. Understand more in the article below.


Depressive Disorder - Characteristics and Treatment


Depressive disorder, commonly known as depression, is a mental health condition that profoundly impacts a person’s mood, daily functioning, and quality of life.

In this article, we will explore the causes and symptoms of depressive disorder, as well as discuss the benefits of online cognitive psychotherapy as an effective treatment option.


Description and Symptoms


Depression is characterized by a persistent feeling of sadness, hopelessness, and lack of interest or pleasure in activities previously considered enjoyable. The symptoms can vary, but often include:


  • Persistent depressed mood

  • Loss of interest in everyday activities

  • Fatigue or decreased energy

  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions

  • Feelings of worthlessness or guilt

  • Thoughts of death or suicide

  • The intensity and duration of these symptoms can vary, but when persistent and severe, they characterize a depressive episode.


Causes and Risk Factors


The causes of depression are complex and can involve a combination of genetic, biological, environmental, and psychological factors. Some risk factors include:


  • Family history of depression

  • Stressful life events

  • Physical illnesses or chronic medical conditions

  • Chemical imbalances in the brain

It’s important to note that depression can affect anyone, regardless of age, sex, or ethnic origin.


Benefits of Online Cognitive Behavioral Therapy


The treatment of depression usually involves a multifaceted approach, including psychotherapy, medication, and social support. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) is an effective form of psychotherapy in treating depression. Online CBT offers practical benefits, such as:


  • Flexibility in scheduling sessions

  • Greater accessibility for people with transportation barriers or physical limitations

  • Reduction of the stigma associated with seeking treatment

  • Ease of engagement in therapy due to comfort with technology.

"Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) teaches strategies to challenge and modify negative thought patterns, promoting a more balanced and healthy view of life.” - APA (American Psychological Association)

Conclusion


Depressive disorder is a challenging condition that can affect anyone at different stages of life. However, with proper treatment, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, individuals can learn to manage their symptoms and regain a satisfactory quality of life.


Online psychotherapy, especially CBT, offers a convenient and effective option for those seeking support to overcome depression. If you or someone you know is experiencing depressive symptoms, it is crucial to seek professional help from a qualified mental health provider.



Read more


Cuijpers, P., Berking, M., Andersson, G., Quigley, L., Kleiboer, A., & Dobson, K. S. (2013). A meta-analysis of cognitive-behavioural therapy for adult depression, alone and in comparison with other treatments. Canadian Journal of Psychiatry, 58(7), 376–385.


American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.


National Institute of Mental Health. (2021). Depression. Retrieved from https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/depression/index.shtml.







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