Struggle with depression — a personal experience

Depression can cover a prosperous and wealthy lady with a family, house and career. And people will say, “With fat rages!” But it can attack woman, Myka in poverty, sickness or the General zone of military conflict. And people will say: “Hey, what are you doing?”


Let's find out about depression from the perspective of personal experience. Kate A. shared his story and observations over the course of the struggle.


"Hello, my name is Katya, I am 25 years old. I have a job, a loving family, not always successful, but a busy personal life, I'm smart and cute. By now I had two serious episodes of depression (for a year and a half), the medical record is F31.3: “Bipolar affective disorder, current episode mild or moderate depression”.

In the information space often appear messages like “I think I'm depressed, where do I go?” or questions about the free psychiatric/psychological help. I would like to share their experience fighting this disease and some practical tips. I want to emphasize that I am not a doctor and not a psychologist, I know about the depression only from the point of view of the patient and the witness, but not medic. So my experience and advice should not be taken as a direct guide to action, it is all just personal experience, seasoned with a little reading of popular scientific articles and watching lectures.

Because the text is big, I'll break it into logical pieces:

  • – I think I have depression
  • – What should I do if I have depression?
  • – Psychiatry
  • – Psychotherapy
  • – Practical advice for those who are in depression
  • – Talking about suicide
  • – What to do if my close depressed?
  • – Quick section for those who are too lazy to read

I think I have depression

If You think that You have depression is the first step on the road to recovery. Many people do not understand that with them something not so, and this is understandable. When you're in depression, the perception of reality changes. Everything is seen in black light, and the brain with a quiet suffering, accepts that “good will never happen.” “Bad” becomes the norm, and sometimes impossible even to remember what once was different.

The symptoms of depression is simple and banal, they really can be long not to notice. I'm tired: so in fact, and others tired. There is also a need to clarify what normal person isn't happy 100% of the time. Their UPS and downs happen at all, and bad mood is part of human nature. Feature of depression in the persistence of these symptoms, and that they are most often flavored with organic amendments (like problems with sleep or appetite).

Look at these symptoms and ask yourself honestly – got it?

  • A bad, depressed mood for weeks and months. Need to stress that to observe at a bad mood you need it for a long time.
  • Acedonia. The inability to get pleasure from the fact that I used to. I like beautiful clothes and shoes, and at some point I just are unable to look at them. I have them all, they were merged into a colored veil. You like to cook, you reviewed once a month all movies with McConaughey, played the piano, and now – nothing? This can be a symptom.
  • Fatigue. Yeah, all tired. Upheavals and 10 hours in the office, and 24/7 with the children, all need rest at least five minutes in silence alone. But if you have a feeling that 70% or 100% battery you have in the morning there is only 30%, or when a routine case takes somehow too much power – this bell. I, for example, it became difficult to wash and drive the car.
These are the basic symptoms of depression. I feel bad, I'm always tired, I don't like it – that's what it feels to be depressed.There are even more that do not appear always, but no less important:

  • Sleeping problems in the one and in the other direction, insomnia, and oversleeping.
  • Problems with the appetite. And overeating, and loss of appetite. “The food tastes like grass”.
  • Low self-esteem. I'm worthless, I'm the worst, I have nothing.
  • The decrease in the concentration. Hard to watch movies and to read, hard to drive and to count.
  • Alarm. Panic attack feeling of a lump of anxiety in chest or throat.
  • Suicidal thoughts. “I wish I wasn't.” A depressed person suffer so much that death for him, often seems like a good way out. “Better than endless horror, than horror without end.”
To better understand what is happening to You, you can go through some (and preferably a couple of different) tests. Key words: scale Beck scale Tsung/Zhang, questionnaire major depression. You answer a bunch of monotonous questions that may seem banal, but these tests – a quick way to understand if you need to urgently run to the doctor or you can just relax and take a bath.

The first time I realized that something was wrong when I began to cover animal terror if necessary to go to College, started having panic attacks in crowded places. I all the time was bad, but I didn't realize it. I was going through a bad breakup and thought that to suffer is normal. But when I started to lose weight (I got up to 48 kg at growth of 168 and “big bones”) and fall into the hungry fainting (despite the fact that no appetite) and I, and mom sounded the alarm.

The second time I became aware that I was hitting on depression, much earlier – I'm already an experienced fighter, but even I with my lack of prejudice before psychiatry took almost six months to get to the doctor.

What should I do if I have depression?

Many people are afraid of psychiatrists, some believe that vitamins and yoga, someone refuses any help because he is not a weakling and I can handle myself, someone walks by foot or goes on vacation, someone relies on the therapist.

The bad news: depression there is no magic pill. Even if You went to a psychiatrist, she can prescribe antidepressants and they suddenly and quickly helped You – You are very lucky. I personally antidepressants helped at first, and when helped – drove me from “the horror, the horror” to “horror.” There is no panacea that will lead You to depression. There are only thousands and thousands of little and not so little steps that will help you come to recovery, and they are definitely worth doing.


For the Soviet people this word gives something of the prison and the ugly, comes to mind a phrase of the type “punitive psychiatry”. Fortunately, nowadays everything is much easier. The person no longer receives either “wolf ticket”, nor the status of “crazy”, if treated by a psychiatrist. In the end, there are private practice psychiatrists who make no records anywhere. By the way, I after a visit to the IPA in 18 years then quietly passed at 23.

The psychiatrist is primarily a doctor. It will undoubtedly be interested in Your problems in life, but only in order to understand what your depression is endogenous or exogenous? If the outside was some kind of shock, it is “good” if the depression developed just – that's another conversation. The psychiatrist will be interested in what You feel, how You sleep, how you eat, when You are experiencing anxiety. A psychiatrist will not understand the depths of Your soul, although, of course, psychological background (e.g. family and work) will be interesting.

Good news: psychiatrist (at least, sane) never will consider You a fake. I repeat for the umpteenth time that symptoms of depression look trivial, but for a psychiatrist it is an old familiar developing in history, and not in a “You invent yourself”. I remember, in 18 years, was the district PND and was shaking from what I suspect is that I just don't want to go to College. No, not suspect, and even gave me a certificate which allowed me to skip the session.

What can the psychiatrist? “Magic pills” that, in fact, magical, of course, are not and will not turn Your life into a meadow with pink pony. But depression is still the disease with their symptoms, and therefore, there are pills that help to cope with anxiety, constantly bad mood (not to be confused antidepressants and stimulants), with mood swings, tantrums.

Pills will help You to breathe. They will help you sleep if You are awake will help to begin again there. They will help you start the day not with 30% battery and 50% or even 70%. They will help to remember that in addition to the endless suffering there are other emotions, but if You swing on the emotional swings will lessen their amplitude.

But be warned – pills treat the symptoms, they can even arrest them to zero, but to heal the cause of depression, they can not. This requires either a private inner work, or working with a therapist.

In addition, most psychotropic drugs have quite a lot of side effects. Is decreased libido, anorgasmia, a decrease or increase in weight, drowsiness, memory impairment, tremor. But they should not so much fear: all of these side effects are temporary, they will pass after discontinuation of the medication, and the medication will help. Personally, I have after starting neuroleptics almost completely withered English, I've been thinking about each letter for an hour, besides the first few weeks were terrible, to inability to raise a Cup in one hand, tremor, but it is better to be slow and shaky hands, rapid and trembling with sobs.

Psychiatry and pill – radical output, and it is likely to give relief faster than slow work. Pills will take the edge off the state, give time and energy to think. What else is important: no one will climb into the soul. I understand prejudice, before psychologists and psychotherapists, and understand the reluctance to dig into their wounds, especially can become worse (and right now we need to survive, and not some global “become better”.


Psychotherapy is, so to speak, treatment talk. I absolutely do not climb in psychotherapy techniques that they suddenly ceased to work on me, so how it works I don't have a clue.

A year ago I was not that fierce opponent of psychotherapy, but treated her with suspicion. Too many stories of charlatans, Amateurs, and just plain stupid people. Can give me psychotherapy that I can not myself to know about myself? I can't answer the question “what do you feel?”

But therapy turned out to be nothing like what I expected. It was not a verbal duel and “you want to have sex with her father”, as I imagined, and even some special relations, which gave acceptance, support and security.On our first session, I explained that I'm not crazy and that the feelings that I'm experiencing is absolutely normal, and that I just “like to suffer”, as I was accused, and I have the most that neither is depression. Psychotherapy elevates You to a safe haven, a comfort zone, if you will – and from this harbour You can lead the ships to fight with his demons. This Harbor is about understanding who You are, what You like and don't like, what gives me strength and what takes away. Psychotherapy gives verbal vocabulary for describing ephemeral sensual ideas, and from the appearance of words these ideas, it becomes much easier to juggle, it is easier to act consciously.

One thing I can say for sure: if You don't want therapy, do not force yourself. Even if Your friend is helping you, and treat You with skepticism – it's better not force yourself. If You are from the first session did not like the therapist – don't force yourself to continue. The therapist needs to be your comfort zone (at least while you're depressed), not another battleground.

Practical advice for those who have depression

Tip number zero: it is necessary to exclude somatic disease. You can go to the district hospital to the General practitioner or the neurologist and report your symptoms: drowsiness, fatigue, bad mood. You will probably be sent to an endocrinologist to “check your thyroid” and he, in turn, will be sent for tests. Also want to avoid anaemia and low blood pressure. Well, just in case. If with somatic diseases you are all well, you can (and should) go to a psychiatrist.

Good news: to treat depression at desire it is possible not too expensive. Pack of fluoxetine (prozac) costs about 100 roubles (please do not samokatnaja it!)

Now I will talk about rossyskih reality, my experience is applicable to Moscow. In Russia there is a free mental hospital where you can come to registration with your passport and medical insurance. In Moscow, there are psychiatric institutions, for example, Institute of Psychiatry, where you can come without an appointment, again with your passport and medical insurance. Reception there is about a thousand.

Also Moscow is a great opportunity – clinic of neuroses in Shabolovka, where you can come, again, with passport and insurance policy. There you can consult a psychiatrist, you can go for inpatient treatment. For me, the perfect option was a day hospital – 8: 30 a.m. to come to the clinic to undergo the procedure, and after lunch to go (or rather to go on foot) home.

Psychiatrists should not be afraid. Perhaps, in the state swords around You will not be jumping on tiptoe, but the simulator will not call the hospital, if necessary, will give the treatment prescribed.

If You are afraid to go to public psychiatry, it is possible to find a private practitioner. Appointment with them is about 2000 – 4000 rubles. You can also find a therapist with a medical degree who can prescribe pills.

Please do not self-medicate! I deliberately did not write the names of medicines, because the soul is a dark subject, research subject, and to prescribe psychotropics can only specially trained people!

Therapy is simple. You simply (ha ha) to find “your” therapist, and then it goes on. Once again I want to remind you that from talking with a therapist You must have had a feeling of relief support, “nothing will break”. This is the first session can stay for ten minutes or three days, but it should be. You came here for help, not to war, and if You are with a therapist is uncomfortable for any reason (children therapist jumping around the apartment, too noisy office, physician sniffles, she is too harsh perfumes or unfunny jokes), You can safely go (with a warning, of course).

Try to find therapists familiar. Look for therapists who have worked successfully with a problem similar to yours (for example, divorce, a failed pregnancy, abusive relations). Rely on your intuition. Fortunately, the therapist we can choose and if we choose well, it will be a great support to us.

In addition to the tablets (three times a day for fifteen seconds) consultations of a psychiatrist (once every couple of weeks for forty minutes) and psychotherapy (once or twice a week for 50 minutes), You have plenty of time when You and your depression will be one-on-one, and this time you should not forget.

Now I will tell is paradoxical: depression cannot be cured. “It was impossible” to recover right now. It is necessary to recover, to allow the psyche to get out, but the psyche can and should help.

Now I'm going to give advice (this does not make a good therapist, but I'm not a therapist, so I can!), but this is advice based solely on personal experience.

First, admit to yourself that You are sick. You are a sick man, so You have their indulgences. You can't run a marathon when you have the flu and a temperature of 39? When You have the flu You're in bed, and though the grass not to grow. Dog vygulivala five minutes a day, children are given the cartoons, the work is done half-heartedly.

But now You are also sick. Allow yourself to cheer for. To lie in bed under the covers to wallow in your misery. Are you sad? Sad! Watching a sad movie, listen to sad music, cry. You can! If You became ill with depression, then You are likely very tired. Relax, as your circumstances permit. You now have every right to refuse activities that do not give You the strength to leave early from the party, not to travel to travel You are not as interested. You're not going to your parents on giving, if You have pneumonia?

Secondly, despite the first tip is to relax and give yourself a cheer and get hurt, You still should be in the direction of the target, i.e. recovery from depression. Don't over exert yourself, but it is impossible to miss the glimpses of desires, pleasures and a good mood that passes Your brain.

If You have a desire or any, even the smallest goal (e.g., to wash dishes or head), and You achieve this goal, brain triggered depression broken reward system. You understand that You will be simply space good if you vacuum or walk to a cafe for a coffee? Try to remember what You enjoyed “in the past” and do it (without fanaticism!) I, for example, before going to sleep every day crying, and through tears (I'm the worst, nobody wants me, I'll never be happy) transferred to themselves things like: cherries, the smell of hot asphalt, cat, sneakers, sing behind the wheel.

Thirdly, maintain the health of the body (healthy body, healthy mind!) Select an activity to their liking: yoga, crossfit, pole dance, rocking, Yes, just Hiking – the options are many. Soblyudaya mode.

Most likely, with the beginning of neuroleptics and so You will be cut down to bed at ten: do not resist it. If it turns out the body wants to sleep during the day (very helpful to me for half an hour to sleep on the job). Eat! It is possible that any appetite You will, but you need to force yourself to have. Try have something delicious for You, a good option is pasta with something like chicken every meal for a couple – neutral in taste, minimum effort while cooking.

Fourthly, ask for help and accept help. The support of loved ones (and far too – You have no idea how many people approached me with offers of assistance after I publicly admitted that I have depression!) this is very important in the treatment of depression. You have the full right to delete from the circle (at least temporarily) people who do not help, and, for example, owed or think You are lazy. In fact, You have no idea how many people actually have gone through this and understand your condition.

About suicide

Now that my depressive episode is almost over (10 months on meds and in therapy for three weeks in the hospital), I find it difficult to remember about their suicidal thoughts, but if you dig up my notes of the time, you can recover that a significant portion of their small force was spent, not to commit suicide. Literally: sometimes I just lay in bed and had made tremendous efforts in order not to stand and not to jump from the balcony. My suffering seemed so unbearable that I wanted to complete them in any way. Abstract “out of window” turned into a cold, rational, detailed thinking through of different ways.

It's really scary. And I don't know what to advise, except “not to do it.” I clung to the bad of my close relatives if I die. If it seems that there is nothing to catch, then perhaps it's time to call the hotline psychological assistance, or just someone. And if not to call, then write.

What to do if my close depressed?

Unfortunately, it's also impossible to give absolute advice on how you can radically help, but some direction you can ask.

First, we must recognize and understand what Your loved one does not play the fool, is not lazy, and sick. She can't “take it and stop suffering”, not cheer a Comedy or a picture of a cat. Read the Wikipedia, see “Prozac Nation” and “Melancholy”, try to understand what this person feels. Most likely, at the moment it separates You from a thick layer of muddy glass, gray or lump of tangled yarn. She does not feel the taste, can't hear music, probably, any case given to her with great difficulty, and it's not laziness, it is an objective complexity.

Second, offer her assistance in the contacts with the outside world. Most likely, communication with official authorities takes it terribly much effort, so take it by the hand and take him to the doctor for tests and to the pharmacy. Even I, the introvert, it is easier to communicate with authorities for someone else and not for yourself. Help her find a psychiatrist, therapist, find out whether your town of normal mental health clinic where you can go.

Thirdly (and this follows from the second), help her with life. Remove the cat, walk the dog, sit with the child to Your girlfriend sleep. Prepare some simple meals, go to the store, buy bread, milk and cheese. When I fell ill and stopped eating and I was sick from almost any food, mom came to me and made mashed potatoes with steamed chicken breast, and I ate it in tiny portions. Start the Laundry, help hang the Laundry, wash the dishes. All these tasks may not seem so noble, but You have no idea how much You help. Help the person wash.

Fourthly, do not devalue her suffering. It may seem funny that someone year can not recover from the death of a pet rabbit (it's only an animal!), but no sufferings are not imaginary. A depressed person can overcome even the tiniest incident, and “the head is not looked for work” can look like a tragedy. Remember that a person in depression it seems that she is insignificant, she is the worst, all her problems seem insurmountable. Accept it. No starving children in Africa will not ease the suffering, but on the contrary, will cause additional guilt.

Fifthof praise for any movement toward the light. Went to the doctor? Well done! Bought tablets? Well done! A week for an hour walk? Super-well done! Ate three times per day? Space done!

At some point (after four months after you start taking antidepressants) I'm starting to think that the pills stopped helping, I slide back to the bottom, every day I was bad, bad, bad. I wanted to throw medication and psychotherapy and just lie down to die, because it seemed that there is no meaning, and the only thing that stopped me is the fact that your loved one is daily repeated to me, “I can see you from the side, you feel much better, it is noticeable”.


The text turned out very much, but the topic is broad. What are the main things you need to remember?

  • Depression – a disease that has certain symptoms. These symptoms can be found in themselves. Depression can hurt not ashamed.
  • If you think you have depression, you need to go to a psychiatrist.
  • Psychiatrists should not be afraid. It is exactly the same doctors as everyone else.
  • Drugs aren't magic, you need to understand that instantly they well not do and would not solve the problems, but they will help!
  • There are many free or inexpensive ways of dealing with depression. It is a state of PND and mental health clinics.
  • If you think that your loved one is depressed, be there. It can save it. published
P. S. And remember, just changing your mind — together we change the world! ©

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