I feel such a sad irony that I currently write all my cbt tasks in a Kate Spade notebook. I call it my ‘crazy book’ and I feel that even though I call myself ‘crazy’, it is still an insult to hear from or to call others. When I first told my parents of my ‘crazy book’ they flinched, I’m not crazy I’m just ill.
I thought I would try and use this post to highlight some of the symptoms of depression that have been surprising and unexpected to me. Although each person’s experience is completely unique, I wanted to focus on the unusual symptoms I had/have, in the case that it may be useful for you to notice in other people or yourself.
I lost so much of my memory and brain function. In my exams in January I could barely recall anything, despite believing I had comfortably learnt everything over the Christmas break. I felt like my brain couldn’t process simple maths, let alone understand economics lol. I kept forgetting little things like having already put my washing on or the passwords for my email accounts etc.
A strange one for me was that I lost all interest in music. For those who know me, music was pretty central to my life. According to Spotify I listened to 66,000 minutes of music in one year, but I began to HATE it all. I couldn’t stand to have it on.
I also lost motivation in working or doing well. Previously I would revise and cram until 2am the night before an exam to ensure I knew everything I possibly could, but this time around I was not bothered and gave up before 9pm.
I didn’t care if I showered or left the house looking a bit of a mess. I used to refuse to leave the house without a shower but when I was at my lowest I didn’t care whether I showered for days.
Some days I would sleep in and sleep through lectures, then nap in the afternoon and get an early night – I wouldn’t really want to be awake and doing everything despite knowing that I should. Other nights I wouldn’t be able to sleep at all and would still skip my lectures as I would be tired.
I started to go out way too much and got into a bit (a lot) of a mess every night out. At uni this doesn’t really stand out, as everyone goes out a lot, especially in Newcastle, but I wouldn’t really care what happened to me. This is v irresponsible but I didn’t give a shit (sorry but I needed to swear). I didn’t know what was wrong and why I didn’t want to be sober but I knew that something felt wrong and I preferred to forget about it. I still have a v bad relationship with alcohol and really do want to cut it out my life as it heightens my anxiety incredibly, and is obviously a depressant.
I’ve been extremely short tempered and angry. I’ve exploded over the most trivial things, been irritable and just generally very unpleasant to be around (I really do apologise to everyone who encountered me in these moods).
Sometimes I feel it takes you to notice the changes in yourself to be able to tell that something is wrong. One of my friends said to me ‘you’re always up and down’ and I realised that no, I’m down most of the time, I very rarely feel happy or okay, and that’s when I decided I needed help. Everything started to make sense and everyone close to me started to realise that I had probably been ill for a much longer time than we originally thought. If you’ve noticed any negative or weird changes in yourself, such as those I’ve mentioned, I do urge you to ask yourself if you’re okay, and if not, speak to someone or try to reach out for help, it’s so so worth it.