Let’s say there is a person who once had a surgery relating to his stomach, so after the surgery, he will be having higher risks to get stomach-related diseases, and so this is the logic. The same goes with depression. I have been reading a lot recently about depression, it’s quite affirmative that the recovered depression patients can have a relapse, triggered by something that happens later on in their life, such as an event, a person, an environment, whatever that is that sets off his potential genes of depression again.
To do some objective speaking, I am much better these two weeks than how I was in January and February. Yet there is this 1 thing I am very worried about, relapse. Earlier this week, there was some time when I suddenly returned to shedding tears, frightened at my unexpected suicidal thoughts which got turned on again by a series of nightmares instructing me different means to end my life. I am afraid that I will go back to the more depressive past, when I think I am coming out of it.
You may say that I am simply thinking too much to try to assume a future relapse, and I know that the most rational thing to do is to live in that natural rhythm, with that live-for-the-presence attitude. So it comes back to my anxious character, when I worry about the future a lot. So to make me adapt to this ideal attitude is simply rather impossible. Not just because I have anxiety that comes with my clinical depression, but anxiety is also part of my personality. So I decide to try to reduce my possibility of relapse to its minimal level, as it is said that ‘prevention is better than a cure’.
Obviously psychiatrists will only make clear that those obvious preventions of relapse will help, such as having a good living habit and exercise regularly. These preventions apply even if someone has never had depression before, but just want to avoid ever getting it. I think there is more than that when it comes to mentality. So I tried to look into people’s writing where different people give their believes for staying away from prevention. Some lawyers with depression have come together to write about how much depression hurts, but they still choose to return to that intense, long-hour working legal career. They see that the solution to avoid getting depression was not to be a strong perfectionist, to say that as lawyers they can still stay in the business, but are to be less self-critical and so not to start to feel so down. Err, perfectionist is a personality rooted in me already. Then I find mostly depression patients talk about what to do as patients and their loved ones, rather than talking about the prevention of relapse. I have come to a religious reading on depression which annoys me further. It tells patients to stay humble, to change their personality.
How am I to change that natural automatic reaction each time when I receive some negative comments from many people, where I feel trapped by getting self-critical and want to put my head down and apologise, accepting that I am the wrongdoer for all? It may be very beneficial if I can get rid of my personality, but I wonder, is my personality really that problematic that I just have to learn and adopt another personality? After all, I never did any great harm to anyone in my life.
Maybe before I talk more on relapse, I have already truly become useless. I want to continue my legal studies, but now I find studying is a thing that is too hard to take, so as getting a job. I question myself what is the point to have worked so hard to get a law degree, when I find either studying or working is too hard to take. All I can do is to wait for time to pass, and I am scared that I stay like this for the rest of my life.
In the end of this thought-process, I come to this conclusion that maybe even my existence is problematic, and is wrong. I shared this thought with my psychiatrist. With no surprise, he claimed that I am still a depression patient, and I am to continue with my medication and weekly appointment with him, to stay patient. When my mood was getting better but then it went uncontrolled again, to keep staying calm is not as easy as it sounds.
To end this post, I want to move on from myself but to make this point: many people still think that depression is caused by a person being not mentally tough enough, or not as tolerant to pressure than others. In other words, many think we are not mentally capable . I will recall that genes is one of those important factors causing depression, as confirmed by psychiatrists and other academics. Let’s say there is a person who never smokes nor lives around those who smoke, have very good healthy habits throughout his life and a chilled mind. Yet, if I then tell you that the heavy smoker doesn’t get the lung cancer but this healthy guy gets it instead, you can accept it quite naturally, without criticising the healthy guy but expresses, well, sometimes life is just like that. Now, apply it to depression and other mentally sick patients.