Depression: When All Hope Is Lost
I remember the day the hopelessness began. It smothered me and destroyed any hope I had of regaining the life I lost when a truck came across the center line and hit my car. It was the day the doctor told me I couldn’t get better. The memory of that day is burned into my conscious and subconscious mind forever. How can any medical practitioner destroy the hope that’s the very foundation of our ability to cope with life’s tragedies? How do we cope with depression when we lose all hope?
A Glimmer of Hope
As severe as my symptoms of depression were, it took three years before someone suggested I see a neurologist. The brain injury destroyed my short-term memory, ability to smell and taste. The inability to enjoy my food, since eating is one of my favorite activities, helped to break my spirit.
When I arrived for my appointment, the sign on the door said “Psychiatrist” and my depression stalled out in favor of one of the most dramatic temper tantrums I’ve ever displayed. I admitted to depression. Heck, no one was giving me any reason to be hopeful about the future. What made me the angriest? The fact that I had a myriad of symptoms unconnected to the car wreck on top of the brain, neck, and back injuries and no one would listen to me.
My diatribe lasted roughly 20 minutes. I stood the entire time. Then, I sat down and told the psychiatrist it was his turn to talk. (My back killed me from all the effort of getting to the appointment and standing there for so long)
The man briefly stifled a laugh and then gave in to it. “You have to be one of the most well-put-together people who has ever walked through my door. You have a problem, and we’re going to get to the bottom of it.”
By the end of my hour, he ordered a simple blood test which confirmed I also suffered from Lupus.
My message: Don’t give up. Don’t allow anyone to deny you the hope you deserve. Stand up for your rights and make those who are supposed to help you listen. If they don’t, find someone else.
Know the Symptoms of Depression:
The list is long. Looking back, I can attest to the fact that I suffered from more than 50% of these symptoms.
- A feeling of apathy, anxiety or general discontent
- Hopelessness and a lack of interest or pleasure in daily activities
- Mood swings
- Overwhelming sadness
- Excessive sleepiness or insomnia
- Feelings of helplessness, worthlessness, or guilt
- Restless sleep
- Unexplained weight gain or loss
- Refusal to go out in public
- Excessive crying
- Thoughts the world/family would be better off without you
- Constant fatigue
- Loss of appetite
- Restlessness during the day
- Unusually pessimistic
- Inability to concentrate and memory issues
- Irritable around those you love most
- Lack of energy
- Loss of interest in hobbies, activities, and sex
- Persistent aches and pains
- Tempting fate – “Death Wish”
- Self-defeating dialogue
Do any of these symptoms look familiar? If so, find just the right person to help you delve into your heart and discover the hope you’ve denied yourself for far too long.
How Do You Deal With Depression?
I owe it to myself and my family to never forget those days when I’d lost all hope of recovery. They were miserable and lonely days. I couldn’t talk correctly; I couldn’t remember things for two minutes. Also, I couldn’t control my left leg or left arm. I was hopeless and worthless.
Someone listened to me, recognized the signs of depression and sent me to a specialist. That psychiatrist knew how to listen, and listen he did! He accepted my litany of complaints when others only wanted to concentrate on my brain & back. He took a jagged jigsaw puzzle and put it together when no one else could.
When I returned home that day, the glimmer of renewed hope still burned in my heart. Everything amplified when my children walked in the door from school that afternoon. All the emotion from the past three years of struggling to make it through the day must have shown on my face.
“You Okay, Mom?”
“Not exactly, but I’m working on it!” I answered.