Before I start, if any of you have MDD, I’m far from trying to make it a “less” or “fixable” mental illness. Extreme respect to you. You’re going through so much. I just wanted to try to explain why I sometimes don’t relate.
I have Schizoaffective Disorder, Bipolar type, GAD, Panic Disorder, and Social Anxiety. I usually end up focusing on the most prominent symptom I’m having at the time. Usually it’s the thought disorder (with hallucinations) and Bipolar mixed states. I do still get Manic. I still get depressed. I still have major anxiety problems.
So you may be confused as to why I sometimes can’t understand. Thing is, the bipolar part of my disorder is ultra-rapid cycling. I’ve been through all kinds of extreme mood swings, but I take medication for it now. When I get depressed, I do experience the soul-crushing weight of living. I forget about hygiene, and it’s very hard to get out of bed, let alone face the day. I’m sure you’re confused.
Thing is, yes, I experience depression, and those times I can identify with it. But since it lasts such a short time in me, I’ve grown to know that it will end. It’s what keeps me going. I can’t fool myself, however, because I also have suicidal thoughts to go along with all of this.
Therefore, there is a difference in how I experience depression and how those with MDD experience it. But I have enough “short” stays inside depression to at least try to help… or just even be there for the person.
So when I say I don’t understand, it’s more like a thought saying “how can they still survive when it goes on too long? I can’t even completely deal with my short-term depression.” Even though I can’t understand all the time, I believe those suffering with MDD (coupled with anxiety most of the time), are so incredibly strong. When people find out about my illness (after the awkward phase of walking on eggshells), they commend me for dealing with it. Those of you with MDD, though, have the most prominent mental illness and you get dismissed because people think it’s not serious.
It is. And even though I may not completely understand it, I see all of you as warriors.