Retreating to the Bed During Depression

The desire to set up camp in your bed often goes along with depression.

Some people wonder if they are depressed or if they have an actual “disorder” of depression. A disorder is just what it sounds like. Your life has become disorderly…unmanageable.

You want to do things like set up camp in the bed.  and only come out of bed for necessities. The bed is familiar thus the brain perceives it as safe.

Your brain wants to keep you safe. Your subconscious brain leads you away from anything it associates with pain or danger. This could be any kind of danger incuding emotional trauma.

If you have mental illness then there are some things that are a threat to you but would not be a threat to other people. For example, if you have a severe anxiety disorder, depression or PTSD then going out to the mall can be riddled with possible threats.

An uncontrollable environment like a store, or driving in holiday traffic, can be triggering to those associations in your brain.

There are images, feelings and emotions associated with the sights, sounds and situations all around you. It feels safer in the bed, because it is a more controlled environment.

The holiday season makes it harder to go out and deal with the uncontrollable, unpredictable environments like the crowded stores.

The fear center of the brain is on high alert. It may even become too much to be in fight or flight mode and then your brain may throw you into a derealization/ depersonalization state.

This is that detached from reality state. You float through the motions as if you are watching a movie or you are in a dream. Your brain has become so overloaded with pain that it pulls your conscious state away from reality

The bed can feel like the only safe environment to be in. It is comforting and it is your personal space.

You are not alone if you ten to retreat to your bed when you are experiencing depression or severe anxiety. I have done it many times.

If you are stuck in the bed now, take time to get some nutritious food to eat. Just think about the food groups and eat a little something from each one.

The nutrition is critical for your brain function snd your physical strength. Your immune system needs to be supported by foods and perhaps vitamin supplements.

Be compassionate with yourself. You do not have to be judgemental of yourself. The inner tapes of negative thoughts about yourself were put there by others.

Show kindness to yourself. Offer self love and acceptance. The holiday season is very difficult for people with mental illness.

 

Depression and Change of Seasons

As the summer is coming to an end some people get excited about the change of seasons while  other people struggle with a spiral of depression.

The warm weather and the long days of sunlight are coming to a close there can be a feeling of loss. Another summer has gone and along with it goes all the things you wished you could have done. It can be a reminder of what you wish you had and what you wish your life was like.

We watched all the people posting their fun summer vacations and the pictures of their loves ones on facebook all summer. Somehow we thought that while the summer still lasted there was a chance that we too would be able to do something meaningful …have a moment of magic….but the days slipped away and now the fall threatens to cut the days shorter.

If you have feelings of depression as the fall season comes in and the summer slips away, you are not alone. There are other people who also feel like another season that was supposed to give you nice memories has let you down once again.

With the fall coming in there is the knowledge that the holidays are not far away. As many people as there are that look forward to the holidays, there are a percentage of the people that dread the them. Much like the summer, the holidays are a constant reminder that we do not have the life that we wish we had.

The dreams that we had when we were younger…the way we pictured things to be when we would get to be this age….none of it is the way we expected , wished for, or wanted.

Different people have different reasons to feel grief, loss, sadness and remorse.  Decisions we should have made differently….people we wish were still in our lives….mistakes we have made along the way….betrayals by people we once trusted….

We know we will be expected to put on “the mask”  of being happy, on order not  to make others uncomfortable. We will have to look at those pictures on facebook and say “yes , it was a great summer!”

We will have to put on the mask and fake our way through the holidays, once again….

The change of seasons can be a reminder that we are older than we want to be. It can be a reminder that our finances are not what they should be, our families are not what they should be, and our love loves are not what we wish they were.

People ask “How are you?” and you have to say “fine” because that is what people expect you to say. The pressure of having to deal with the changes of the season, the changes of the schedule and to be faced with the impending holidays, can feel overwhelming.

You may feel like you are lost and that you are the only one that seems to have so many regrets and disappointments. So many people seem to be in the right place, the right job, and have “the right attitude” about the seasons and the holidays.

What is wrong with you? Why are you so different that the people around you? Why do you feel so out of place? Why are you the only one that would like to skip the holidays all together this year?

There is one of us in the crowd of people here… and there is one of us in the crowd of people there….Each one of us is alone in our particular group, family situation, workplace, school, and social group. We cannot ask them just to leave us alone and do the holidays without us. They would not understand.

Many of us are triggered by associations in our brain from situations from the past. Many of us are simply not happy with the living situation we are in or the majority of   the people that are  around us day to day. We are not living the way we want to. We do not have people around us that really understand us.

The blogging world can be very helpful at this time of the year. This is the place where you can connect with other people who have similar feelings. You can connect with people that have experienced losses, or are carrying shame.

There are other people here that also have to fake their way through the holidays and spend them in groups of family members that we would just as soon break contact with. Some people live alone and wish they had loves ones around them. Others have so called “loved ones” around them and would be better off alone or with different people.

You are not alone if you feel depression coming on this time of the year. There are other people who you can talk to and that will not judge you.

Sometimes the depression about the season change can begin now and snowball more and more between now and the holiday season. There are many suicides around the holidays because people feel like they are the only ones who do not “fit in”

You may not fit in with the people around you…..but you fit in with the other people who feel the same way. You are not alone and do not have to feel like you have to keep all of your feelings to yourself.

Blogging is the place you can find friendship and compassion. There are so many people in the blogging world that there are many people who feel like misfits and feel like there is something wrong with them.

It is not that there is something “wrong” with you. But you are different than  the people that are around you. Being like everyone else is overrated. If you fit in with everyone else, you would not be yourself. You are different for various reasons.

Some people have grown up in abusive situations. People that lived through ongoing abuse as a child often do not feel like they fit in with all the people who are cheerful during the holidays. The holiday activities can be a reminder of abuse and trauma.

The season changes and the holidays can create emotional flashbacks. You may have left a relationship in the past that is still haunting you. It may have been abusive or traumatic in some way. There are reminders that are going to cause feelings or even post traumatic stress.

Some people have lost  loved ones to death and the pain of the loss is still there. The holidays have a way of bringing up feelings and triggering difficult emotions about lost loved ones.

Unless you have someone with you that can understand this, you will most likely feel alone with it. People will misunderstand your lack of enthusiasm. You feel the pressure of having to play along in with the game. You pretend to fit in or you don’t pretend and it causes problems.

The other people seem to have happy memories of their past holidays and they probably do. This makes it easy for them to look forward to going through the holidays again.

I just wanted to write this post to let people know that it is okay to feel how you feel. If you feel sad then you feel sad. That is just how you feel and it does not make you a bad person. It does not make you “uncooperative” in spite of what others may say to you.

It is really hard to go along with what other people want to do when you really aren’t up to doing it.  It can be emotionally draining and physically exhausting. 

You have every right to feel whatever it is that you are feeling. Having to shove those feelings down, only makes them grow.  It is better to look at those feelings and the reasons for them.

If you begin to feel depression taking ahold of you, don’t try to fight it but rather try to care for it.

Care for yourself and care for your depression. Mental health needs care just as much as physical health does. Just because it is invisible does not make it less real.

Find someone to talk to about what you are going through. Allowing yourself to feel things without judging yourself for feeling them is a step to healing. Anything you are feeling has a root cause for it.  There is nothing wrong with you just because you feel a certain way.

Blessings for peace of mind to all of you and please reach out to others.

Much love,

Annie

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