How do you cope with bad days when you have depression? Everyone has bad days now and then but when you have depression a bad day can be anything from a general low mood; to hiding away from the world and hoping it goes away; to self-harming or self-endangering behaviour. Bad days can also last far more than a day. I don't normally blog when I'm in the midst of a bad episode but I thought this time I would try and convey what it actually feels like.
I have been suffering with a cold for a few days and this has depleted my already low resources, which isn't helping my mood at all. Sleep has also been difficult for a few nights in a row now and lack of sleep always makes my symptoms worse. So far this episode has not been too severe but my mood is low, I feel on the edge of tears most of the time, I'm tired, I have little motivation and I'm struggling to cope with my day to day responsibilities. I feel worthless, useless and hopeless. Parenting is very difficult when you are feeling this low and it gets difficult to hide how I'm feeling from the children. The voice in my head tells me I'm a terrible parent and the children would be far better off without me.
How do I cope with bad days? The simple answer is I don't, I just try to survive them until things improve. Sometimes that means staying at home, seeing no one and doing little but if that's what it takes, that's what I'll do. I'm tired, I just want everything to stop, for a while at least, to let me just be. Life is relentless, wearing and difficult and there is no magic wand to make it better. Bad days come out of nowhere, with no warning and take no prisoners. I can't think straight or focus on a task for any length of time. I can't cope with dealing with strangers or people in authority so leaving the house or even dealing with household business by telephone has to be put on hold until I feel more able to cope.
The rambling nature of this post is an indication of my inability to plan and execute tasks as well as usual. Thinking is difficult and trying not to just whine and sound self-pitying is virtually impossible. I have had a lot of bad days over the past few months and somehow I need to convey that to the GP at my appointment tomorrow. Talking about how I'm feeling is very hard and, as I wrote recently, I'm very bad at telling the doctor how bad things really are. Maybe tomorrow I'll manage.