• Monique Bonds

The Ugly D Word.

If you’re fortunate enough to overcome Depression, you’ll experience one of the most life-changing events.

According to healthguide.org signs of Depression include,

  1. Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. A bleak outlook—nothing will ever get better, and there’s nothing you can do to improve your situation.

  2. Loss of interest in daily activities. You don’t care anymore about former hobbies, pastimes, social activities, or sex. You’ve lost your ability to feel joy and pleasure.

  3. Appetite or weight changes. Significant weight loss or weight gain—a change of more than 5% of body weight in a month.

  4. Sleep changes. Either insomnia, especially waking in the early hours of the morning or oversleeping.

  5. Anger or irritability. Feeling agitated, restless, or even violent. Your tolerance level is low, your temper short, and everything and everyone gets on your nerves.

  6. Loss of energy. Feeling fatigued, sluggish, and physically drained. Your whole body may feel heavy, and even small tasks are exhausting or take longer to complete.

  7. Self-loathing. Strong feelings of worthlessness or guilt. You harshly criticize yourself for perceived faults and mistakes.

  8. Reckless behavior. You engage in escapist behavior such as substance abuse, compulsive gambling, reckless driving, or dangerous sports.

  9. Concentration problems. Trouble focusing, making decisions, or remembering things.

  10. Unexplained aches and pains. An increase in physical complaints such as headaches, back pain, aching muscles, and stomach pain.

Now, I haven’t talked about it much, but this blog is all for transparency.

  When my mother told me that my grandfather, her father, passed away, I couldn’t control all these new emotions from rising. Depression hit, and it hit harder than ever. I’ve never known how to deal with death, so it was harder for me than others. 

  I couldn’t help but think about all the good times and how I’d just seen him at my graduation party. I’d given him a big hug; we talked, laughed, and smiled as he repeatedly reminded me how proud he was. 

Moments like that made it easy to remember the good times, but seeing my mom hurt didn’t help the pain dissolve. 

  I’d notice a change in my behavior, how dependent I’d become to substance abuse, and how disinterested I was in everything. I gained so much weight, and all I wanted to do was party; partying was a way to escape my feelings without feeling bad. 

  Watching my mom in pain made these feelings worse. It was as if Depression was cancer, coming into my life, and eating at everything good.

As a new graduate, it was already challenging to find the next step, so this was the icing on the cake. 

  I didn’t know how to feel, what to do, or who to talk to. I stopped doing everything I loved, like blogging and posting about my blogs. I’d stop posting about Black Lives Matter and the injustices we’ve received, I stopped answering calls and text, I just went completely blank.

Today, I woke up with a heavy heart and decided to put my emotions into words. This blog is for me just as much as it is for you. Depression is nothing to be ashamed of. 

According to adaa.org, “Depression is the leading cause of disability worldwide. Almost 75% of people with mental disorders remain untreated in developing countries, with almost 1 million people taking their lives each year.” 

If you’ve noticed any of the ten traits listed above in your everyday routine, do not hesitate to get help. Whether it’s from family, friends, or a hotline, there’s always somebody willing to listen and help.

  There are apps like “BetterHelp,” “TalkSpace,” “MoodTools,” and “HeadSpace” that, when downloaded, can be an everyday escape from the real world. 

  Today's homework is to reach out and check on a close friend AND family member as you may never know what one is facing.

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