help · mental health · poetry · stigma

Bad Days

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In an attempt to remain open and honest on this journey I felt a post on what ‘bad days’ can feel like would be appropriate and that many could possibly relate and others understand better what it feels like on one or many of these down periods when you just have to check out for a while.

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Recently I had quite a bad day, for some reason a heaviness overcame me, I could not wake up, I couldn’t move, the world was too much to face that day and I felt as though if I didn’t concentrate hard enough I would forget to breathe. A strange combination of feeling way too much and nothing at the same time.

The world even looks different on bad day’s colours not so bright, warmth not that comforting, just walking around your day as if you were seeing it through someone else’s eyes completely detached from your surroundings. Then the ‘feelings’ or ‘emotions’ whatever you want to refer to them as they consume you, reminding you of the past, the pain, the things you have done, bringing up flashback’s and condemning you constantly in any way possible. Leaving you feeling so very alone and wanting an escape anything to consume your senses and distract yourself from that heaviness held over you and that aching heart and that whirlwind of a mind, anything!
The escapism is often not healthy, in fact at times it has been so destructive it almost draws you to something to personally sabotage yourself. Maybe your job, relationship, your body or your health, even friendships and family… it hits you where it hurts so when you have barely any control over your mind and want nothing more than to escape the inner turmoil the spontaneous and often harmful decisions that were made end up making you pay for them longer than just a day but for months and even at times years.

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Recently I just binge ate. I know it’s Easter weekend and I know health wise I don’t need to be overly concerned with the odd binge on whatever I can get my hands on. But I ate so much I couldn’t move without needing to be sick. I ate so much it effected my mood causing me to be snappy and irritable as my poor shocked stomach attempted to process all the crap I’d just thrown in there. I did it as without alcohol and with other forms of escapism not being an option, food was all I had… 
I wanted to overwhelm my senses to focus on something else, it worked temporarily but all together left me feeling even more tired and leaving my mind guilt tripping and attacking myself more so than ever. So I just went and ate more… You can see how this could be anything you want it to be though, could be alcohol, could be self-harm, could be casual sex, could be starving yourself, I mean ultimately it feels like a blank space you just fill in, ‘When going through emotional mayhem please engage in BLANK to attempt some form of escape’.

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Speaking to others can be so scary on these bad days too. You are aware how emotionally vulnerable you feel and the idea of speaking out and being shot down is petrifying, or opening up and having people belittle your pain and not understand is equally as frightening. A day of impending doom with no particular ‘reason’ or ‘trigger’ can be so difficult to explain, then when compared to just feeling sad and being told to have a shower or go for a run it can just send you deeper down into that despair and loneliness as you come to believe more and more that no one will ever understand.

There is also a feeling of responsibility, yes you suffer from this unreasonable, un-explainable and inescapable pain but it’s yours why share or burden others with it? Why risk dragging others down with you or upsetting them with your struggles?

On the outside witnessing this I can only imagine what it might look like. It could look or feel like that person is being unreasonable or even selfish, could be misinterpreted for stubbornness and self pity. It’s hard to know what it must look like as I’m so often the person who has been observed, who looks into peoples confused helpless faces and cant muster up a comforting word as I’m too busy being attacked by my own mind, I might just muster up ‘You don’t understand’ or ‘I just can’t today’ or if pushed I will snap because I cant show you, I cant tell you what a bad day in my mind and body feels like, a bad day for me can feel like potentially the last day and I cant even tell you why.

 

A poem I’ve written on ‘Bad Days’…

I claw, I grab, I pull, and I drag,

I tug, I rip, I climb, and I trip.

Screaming, crying, dying, wailing,

Heavy, heartbroken, forever failing.

Punching, fighting, kicking, fleeing,

Weeping, lying, and always disagreeing.

Hoping, praying, begging, pleading,

Frustrated, drained, and sometimes bleeding.

Starved, exhausted, lonely and broken,

Quiet, empty, words left unspoken.

Then silence.

 

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depression · mental health · stigma

SAD

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Seasonal affective disorder (SAD) is a type of depression that comes and goes in a seasonal pattern.

This disorder is one of which I would often make comments on miserable weather days that I could possibly have (SAD) as I would feel down and depressed or often disheartened, but this was not something I regularly had or would say caused an issue in my every day life.
Most of us are affected by the changing seasons and the weather, and it is normal to feel more cheerful and energetic when the sun is shining and the days are longer, or to find that you eat more or sleep longer in winter.

However, if you experience SAD, the change in seasons will have a much greater effect on your mood and energy levels, and lead to symptoms of depression that may have a significant impact on your day-to-day life.

Most people experience SAD during the winter. Less commonly, some people find they experience SAD in reverse – with depressive symptoms occurring in summer.

SAD is most common in countries like the UK where there are large changes in the weather and daylight hours in the different season

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Symptoms of SAD

Symptoms of SAD can include:

  • a persistent low mood
  • a loss of pleasure or interest in normal everyday activities
  • irritability
  • feelings of despair, guilt and worthlessness
  • feeling lethargic (lacking in energy) and sleepy during the day
  • sleeping for longer than normal and finding it hard to get up in the morning
  • craving carbohydrates and gaining weight
What causes SAD?

The main theory is that a lack of sunlight might stop a part of the brain called the hypothalamus working properly, which may affect the:

  • production of melatonin – melatonin is a hormone that makes you feel sleepy; in people with SAD, the body may produce it in higher than normal levels
  • production of serotonin – serotonin is a hormone that affects your mood, appetite and sleep; a lack of sunlight may lead to lower serotonin levels, which is linked to feelings of depression
  • body’s internal clock (circadian rhythm) –your body uses sunlight to time various important functions, such as when you wake up, so lower light levels during the winter may disrupt your body clock and lead to symptoms of SAD

(It’s also possible that some people are more vulnerable to SAD as a result of their genes, as some cases appear to run in families).

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To discover more on SAD and to seek help or treatment click here