Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a chronic illness accompanied by various symptoms. Depression is one of the most common. Depression is a shape-shifter and affects one’s life in different ways.
The dark hole
Imagine one week everything is fine. You’re known for being a social butterfly and you hang out with friends. The next week, you turn down all of your plans with friends, crawl into bed whenever you get the chance, and ignore all of your text messages. This is when I fall into the “dark hole.” It’s a destination I visit frequently, often not by choice.
Sometimes I slowly ease down into this dark hole, and other times, I dive in headfirst. Once I’m there, it’s like all of my stressors start piling up and I cannot escape.
Different scenarios play in my head that cause me to question my purpose and existence. I start to talk down to myself and believe that depression is a consequence of my actions. Positive stories on social media make me want to escape this negative mindset, but it’s like the ghosts of my depression pull me back down into the hole. At times, it feels like I’m never going to climb out.
Learning to cope
I have learned to cope in different ways. Journaling is something I do now more than ever. It allows the negativity that is fueling this depressive state to be released. I also have someone in my life that I can vent to without judgment. Having a person in your life that can be that outlet when you need to escape the negativity is very beneficial. The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has a national help line for those who don’t have such an outlet.
What are some other ways to cope with depression? Please share your suggestions in the comments below. And thank you to everyone who commented on my first column! I think it’s amazing to see so many people in my generation who have experienced MS in the same way I have. We are all fighting this battle together. Stay strong!
Note: Multiple Sclerosis News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of Multiple Sclerosis News Today or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to multiple sclerosis.