The Depression Roller Coaster Won't Let You Enjoy the Ride
It’s surprising how quickly depression's ups and downs can get you. It’s almost as if, you’re going along feeling pretty good and then WHAM, depression slams into you and says, “Now, now… you have chronic depression, remember? You’re not allowed to feel too good.” That’s the depression roller coaster.
The Depression Roller Coaster Gives No Advance Warning
I’ve been feeling pretty good lately so imagine my surprise and confusion when after a light, afternoon nap, I woke up feeling acutely negative and sad and I could feel the depression on me like a mound of heavy dirt. Clinically, it’s not supposed to happen that way, I suppose. It's like a roller coaster sometimes. Up one hour, down the next. But I know the darkness of depression all too well so when I’m in it, I know I’m in it.
I knew enough to be honest with my husband about it; no sense in trying to candy-coat it. He knows me too well anyway. I explained that I was confused by this sudden drop and that I’d be better off alone in my room where I hoped it would pass. He was probably hoping the same thing. Lord only knows what the poor man feels when I’m at the start of a downhill drop.
I also knew that in order to prevent this chemical spill (of the brain) from drowning me in its ooze, I had to practice my CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy).
What to Do When the Depression Roller Coaster Drops
All you can do when the major depression roller coaster plummets you to the ground is to take care of yourself and practice your cognitive behavioral therapy skills.
It was the evening already so I:
- Took a calming shower – stopped to appreciate how lucky I am to have hot water (gratitude)
- Got into bed under the warm covers – felt the soft flannel sheets envelope me and reminded myself that I am not drowning in ooze (positive reinforcement)
- Watched distraction television – sitcoms can work wonders if you let them (trying to focus on something other than my thoughts)
The next day, I:
- Slept in – but not too late (there is a fine line between extra rest and too much rest)
- Stayed home from work – did some work from home (which was a real challenge but I felt good after it was done)
- Ate good, wholesome foods (even though I really, REALLY wanted junk food)
- Got some exercise – walked the dog (she kept looking at me in that “you know you need it more than I do” way of hers when she senses my depression)
- Watched more television – in the fetal position (accepting the pain as a part of who I am)
I started to feel better.
Testing the Roller Coaster of Depression's Resolve
The day after that I went back to work, the depression having lifted somewhat – enough for me to at least test the ride to see if I was on my way back up. Thankfully, I was though who knows how long it will be before I hit the peak again, then sail screaming down the other side.
Regardless of how long I have battled depression, it still surprises me how it can just appear out of nowhere and knock me off my feet. It’s a few days later now and while I still don’t feel as good as I did before this roller coaster of depression began, I can at least function almost normally . . . and go on.
Scott, L. (2013, September 29). The Depression Roller Coaster Won't Let You Enjoy the Ride, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, July 18 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/copingwithdepression/2013/09/depression-rollercoaster
Author: Liana Scott
This is not just a woman thing! Also another embarrassment for me. Anyway thanks
While we may not go so often between the ups and downs. For us our ups are really just up to the top of the valley.
And every chance I get to mention the walk that I have created. It is a very unique 5k fun walk that area 501-c-3 (we are one too) who offer mental health services/support to their clients can use - The Walk for Mental Health Awareness - Houston. We are a walk with a purpose. With a "Positive Public Dialog for all to become very engaged in. www.thehoustonwalk.org