Some of my older friends here may have noticed my prolonged absence from the site. The past year has been a rough one. I've dealt with depression for a long time, since my early teens, but never really tried to deal with it seriously. I've always heard the "suck it up and be a man" line, or simply "get over it." Depression doesn't work like that.
I'm sure there are others here dealing with the same issues and it's not easy. People think you're just moody or have a bad attitude. They don't understand the background of the situation. I've had the same nightmares on a weekly basis since some trauma when I was a teen. I would get maybe 3-4 hours sleep per night. Once I had the dream I would sit up all night. It also caused trust issues with people and I tended to isolate myself from everyone (one of the reasons I haven't been here for some time.)
I dropped into what seemed like a pit this past spring. My coworkers thought I was just extra cranky because of world politics or the stress of being single again. Family members just said get over it. I found it difficult to leave home. I couldn't deal with other people, especially if they were happy and upbeat. My nephew with whom I work, noticed. I talked about buying a gun "for protection." He's dealt with depression and anxiety as well and knew what was going on with me. He finally confronted me and stood by my side as I finally made a doctors appointment.
He saved my life whether he realizes it or not. Talking to a professional on a regular basis combined with proper mild medications to fix a chemical imbalance has been a long process, but worth it. I feel more like a "normal" person now, no nightmares at last and it's amazing what a full nights sleep can do! I even started dating again, finding one woman that isn't disturbed by my habit of forgetting clothes.
If any of you are feeling like you're trapped in a rut or always depressed, PLEASE seek help. It doesn't hurt and you will come out a better person.
Thanks for putting up with me...and I'll be back to birding!