“Sweating and gasping for air and sobbing for no good reason, stricken suddenly by the all-pervading terror”

I’d like to refer anyone suffering from depression, or who knows anyone suffering from depression, to this post by Ben Pobjie (excerpt follows):

It’s been a terrifying, strange, surreal, ridiculous time, suddenly finding myself buffeted by waves of panic, sweating and gasping for air and sobbing for no good reason, stricken suddenly by the all-pervading terror that everyone I love has finally become fed up with me and left, as undoubtedly they will, and as undoubtedly I deserve. Suddenly finding myself shrunken and diminished, huddling in a ball against the pain of the world. Suddenly finding myself clenching my teeth and wondering how long I have been. Suddenly finding myself completely unable to cope.

Always the fear, the fear. That an unanswered text message means a friend has cut all ties. That when I’m not around, people talk about me, saying what they REALY think. That I’m pathetic, weak, worthless, and the voice that won’t stop whispering to me “Fat Loser, why don’t you give up? Nobody could love a THING like you” is right. The creeping feeling that even though I know depression is just an illness for everyone else, maybe I’m that one person for whom it’s justified. For whom it’s no more than what I deserve.

And the guilt. Knowing what a burden this crisis is placing on the people I love. Knowing how much I must be hurting them. Knowing how hard it is for my family, and cursing myself for my selfishness. The agony of knowing you could ruin lives by leaving, and feeling that you’re ruining them even more by staying.

And the mad, hysterical absurdity. The hindsight hilarity of dissolving into tears in the doctor’s office, and then explaining through the choking sobs that I’m a comedian. The ludicrousness of my trying to be a rock for my friends and dispense wise advice when I have no idea how to save myself from the treachery of my own psyche. The sick joke of sitting in a room full of friends, all talking and laughing raucously, and feeling lonelier than I have in my life.

There’s precisely no point in my adding anything other than to endorse reading the whole post.

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5 responses to ““Sweating and gasping for air and sobbing for no good reason, stricken suddenly by the all-pervading terror”

  1. Wow. What a brave man, and so articulate. It brought me to tears.
    Thank you for the pointer Jeremy.

  2. Thanks, I’ve passed it on to a friend who recently went through something similar. It was truly frightening and I need to be able to help her through it if it happens again.

  3. Thanks for the link Jeremy. Reading these sorts of stories always puts life into perspective.

  4. narcoticmusing

    Thank you Jemery – very articulate post from Ben. I thought his later discription was particularly vivid,

    the desperate flailing, the horrific suffocation that comes when those black waves come crashing over and you find yourself just about incapable of keeping your head up in the face of the merciless tides

    Anyone that has been unfortunate enough to visit that dark place will relate.

  5. jordanrastrick

    Hopefully increased public awareness of the issue will make life easier for those people who go through this, particularly anyone who experiences it for the first time – the attitude that its all just “made up” and you shouldn’t bother anyone else with your non-existant problem is one of the biggest traps. It certainly kept me from getting the necessary help for a long, long time; in fact it probably would have done so indefinitely if the illness hadn’t evolved of its own accord.

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