Know your signs :: my personal seven stages of Depression (part 6 of 7)

This article is written by Zero Forbidden Goals and National Poetry Slam poet, AndYes.  To hear his work, and support his art and his message of love, go to AndYesPoetry.com.

Author’s note: I wrote these in 2014, during Depression episodes. They were written with the purpose of people being able to see directly what is in my head and what is going on.

During that year, I lost my job and my apartment because I became too Depressed to show up to work on time. And I attempted suicide shortly after.

The 7th entry is a month later, to-the-day.

These writings are intended for people who haven’t had Depression, and want to learn. And for those who have Depression but don’t understand it.

 * * * * *

These are my signs of Depression – I watch out for them every day. I’ve learned that I have to watch out for them every day, because they will creep into my life if I don’t.

This list starts with the early signs and works up to the most severe. These signs can start anywhere from a week to six months before I go through this entire motion.

Please do NOT try to “diagnose” me, or anyone else, by using this list.
It’s irresponsible (and obnoxious).

I know my signs. More importantly: I know the context of my signs. Most of the things on the earlier part of this list can happen if I’m just having a bad day, and not necessarily a Depression episode.

I’ve never actually written these down, before, and I’ve definitely never put them in order.

These are for my own private signs, and are not meant to apply to all people with Depression.

And this is by no means a comprehensive list.

Know The Signs

Stage 1:
Extreme social anxiety
A subconscious urge to never share myself with anyone
Noticing the faults I have, in how I look, while looking in the mirror, by instinct. (this increases in each stage)

Stage 2:
Consistent, heavy sighs (more than 5 in a half hour is what I’ve learned to look for)
Overindulgence in food
Clothes covering the floor
Unshaved/ungroomed appearance
Emotional exhaustion after socializing.

Stage 3:
Spending everything I have on other people without wanting anything back
Ignoring my medication
Being late to almost everything
Bouts of unexplained severe aggravation.

Stage 4:
Social withdrawal
Undeserved suspicion of my friends
Emotionless objectivity
Rare thoughts of suicide.

Stage 5:
Fear of death with no particular reason, and panic attacks about dying in my sleep
Reckless driving (not intentionally swerving into other lanes – just not caring what happens while I drive)
Almost-crying, stopped by the feeling of a pressure cooker’s steam being released, followed by a horrifying feeling that my brain is dysfunctional.
Increasing thoughts of suicide.

Stage 6:
Constant flat-affect
Staring at a wall, from my bed, for hours
Go days without speaking to anyone, intentionally
Preoccupation with death
Consistent nightmares
Consistent suicidal thoughts and ideation.

Stage 7:
General hygene stops.
Suicidal attempt.