As a result, waking up becomes a struggle, and the thought of going to work is an insult.
I really didn't want to go to work today. Please allow me to rephrase it. I was really dreading going to work today. Even though it is now sixteen minutes before midnight, I am relieved to report that I completed the chores I had set for myself the previous morning. I didn't just sit around feeling sorry for myself and moping about it. But... I'm still left with a sense of emptiness. There is no feeling of achievement, nothing that makes me feel like I have triumphed over anything. Nothing, just nothing.
When I tell people that my depression has subsided, I have the feeling that I am lying to them. The answer is yes, to a degree that I would have thought inconceivable three years ago. But even today, there are days when I don't want to get out of bed because all I truly want is to die for a short period of time.
I've been informed that this is a normal part of the healing process. We'll have terrible days, maybe even a poor week, but that's to be expected. Have you ever experienced a situation like this? Have you ever woken up in the middle of the night with a mountain of work piled on top of you and found yourself unable to move your limbs? When you wake up in the morning, your body feels as if it were made of stone, and your mind is sluggish to a frightening degree. You get the sensation of being anchored.
If you answered affirmatively, this post is for you (picture me saying that in a happy tone)! We will examine over the following thousand-odd words the two primary reasons of this kind of irritability, followed by a discussion of my approach to dealing with it (and why I sometimes decide to let it be).
The first explanation is a very frequent sensation that goes by the name of anhedonia, which is a bit of a mouthful. The following are the reasons why it stinks, in the opinion of mental health writer Tim Newman:
...things that previously aroused enthusiasm, such as music, food, and conversation, become inaccessible as sources of pleasure.
A better way to put it is that anhedonia is the state of mind that occurs when you totally lose interest in activities from which you previously received pleasure. It is a primary symptom of depression, although it may also manifest itself as a symptom of other psychiatric illnesses. The condition may potentially manifest itself in isolation, that is, without the presence of a parent problem.
Actually, now that I think about it, the name makes a lot of sense. Happiness, or hedonism, is a philosophical school of thought that holds pleasure to be the primary motivation of our thoughts and actions. Hedonism. Hedon. Anti-Hedon. Anhedonymia, Anhedonia, Anhedonymia I get the impression that my brilliance is underappreciated at times.
It should be self-explanatory how anhedonia may contribute to the feeling of being in a sack of bricks. I'll go on to the next subject, which is burnout. The following information is provided by this excellent article:
Experiencing burnout is a condition of emotional and physical fatigue as a result of enduring severe and continuous stress. It happens when you are feeling overburdened, emotionally exhausted, and unable to handle the demands of everyday life.
In addition, the author asserts that you will ultimately lose interest in your work and will lose sight of the reason you chose it in the first place. Despite the fact that it may seem cliché, today's world moves at breakneck speed. Either you perform at a high level on a consistent basis or you are pushed to the sidelines. It's not difficult to see how persistent stress may ultimately wear on your mental and physical health and well-being.
Dealing with the Problem Head-On
However, this does not resolve our problem. Whether we like it or not, we have to go to work. That is exactly what I am doing at the moment. I'd like to be sleeping right now. I haven't been writing as frequently as I would have liked, but I'm working hard to get back on track with a regular schedule. So, how am I managing to write this essay despite my reluctance to do so?
For starters, I enjoy both the simple act of writing — or, more accurately, the act of typing — as well as this publication. I like the subject matter since it is something about which I have strong feelings and is something I am now experiencing. Above all, I like talking about mental health and raising awareness of the issues surrounding it. This is something I really want to be doing. Anything's just that, for some reason, I don't feel like doing it at this minute.
Tomorrow, on the other hand, will be different. After my internship (during which I received two back-to-back Legal Intern of the Month honors; take that, inferiority complex! ), I will begin investigating for my next job. It's simply not something I'm interested in doing. Honestly, the very idea of that makes me resentful. However, it is necessary to complete the task.
In these circumstances, I am able to persevere. That comes off as harsh and uncaring. It is not a strategy in any way. In an ideal situation, you would stay put and take things one step at a time. I understand that it is easier said than done. It seems that I have a "talent" for pushing myself through things even when I am not inclined to do so.
However, it isn't that difficult to understand. It is necessary to do this study. I'm certain that after it's over, I'll feel better. In addition, I have a little system of self-reward that I use in circumstances like these to motivate me. If I complete the task before tomorrow, I will be able to enjoy two hours of uninterrupted gaming time. It may be something you like doing for yourself. Chocolate, a book, and an Amazon purchase are all on the agenda. Make it more appealing. Incentives are quite appealing to us as humans.
The only reason I will be at work tomorrow is because my mood has remained steady. There are times when it is not possible to do anything but lie in bed because the temperature is too low. When it occurs, I just walk away. I lie, read, play games, and do whatever I want. At that point, I'm usually already in an angry and frustrated mood. Working would just exacerbate the situation.
Even if you do this on an irregular basis, taking a day off will not be harmful to you. On the contrary, in fact. Consider the implications of this. When you're burnt out or... anhedonia-ed, the quality of your work decreases. Time off, rest and recharge will allow you to get back on your feet the following day with a little more gas in the tank than you would have had if you hadn't taken time off. A break from one's work is a good idea at least once in a while.
Finishing Thoughts To summarize:
- We all have days when we don't feel like doing anything. That lethargy may be accompanied by feelings of sorrow, fatigue, or a combination of the two.
- When you are depressed, you may experience anhedonia, which is a loss of interest in activities that you enjoyed in the past but are no longer enjoyable. When you've been performing difficult job for an extended period of time, you'll experience burnout. Your mind and body get dulled, and you experience a loss of vitality and enthusiasm.
- Take a break whenever it is feasible. However, if the task is essential and must be completed, provide an incentive to motivate you to do it by establishing a prize that can be received upon completion.
- If you have the ability to take a day off, take the day. It's better to take some time to rest and recharge now rather than continue to push yourself. Think of your productivity and work quality as resources that you use up every day and refill when you take time to rest and recharge your batteries.
I wish I could provide you with a more concrete solution, but the reality is that there isn't one available. Burnout can only be cured by putting some distance between yourself and the source of the stressor. At least in my experience, anhedonia subsides when depression does so. Alternatively, when you have some free time. How lengthy some is varies.
For want of a better phrase, I don't want to be forgotten on this platform. I'm concerned that if I don't write often enough, I'll get lost in a sea of other authors who are more brilliant, industrious, and devoted. Besides, I really do want to write. And mental illness is something I'd want to write about in my pieces. This current bout of depression aftershock, as I refer to it, has been very difficult. I’ve lost interest in so much. I believe that is evident.
Still, it will eventually go away. The emptiness, the sticky pain in my chest, it was all too much. It always does, doesn't it? The zeal that I've lost will resurface in me. That is, until it happens, I will have to put up with it. I know — I know — that if I don't do anything now, I'll come to regret it later when I'm back to my old self. And regret is the one emotion I can't stand to be in the presence of.