When I lie down in my bed,
strange thoughts will go through my head.
First it’s sadness, all in line,
then it’s panic for some time.
Broken down and all bereft,
finally, there’s nothing left:
drifting into nothingness,
time and space are meaningless.
Although there be much more to say – and actually has been said or written already – about depression, this is what depression is, through all the stages, in a few lines of poetry. Some people never reach the last stage, either because their depression is only (in a non-pejorative way) mild or moderate, or because they kill themselves before they can reach it. Panic, often springing up spontaneously, is the last resort while going through a major depressive episode. It is the stage in which someone is most vulnerable, fragile, and prone to suicide. Entering the last stage, emptiness, numbness, nothingness, or whatever you would like to call it, all energy to take on any action whatsoever is lost. Someone in this stage can barely do anything, including essential things such as eat, drink, or wash. This stage, the gravest of them all, may well be followed by another stage of panic or feeling bereft. Personally, I have been through all stages time and again. It took a long time until I was correctly diagnosed with major depressive disorder, recurrent severe withouth psychotic symptoms (F33.2). The major depressive episodes are usually followed by moderate phases of depression in which I am, however, quite prone to fall back into a major depressive episode, depending on what happens around and to me, respectively. I may laugh and enjoy some activities, but I never really feel – happy. I believe I used to be happy when I was young, but I cannot remember that well. And since it has long been known that human memory is extremely prone to gaps and refilling those gaps by later acquired impressions and knowledge, it may be only retrospectively that I deem myself to have been happy as a child.