Introduction to the Depression Aspect
This is the fifth part in the series “Living with and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis. The fourth part in the series, “The Overwhelmed Aspect: Living With and Healing from Trauma on a Daily Basis”, can be found here. Without having trauma, people living with anxiety and depression on a daily basis can find them both debilitating. When you add trauma to the mix, it takes things to a whole new level. What I have been able to finally realize within the last year is the difference between regular depression and trauma depression.
Regular Depression and PTSD Depression
The difference with regular depression and PTSD/trauma depression is that there is no in between, or gradual shift into depression. Sometimes, you might be sitting in a group talking to people, and they happen to mention one word. That word might not have any major significance for them, but for you, it could be the opening of a traumatic experience that consists of twenty different things. The next thing you know, your whole system has dropped without warning, like the ride called “The Giant Drop” at Great America. The worst part about PTSD depression, which is similar to regular depression, is that it is felt at a deeper level if you are already dealing with other life events causing emotional stress.
Depressive Job Experience
A few years ago, I accepted a job at a manufacturing company, thinking that it was the ticket to getting out of debt, and more financial security for my kids and I. It was my worst nightmare. I stuck out like a sore thumb. From start to finish, the entire process that had played out in my twenty year marriage played out at this company. I went from being a trophy to being discarded like a broken toy. I didn’t fit into the culture of anything and everything goes, so there was a plan set in place to fire me , with a good majority of the employees involved. The workplace was a constant lion’s den of bullying, emotional abuse, and the “workplace untouchables”, so to speak. It was God’s great mercy and grace that I was let go. My whole system was wrecked with trauma when I started. By the time I was let go, I was in worse shape emotionally, mentally, and physically than when I started. The Holy Spirit had shown me what would take place from start to finish three months before I got fired. I am not sure what was worse: knowing what would happen, or the anxiously waiting for it to happen.
Fighting for Normality
I was not prepared for what happened afterwards. The “Giant Drop” occurred without any warning. When I explained how I was feeling to my therapist, she gave me a good analogy. I was a deflated ball when I started. So basically, the “already deflated ball” was kicked around. One friend tried to encourage me by telling me not to let the job get me that down. I was glad to be done. However, my system had been through so much compounded trauma, that in turn this is how it responded. I thank God that he slowly brought me out of it. It took a few months for the “giant drop” to leave, but a few more years after that to even start feeling significantly better. Have a blessed night!