A few days back I was discussing about anxiety and depression with a friend of mine. We were trying to see how an attack of depression is triggered and trying to analyze how a sequence of events can actually lead to people snapping at one point and spiraling into depression. We were looking at a case study.
At that point I realized that I came close to one myself. It was over 2 months ago. I was being bombarded on all sides with work to do, stuff to be taken care of etc. Some of things, that I thought had been taken care of and were a done deal, came back as arrears with a priority tag attached to them. I was reeling under pressure and time was very less. One evening, as I was sitting in front of the computer, trying to figure out how I was going to sort all this out and get out of the mess I was in, my breath just stopped. Next thing you know my hands are uncontrollably shivering. I couldnt think, period. I could hardly make any sense of what was happening around me. I wanted to simply scream my heads out, but my voice stopped. I wanted to cry but couldnt. I tried scrambling back to work to finish whatever I could, but couldnt get to do anything. The feeling was of the entire thing simply falling apart. I felt like I had lost control over my life and there was nothing I could do. I didnt have a clue as to why this was happening to me.
I just got up, got out of the office and took off in my car. I have no clue to how I got home, but I did. I hadnt had anything in the evening, but couldnt feel the hunger. I just got home, dropped my bag and sat on my bed. I was blank, I was finding it difficult to breathe. I dont know for how long I was that way, I just fell on my bed and light a light bulb switched off, I just fell asleep. I woke up late in the morning, really late. Got ready and went back to work.
I didnt think much about this episode after this. In a couple of weeks I took are of all the matters and things were back to normal. I dismissed the evening as an odd spike in my activity, as a means of jerking my thoughts to get myself organized again.
Now when I think about it, I realize that it was the perfect trigger to get me into the vicious circle of depression. If I had reacted the other way, tried hard to fight it, and “face it like a man”, I am not sure if I would not have been able to keep my sanity. Pressure can do funny things to you. I never really believed it, not even when this happened to me. It was only when I started talking about how it can affect the psyche, and how it all began, do I realize that I had come close!