In this blog we present to you the spoken word poem by Dan Roman titled “living with depression”.
Dan Roman living with depression
Dan Roman is a spoken word poet well known for his performance on his original poem titled “Living with depression” that has garnered over 250K views on youtube.
In his performance and poetry, Roman uses a powerful metaphor of depression as an ever-present roommate that was never invited to live with in the first place.
In his poem, Roman, desibes how it is like to live with depression and how painful it is to struggle through it.
Here is a transcript of Dan Roman’s poem “Living with depression” by Em Mais for Outspoken Word Poetry:
My body is an apartment that I can barely afford because of the location.
An entire world of possibilities accessible in some multiple of my footsteps
And for some reason I can’t make it out my front door.
I’m staring at the splintered wood in the frame,
Where she slammed the door on her way out.
And ignoring the leaks in the roof and how I’m running out of buckets.
I try to remember that so many people want what I have,
That when I turn on my lights I become a part of a skyline that people look at and envy,
That living here is a privilege no matter how much it looks
Like these walls are about to crumble.
I pay my rent in late night laughter with loved ones, purple pink sunrises on the drive home,
Laces fingers that feel to tight to ever come undone.
But the price of existence grows higher ever year,
With every lost friend, every tear shed, every fight where I can not make amends,
Every story I start to write where I can’t possible imagine an end.
I earn less, and less, and my rent is late, until…
A letter comes in the mail and says my rent has been payed.
I have a roommate now, or maybe I always have.
Someone who started out as the silhouette stranger
On the other end of the bedroom of my brain.
I am living with depression, there is no other way to putting it.
He puts my walls up and everyone else stays out.
He tells me he is the only one who could stand these cramped quarters,
Where he seems to be spreading out more and more every single week,
Until there is no room left for anything that reminds me of me,
I can’t find room to eat anymore, and I don’t feel like collecting new memories,
Telling myself I only have room for the same old routine.
I have a roommate and he makes my friends uncomfortable.
Because when he’s around I don’t say much of anything.
When he’s around I keep my voice low, don’t want to make him angry,
don’t wanna hear what he’s going to say when they leave.
When he’s around we spend all my time together.
When he’s around he’s the only one with the energy to answer my phone,
So I keep it shut off, I don’t want to know if people will keep trying to call.
I try to leave.
Try to find other apartments with different beds, different drinks, different drugs,
Anything to forget that I eventually have to stumble home,
Have to see him in the living room, hear his laughter all night keeping me up.
I never want to leave my bed.
He wants me to move out.
Wants me to vacate these walls with no bags packed.
I know. I Want my friends and family to forget my name and only remember his.
I know. I can tell by the wallpaper he peels off.
By the thin pink blueprints he draws in my skin, his plans to make new bloodlines.
I know he wants me to move out, sometimes I do too.
I don’t know if there’s a difference.
You can watch his video performance here
What is depression?
According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), a leading publication used for diagnosis of mental disorders by mental health professionals, Major depressive disorder or depression is a serious mood disorder.
Depression is marked by the following symptoms:
- Depressed mood most of the day, nearly every day- either by their own observation or observation made by others.
- Diminished interest or pleasure in all, or almost all, activities most of the day, nearly every day.
- Significant weight loss when not dieting or weight gain, or decrease or increase in appetite nearly every day.
- Insomnia or hypersomnia.
- A slowing down of thought and a reduction of physical movement (observable by others, not merely subjective feelings of restlessness or being slowed down).
- Fatigue or loss of energy nearly every day.
- Feelings of worthlessness or excessive or inappropriate guilt nearly every day.
- Diminished ability to think or concentrate, or indecisiveness, nearly every day.
Depression symptoms also include extremely low mood and fatigue and is often accompanied by thoughts of worthlessness and hopelessness which can lead to suicidal ideation and even attempts.
Depression related symptoms such as inability to focus, lack of energy, and hopelessness can impact a person’s ability to work and meet the demands of their daily lives.
People with depression often struggle with low self esteem and self worth which can cause them to negatively assess themselves. They may fear rejection and abandonment from other people which may cause them to isolate themselves in a bid to protect themselves.
This social withdrawal can make it difficult for them to maintain social commitments and relationships as they might choose to push people away especially when they do not have the skills to communicate and manage their emotions and thoughts.
While these are some of the ways depression impacts a person, the disorder itself can cause the quality of life of people who have it to drastically decrease and in extreme cases, if the disorder is left untreated, it can lead to suicide attempts and death.
How to cope and manage if you have depression?
Here are a few things you can do to cope with depression:
Seek professional help
If you have not been diagnosed, do not stick to self diagnosis based on your symptoms. Seek out professional consultations starting with your GP who can refer you to specialists in the field.
There may be different medications- some which might work for you while others that might not help you.
Taking time to find a doctor who can help you with estimating the right dosage of medication and the right medical treatment can make the quality of your journey to recovery drastically different.
If it’s a job that is causing you immense stress, maybe it is time to consider taking a leave of absence. Or it could be your own family environment that is causing your symptoms to flare up- consider moving out if your financial situation persists.
The intent here is to reduce or remove the things in your life that add stress. If it is a certain relationship, taking the time to set boundaries or communicate that you are taking time out can be one way.
By reducing stressors, the thought of waking up and facing your day may seem a little less daunting, you might even look forward to it.
Learn and apply coping skills
If you are depressed, you can learn coping skills and techniques and apply them at least once a day when experiencing depression.
This can be learning how to tackle your anxieties and negative moods by regulating your breathing and engaging in deep breathing techniques.
You can also try grounding techniques to help you cope with spiralling down a negative rumination. Make goals for each day and let your goals be small, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time bound,
Make plans for your day that suit your pace- if today is especially difficult, make a step by step plan from your bed to the bathroom in the mornings. Reward yourself when you succeed and be kind when you slip up. Remind yourself that you are learning.
Engaging in exercise, even if it is only a 15 minute stretch can be a wonderful step towards loving yourself and caring for yourself.
You can opt for joining the gym however, if this is too much you can consider yoga or pilates that you can start gradually; you can also go for walks or runs alone or with your loved ones.
Getting out of your house and doing something that allows you to get your blood pumping in itself can be a great way of self care.
Eat a healthy diet
Diet is an important aspect of overall health and is an important component of maintaining a positive state of mental health.
There has been plenty of research studies that have been linked to what we eat and higher risks of depression. Research finds that well balanced meals with adequate intake of vegetables, fruits, grain, and healthy fats are related to lower risks of depression.
Take time to improve your sleep hygiene. Research has found that sleep disorders are also a core symptom of depression. Irregular sleep and not enough sleep can make your healing process difficult and can even heighten the risk of relapse.
Some of the things you can do to improve your sleep hygiene are
- Avoid substances that impact your sleep, this includes caffeine.
- Exercise daily
- Avoid heavy dinners
- Change your sleeping environment to be more soothing and sleep inducing.
- Make changes in your pre-sleep routine such as taking relaxing baths before sleep, avoiding gadgets two hours before sleeping time.
Connect with loved ones
Reaching out to people who love you and letting them know that you are having a hard time now, can bring you closer to people who truly love and care for you.
These are positive relationships we want and need around you as you begin your journey to recovery. Positive relationships help you discover joys and meaning to your life.
Make plans to meet them for lunch, or go for a walk with them. Make sure you make clear what you can and cannot do and agree on something that both you and them can enjoy.
You can also take the step to connect with other people who are coping with depression through group therapy or support groups.
Oftentimes, listening to other people’s successes can instil hope, it also gives you the opportunity to learn new perspectives of living and life along with new techniques to cope.
In this blog we presented to you the spoken word poem by Dan Roman titled “living with depression”.
Living With Depression (Dan Roman). Outspoken Poetry. Retrieved on 25th April 2022. http://outspokenwordpoetry.blogspot.com/2015/10/living-with-depression-dan-roman_30.html