How to know if you’ve ever had a “flash depression”

girl playing tennis

Last week I think a coined a new phrase in the world of psychology. I call it flash depression. Here’s how it came about.

I had a perfectly normal Thursday at work and was looking forward to playing my tennis match that evening. I got to the courts and it was cold and a bit windy, but still, I looked forward to warming up and getting some great exercise playing a sport I love. I had accidentally skipped my morning gym workout (a.k.a I completely forgot to set my alarm AND didn’t have my Fitbit on which automatically goes off at 6:30 a.m.), so I was really hyped about getting my steps in. I’ve got to get my 10,000 steps!

However, from the first strike of the ball, I suddenly did not feel like playing AT ALL. I’m not talking about just a little bit of reluctance. I’m talking like a “if you had dragged me out there in chains and forced me to play at gun point I could not have felt less like playing” kind of feeling. It came on so suddenly and I just couldn’t shake the feeling no matter what I did. Game after game went by and I dumped the ball into the net or hit it long and I just didn’t care one bit. Not one iota of “give a damn” in me. It was like I was very suddenly depressed. When I was explaining it to a friend over lunch this past Saturday I called it a flash depression.

I never did snap out of it and I felt I had to apologize to my competition for my utter and total lack of enthusiasm. She knew I had obviously had a very bad evening. I’ve never had something like that happen before in tennis or anywhere else. And as quickly as it came …it went away. I got in the car with no remorse or regrets over how I had played and was feeling fine by the time I got home.

So strange!! Why had I suddenly felt this way!?

I still don’t know why I had this sudden bout of unhappiness. I think it was probably a subconscious reaction to being overwhelmed with life, tired, and desperately needing a break, even from tennis. I got off work early on Friday and went home to relax and unwind with the Project Runway All Stars premiere I had taped. Then I got into bed too early to mention without feeling totally guilty and watched tennis online until I couldn’t keep my eyes open. Saturday morning I was back out on the tennis court, happy as a clam, and ready to play.

Baby Steps & Celebrating Small Successes

I guess the thing I learned is that I need to pay more attention to how I’m feeling and what thoughts I seem to be dwelling on. I think in this world where everything is moving so fast and we are bombarded daily on social media, blogs, and news sites with other people’s achievements, that we tend to forget to slow down and celebrate our small victories. We feel like we need to always be working harder, achieving more, getting there faster, and keeping up with others success. Most of the time these are people we don’t even know!!

I read a great blog post from Ash over at The Middle Finger Project which really spoke to me. She says that she started recording her weight daily on a calendar so she could see the little successes she was having. She reminds us that most of us are demanding and self-critical and that we tend to “gloss right over the quiet little truths.”  I thought this was great advice and I intend to refer back to this post and remember that I am getting there, one baby step at a time.

I would love to hear if you have ever experienced a flash depression! Why do you think it happened and how did you get over it? We appreciate your comments!



2 thoughts on “How to know if you’ve ever had a “flash depression”

  1. Dana Thompson

    You are probably right Sarah! You know me too well. I was surprised how many people approached me after I wrote this post saying they had experienced something similar. I guess that is not surprising because we all seem to be over extended these days. Trying to coordinate schedules for a make up match is always challenging to say the least!

    Thanks for the comment! 🙂


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