“I can sense it coming on, slowly. I can stand on my front porch & see what’s out ahead of the storm. I can watch the enormous, mile-high black clouds rolling in. There are days of near-darkness before the storm even reaches me”. – Anonymous
“It’s like watching yourself be swallowed by something, seeing its teeth & throat open up & watching yourself be eaten, from the bottom up, inch by inch by inch. I’m screaming inside for days, as I feel myself being swallowed by the monster that is Depression.” – Anonymous
“Slowly, over the course of a few days, I become like a cardboard cutout of myself. My colors start to fade to beige-brown, & the shape becomes less & less human. This blank, flat, beige-brown piece of cardboard drags itself through my day, raking its edges ragged, soggy & dirty from dragging the ground. It is all that is left in my place. It doesn’t experience feelings. My emotions become jumbled & numb. My thoughts as well. I barely function for weeks, until finally, my normal form begins to return.” – Anonymous
There is a great article called, What Does Depression Feel Like? that accurately describes some of the real, non-clinical symptoms of people experiencing depression. Here is a list from the article:
- Things just seem “off” or “wrong.”
- You don’t feel hopeful or happy about anything in your life.
- You’re crying a lot for no apparent reason, either at nothing, or something that normally would be insignificant.
- You feel like you’re moving (and thinking) in slow motion.
- Getting up in the morning requires a lot of effort.
- Carrying on a normal conversation is a struggle. You can’t seem to express yourself.
- You’re having trouble making simple decisions.
- Your friends and family really irritate you.
- You’re not sure if you still love your spouse/significant other.
- Smiling feels stiff and awkward. It’s like your smiling muscles are frozen.
- It seems like there’s a glass wall between you and the rest of the world.
- You’re forgetful, and it’s very difficult to concentrate on anything.
- You’re anxious and worried a lot.
- Everything seems hopeless.
- You feel like you can’t do anything right.
- You have recurring thoughts of death and/or suicidal impulses. Suicide seems like a welcome relief.
- You have a feeling of impending doom – you think something bad is going to happen, although you may not be sure what, and/or…
- You have a very specific fear that torments you constantly.
- In your perception of the world around you, it’s always cloudy. Even on sunny days, it seems cloudy and gray.
- You feel as though you’re drowning or suffocating.
- You’re agitated, jumpy and and anxious much of the time.
- Your senses seem dulled; food tastes bland and uninteresting, music doesn’t seem to affect you, you don’t bother smelling flowers anymore.
- Incessantly and uncontrollably into your mind comes the memory of every failure, every bad or uncomfortable experience, interview or date, like a torrent of negativity.
If you are living with Depression, you know that not all people have the same symptoms, but you can relate to one thing for sure; you don’t want to suffer at the mercy of a disease or be labeled & judged because of a diagnosis. You are who you are. Depression is not who you are; it affects your ability to be who you are. It affects your ability to cope with normal daily situations & responsibilities. It affects your ability to love & be loved.
Depression is both mental and physical. It can be caused by physical & emotional trauma. It can also be caused by chemical imbalances in the brain. Therapy and/or medication can help. Not all people suffering with Depression become suicidal. Some people experience chronic physical symptoms like fatigue, weakness, widespread pain, & headaches, as well as changes in mood & anxiety.