Have you ever wondered, what does depression feel like?
Having depression is like feeling you are enveloped in a thick fog. Everything seems grey and drab and heavy. There is nothing to look forward to.
It affects every moment of every day – your sleep habits, your eating habits, your energy and enthusiasm, how you interact with others.
The problem is, you usually cannot see it.
Yes, everyone has had times during their life when they have felt ‘low’ – but the disease of depression is different, as it usually stops you from functioning with your life, and makes you isolate yourself from society.
If you’ve never experienced depression, or are trying to explain what it’s like to others, here are some quotes from sufferers which may bring insight:
“That’s the thing about depression: A human being can survive almost anything, as long as she sees the end in sight. But depression is so insidious, and it compounds daily, that it’s impossible to ever see the end.”
― Elizabeth Wurtzel, Prozac Nation
“If you know someone who’s depressed, please resolve never to ask them why. Depression isn’t a straightforward response to a bad situation; depression just is, like the weather. Try to understand the blackness, lethargy, hopelessness, and loneliness they’re going through. Be there for them when they come through the other side. It’s hard to be a friend to someone who’s depressed, but it is one of the kindest, noblest, and best things you will ever do.”
― Stephen Fry
In any one year, around 1 million Australian adults have depression – it is reaching epidemic proportions.
Some thoughts are that the modern pace of living is responsible. Money worries, both parents working full time, keeping up with the Jones’s, rushing around to school, work, household responsibilities, etc.
Social media has also been suggested as an issue for depression. We only ever see the ‘highlights reel’ of the lives of others, making ours seem drab in comparison. And, we don’t ever really ‘switch off.’
Depression can also be hereditary, happen for no reason or be brought on by an event (eg a death in the family, job loss, birth of a baby, shifting house).
The different types of depression include:
- manic depression (also known as bipolar disorder);
- reactive (also known as situational or environmental) depression;
- psychotic depression; and
- seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
What Doesn’t Help
The person suffering from depression is not helped by comments such as ‘pull yourself together’ and ‘come on just get out.’
Though the people speaking these words may have the best of intentions, they really don’t help. A broken leg is easy to see – a broken mind is not.
What Does Help
The good news is, recovery is possible. Treatment usually involves medications to improve mood, and/or counselling and therapies like Cognitive Behavioural Therapy which tackles the root cause.
Depression feels like the end but it is not. Seek support – do not suffer alone because you are NOT ALONE. Please make the phone call and get help to fight this debilitating disease, so you can enjoy life once more.
Author: M1 Psychology
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