12 Things I Wish People Understood About My Depression

This piece was written by Rabeyah Nasir, a Thought Catalog contributor.

1. Depression is the drought in my throat when I try not to cry in public.

It’s the desperation with which I hold back the sob which threatens to break though me and it’s the all-too-familiar hopelessness I feel when a tear slips out anyways — just another reminder that I have no control of my body. Or my mind.

2. Depression is not sadness.

Depression is not a bad day or a breakup or a failure in life. Depression doesn’t feed off negativity, it creates it. Depression isn’t a result of negative thoughts. It can’t be willed away by an hour of meditation or a good gym session.

3. Depression is the fear that engulfs me in a moment of fleeting happiness because I know it’s fleeting.

It’s the insurmountable barrier between me and anything good because I won’t let myself far enough to fall down again. Depression is the snake in the bush watching me build myself up again piece by piece the way it watches its favorite prey.

4. Depression is not “fixable.”

Depression is often the bleak realization that I don’t know why I’m sad. How do you a fix a problem without knowing why it’s there in the first place?

5. Depression is the tsunami wave at 2 a.m. and 2 p.m.

It is the weight of the world bearing down on me just when I thought I was free. Depression is my body caving in and vanishing into the black hole that has learned to hide behind my heart.

6. Depression is not disposable.

It is not convenient. Depression cannot be controlled or tamed. It burns what it wants, takes what it wants and destroys what it wants.

7. Depression is an unrelenting chaos in my mind, painting the world black.

It is the tugging at my throat, at my heart, at my mind. Continuous tugging, pulling until all I want to do is fall.

8. Depression is not romantic or the plot of a tear-jerking movie.

It is not beautiful or acceptable. Depression is not a commercialized product for people to pity. Depression is not “a part of a person” — it’s what ruins a person.

9. Depression is a party with your good old friends: guilt, anger, fear and emptiness.

It is a gala of my worst moments, my mistakes and my regrets. A celebration of everything I am not and will never be.

10. Depression is wondering if I’ll ever be better.

It’s the absolutely debilitating realization that no matter what, no matter where, no matter with whom or when: I may never be OK, perhaps for an hour, or a week or even a month — but not forever.

11. Depression is a mental illness.

Depression is felt in spreading through my blood. It is the lead in my bones. It is the rocks in my heart. Depression engulfs me, drowns me and suffocates me.

12. Depression is the deepest loneliness I will ever know in my life.

Depression is the only friend I let close enough to destroy me, because if I let anyone else close enough, my depression will destroy them too. 

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