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Why Depression Isn’t ‘Just Being Sad’

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Depression is real.

Depression is a serious mental illness that can be debilitating.

Depression affects millions of people around the world.

Depression is different for every person who lives with it.

Depression is not just being sad.

Depression is, at its most basic definition, a low mood sometimes marked by irritability and frustration that persists for at least two weeks or longer.

Depression is physically taxing as well.

Depression is like having a sinus infection or a bad head cold; your body aches in the same way.

But, instead of the headache, you feel frustrated. Instead of the fever, you feel angry. Instead of the nausea, you feel guilty.

But just like physical sickness — you’re easily fatigued, exhausted and achey.

Depression is sometimes being hungry but not wanting to eat because it takes too much energy to lift the fork to your face.

Depression is sometimes wanting to eat but nothing sounds good.

Depression is sometimes eating, but it doesn’t taste good and isn’t satisfying.

Depression is sometimes not bathing or showering for days, maybe weeks, because self-care is too draining, and you’re too weak to stand for the short amount of time it takes to shower.

Depression is a dirty house because you don’t always have the motivation and energy to even pick up a piece of paper.

Depression is wanting to do the things necessary to have a clean house and a clean body, but not having the motivation or energy to do so.

Depression is the negative voice that may often condemn you and make you feel guilty and worthless for not getting the everyday things done that many other people have no problem doing.

Depression is often not asking for help, because the things you need help doing are everyday tasks.

Depression is often isolating.

You don’t go out because you might smell.

You might not want to go out because just sitting up in bed uses too much energy.

You might not want to have friends over because you might not be able to handle being the host. Or you might think, “They don’t want to hand out with me anyways.”

You might not go out because they won’t notice if you’re there or not.

Depression is the voice that might tell you, “No one loves you. No one cares about you. See, they don’t even ask you how you’re doing. They don’t ask you to hang out. They don’t talk to you unless you talk to them first. They don’t care.”

Depression is often not asking for help because the things you need help doing are everyday tasks.

Asking for help for such basic things might make you feel worthless.

Depression is hiding how you really feel — putting up a front and pretending everything is under control, but it’s sometimes better than feeling like you’re putting on a show to gain sympathy.

Depression is wanting help, not pity.

Depression is often losing interest in everything you once enjoyed.

Depression is sometimes getting irritated, angry, or crying about things that typically wouldn’t bother you.

Depression is often being tired, achey, sad, mad — and then guilty, ashamed and helpless, because you might not know why and or how to change it. Even though you desperately want to.

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Thinkstock image via fcscafeine 

Originally published: June 26, 2017
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