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Why Depression Isn't Always What You Think It Is

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“Feeling like I’m headed for a breakdown / And I don’t know why.”

Those are lyrics to the song “Unwell” by Matchbox Twenty, and it is exactly how I feel lately.

I’ve always loved this song, but I can tell I’m not doing well when this song speaks to my soul on completely different levels than usual.

I heard this song on the way to work this morning, and for some reason, it helped me have insight into what is happening. I have many of the symptoms of depression, but I’m not crying a lot. So, what’s the deal? Then I realized: I don’t have to be sobbing every second of my day to be considered depressed.

Depression isn’t always lying on the floor in the fetal position.

It’s also feeling distant and withdrawn.

It’s feeling hungry for air and having to concentrate on breathing just to catch my breath.

It’s feeling down, even when I have zero reasons to be.

It’s feeling exhausted and sore, even with rest and no additional exertion.

It’s feeling unmotivated when things need to be done and feeling anxious when you’re not getting anything done.

Depression doesn’t always have to mean “the lowest of lows,” but it also shouldn’t be dismissed because there are no tears. I need to remember this.

This too shall pass, but man, I can’t wait to get off this ride.

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Originally published: May 1, 2017
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