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What It's Like to Live in the Constant Bubble of Depression

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In the past, I have heard depression described as viewing the world through a sheet of glass, as if you’re watching from another side, unable to get through. For me, that’s not the case. For me, depression makes me feel as though I’m in a bubble. A thick, heavy bubble that traps me and separates me from everyone else around me. In body, I am in the room, but my mind is not. I am trapped somewhere in the depths of my thoughts and no person or thing can bring me out.

I walk down the street and feel completely closed off from everyone else. I can see them and hear them, but I don’t feel connected. I don’t feel like this moment belongs to me. I feel like a stranger in my own town, a prisoner in my own home. I don’t feel like me.

It’s feeling everything at once. I want to stand in the street and cry and scream in the hope someone will hear me. Or it’s feeling nothing at all, when the world feels black and hopeless and I’m stuck in the darkness, numb and unable to speak. I sit at my desk, maybe even pick up a pen, but when I look down three hours later, the page is still blank. Why couldn’t I do it? I don’t know. Don’t make me feel bad for that. I promise you it’s not what I want.

People ask me what’s wrong, then they are frustrated when I tell them I don’t know. “But you must know,” they respond, thinking I must be lying in order to get them off my back. I don’t know though, truly I don’t. Sometimes my thoughts are all mixed up and I don’t physically know how to form them into words. I don’t know why I can’t do the simplest things and why sometimes everything feels like a struggle. Maybe I just need some time, some space, I tell everyone. The truth is I don’t know what I need.

The constant paroxysms of self-doubt and indecision surround my every moment. Deciding what to eat, what to wear, what to watch on TV, has become a monumental task. Doing the dishes, tidying the house, feeding the cat. It feels impossible.

Don’t leave me, but don’t get too close. Don’t ask me how I am all the time, but don’t stop asking. Don’t cover up my struggles to other people, but don’t talk about me.

I know it seems ridiculous. I know you probably don’t understand. I don’t mind. Just bear with me, don’t give up. I’m still me, I’m still your sister, your daughter, your friend. I’m just a little bit lost at the moment.

But don’t worry. I’ll find myself again. I always do.

If you or someone you know needs help, visit our suicide prevention resources page.

If you need support right now, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741.

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Thinkstock photo via Victor Tongdee.

Originally published: March 28, 2017
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