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What People Think Depression Feels Like vs What It's Really Like

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On my Instagram and personal website, I raise awareness about mental health. There are still too many misconceptions about mental illness and I try to change that with my illustrations.

What people think depression feels like:

  • Having suicidal thoughts
  • Feeling sad and unhappy about life

What depression also feels like:

  • Horrible guilt
  • Feeling frustrated and irritated
  • Endless intrusive thoughts
  • Maddening anxiety
  • Loneliness
  • Feeling disconnected with the world and your body

Depression can feel different for everyone. Some people function relatively well, while others feel too exhausted to do anything. It’s important to realize depression looks and feels different for different people. Even if it looks easier for someone, it doesn’t mean it is.

Depression for me comes hand in hand with anxiety, intrusive thoughts and everything I mentioned above. The biggest misconception I experience is people assume I’m fine because they don’t see me having panic attacks or crying. They see a seemingly happy woman that works, studies and makes the best of life. But underneath, there is a constant fear and sadness waiting to come out.

When people ask me what it feels like to have depression, I tell them, ‘Imagine being lost in a cold foggy forest. You have no idea where you are, where the exit is and how long you’re going to be there. It’s scary, lonely and energy-consuming.”

How does depression feel for you? What’s the biggest misconception people around you have about depression?

Follow this journey at Miss Mental.

Originally published: November 8, 2019
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