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What Depression Is to Me

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Often, when I talk to other people about mental health and depression, everyone seems to have a different idea or understanding of what it means to be depressed. No, to be truly depressed is not just a temporary sadness. The following is my experience with depression, and I hope it helps others to better understand what they themselves or a loved one may be going through.

Depression is:


The feeling of knowing there are so many people around who love you, who want you in their life, but still feeling completely alone. The feeling of not being able to tell these people how you’re feeling or how your thinking. The feeling that you know they will never understand. Sometimes, you wonder if they will care. Your mind is screaming out that you need help and support, but no one will come. Those who don’t understand just abandon you. You feel so alone.


The feeling of endless hurt. You can’t describe why you are so sad, angry or frustrated. It’s just there. Always in the back of your mind and in your body. It will not go away. You cry all the time, sometimes for no reason. Sometimes, you cry at the littlest things or the biggest things. You are fragile and people often do not see that.


The thoughts in your head bring you down. They tell you that you aren’t good enough. They tell you that you need to die. You need to end the pain. They tell you that you will never find love. They tell you you’ll never find someone who can take care of you on your worst days and still love you with all that they have to offer. They trap you inside your own head. They keep you from being yourself. They keep you from trusting and confiding in others. They tell you that you are alone and no one will ever care. You lie to yourself, and you lie to others.


You feel so much, but still so little. You feel no happiness, nothing positive. Sometimes, you feel nothing. You sit there like a shell of what once used to be. You feel down. Lost. Cold. Drowning.


You sleep all the time. Sleep is the only escape. You have to force yourself to get out of bed, to go to school or work. You move through the motions, like a robot. Time goes on forever. You feel as though you get nothing done. Nothing accomplished. You are so exhausted even after a long night’s sleep. Sometimes, you cannot sleep at all during the night. Sometimes, you come home from your day, lie there on the couch and stare at the wall. Maybe sleep will come, maybe it won’t. All of your energy goes into your day that sometimes you have nothing left.


Not wanting to get out to see the world. It isolates you from your friends and your family. Even from yourself. You cannot be yourself. Who you were before, your personality, your soul and your being is just a ghost. A distant memory. You cannot connect with people. You cannot have a conversation. You pray and hope they see a good part of you. A part of who you used to be, even when you cannot see it in yourself. You hope to make friends, to get people to care about you and like you, but it’s just so incredibly hard. You need people around but can’t get them.


You put on a mask. The mask of a happy, smiling, content person. You pretend to be OK. You lie to everyone around you. Your mind still screams at you, but you fake it. You become someone else, just to seem good to others. You play the role. You become the role. It’s a game you need to beat. But you also lose yourself. Forget who you are and who you truly want to be. No identity, no sense of self.


You put all of your effort into your day. All your energy into getting out of bed and doing as much as you can of what needs to be done. Trying to maintain relationships with others. Trying to be someone you’re not. Trying to look happy and just be happy. Trying to stay alive. Trying not to cry, scream or yell. Trying not to think about the ways in which you want to end your life. Trying to move on. Trying to think positive. There’s that feeling that you could lose it at any moment and just give up. That you could break into a million tiny pieces, never to be put back together again. So much trying, and nobody seems to see it.


You long for happiness. You wait for the day to come when you feel better. You long to find something you still enjoy. You long for connection, for love. You hope. You dream. You long to find yourself again. Long to be your true self and show others who you are as a human being. You long for acceptance and understanding. You long for someone to truly listen to you, to care and to help. You long for a happy ending.


You are physically, mentally and emotionally hurting. You do not know what to do with yourself and your life. You often don’t feel hungry. So you don’t eat. Your body hurts. Your mind is racing. Your feelings and emotions cause nothing but pain. You want it to stop. You beg for it to end. You would do anything in the world to get away from this. You want to run and hide. You want to escape, but you are stuck. Chained down. Unable to move. So you accept the pain and despair, allowing it to take over your life.


The feeling that you cannot express yourself. Cannot explain how you feel or what you’re going through. Knowing that nobody will understand just what you’re going through. So you keep quiet. You keep in inside, bottle it up and push it away. Keep it in a deep dark safe place. You are the only one who knows, and you’re stuck in your head.


People will leave you. They will betray and abandon your trust and honesty. They will make you feel guilty, sad and alone. They make you feel even worse about yourself than you already do. These people cannot accept your feelings or maybe can’t handle them. They call you weak. Maybe they think they understand when they actually don’t. Nobody truly can. You cannot help these feelings. You cannot stop them or control them. They control you.

Depression is a monster. A monster that haunts you everywhere you go. A shadow that stands over you, terrifies you. A constant presence in your life. It hides under your bed and in your dreams. Whispers in your ear. It scares others away, traps you in its being. Stalks you. Reminds you it’s always there. Watching. Influencing. Controlling.

It can be hard to hide. It can be hard to escape. It has become you, consumed you and taken over your life. Depression is your true enemy.

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

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

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 Image via Thinkstock.
Originally published: December 2, 2016
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