The Mighty Logo

How I Wish I Could Respond When Someone Doubts My Depression Is a Disability

The most helpful emails in health
Browse our free newsletters

“Is this your card?” The bus driver asks me.

“Yes,” I answer, knowing what comes next, handing him my ID card so I can show him it is indeed mine.

“But you don’t look disabled,” he says loud enough for the entire bus to hear.

I blush, embarrassed. I nod and walk into the bus, and sit down on the first empty chair, feeling everyone’s eyes boring into me.

But what I really want to do is say this:

Having depression is physically not being able to get out of bed most days.

Having depression is running to and from appointments all week.

Having depression is feeling an unbearable numbness, which can sometimes cause you to hurt yourself to be able to feel.

Having depression is having hardly any energy to get on with daily activities.

Having depression is not being able to sleep at night or sleeping too much.

Having depression is feeling too nauseous to eat at the best of times.

Having depression is feeling this huge ache in your chest and not knowing what’s causing it or how to get rid of it. Having depression is having a constant headache which no amount of painkillers will cure.

Having depression is feeling as if you’re holding 100 kilograms on your back and never being able to put it down.

If you think living like this isn’t considered living with a disability, then I don’t know what you think is.

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

If you struggle with self-harm and you need support right now, call the crisis hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or text “START” to 741-741. For a list of ways to cope with self-harm urges, click here.

We want to hear your story. Become a Mighty contributor here.

Thinkstock photo via KatarzynaBialasiewicz

Originally published: April 27, 2017
Want more of The Mighty?
You can find even more stories on our Home page. There, you’ll also find thoughts and questions by our community.
Take Me Home