So many times in a week I will hear someone say they’ve been feeling a bit depressed and I often wonder: Do we need to use such a serious and big word for something that can be described as a little low? A little off? I’ve been having a few bad days? I’ve been a bit upset about y and z…
As someone who has suffered with depression on and off for the last 10 years, I want to share my experience of depression in the hope that we can begin to be more considerate when talking; more understanding when listening; and more aware when someone (or ourselves) might need help.
Because depression is not something casual you can just throw out there. Most people with depression don’t even realise it’s depression they’re suffering from.
Please find links for help with depression at the bottom of this post!
Can you imagine life being a constant struggle but there’s nothing physically wrong with you? Just waking up or getting out of bed every day is one of the hardest tasks… anything beyond that is laughable. Functioning becomes a struggle of robotic movements, gestures and sounds just to get through each and every day. The future sounds like something you’ve read about in books because you can’t begin to think that far ahead because you just do not have the energy to care enough.
Just being and existing is exhausting. You’re friendships and relationships suffer if they don’t fall apart completely. You have no direction. No motivation. No hope. You can’t see beyond this feeling of overwhelming darkness and sense of being completely and uttlerly lost in this thing called life.
Can you imagine?
Can you imagine wanting to just disappear because you’re so sure everyone would be better off without you? Considering walking out of your front door, away from your home and family, the children you gave life to and the partner you’ve loved so much for so long, and never coming back because being responsible for all of that is completely outside of your abilities right now?
Can you imagine not really seeing, not really hearing and not really doing anything? You’re there physically but it’s like your soul is missing. You don’t remember the conversations you’ve had. You don’t remember the things you’ve done or should have been doing. You don’t know what day it is and you’re not sure if it even matters. You don’t want to talk to anyone on the phone and you don’t care that you haven’t seen anyone outside of your house for weeks.
Can you imagine smiling because it’s expected of you but inside, you don’t remember the last time you were happy? The last thing that made you laugh? You can’t take solace in your babies hugs or find comfort in their smiles. You don’t feel safe with your partner anymore because even they can’t save you from yourself.
Some people may be depressed. Some people probably are not. My point is we just need to think before we talk sometimes, trivialising something so dark and reducing it’s meaning to something that can be applied to the every day normalities of life.
Depression is not normal. It’s not easy to come or easy to go. It’s not an exaggeration or a dramatisation of a lesser feeling. It’s a dark and scary place to exist with so many people misunderstanding it’s depth… you can’t just “shake it off”, you can’t just “try to be happy” or “think positive thoughts”.
It’s a long and bumpy road with no light at the end of the tunnel and to overcome it, you have to somehow make yourself believe there is a light. You can’t see it now, and you can’t feel the relief and hope it will bring into your world, but it’s there… waiting for you if you can just find a way to start taking a few small steps towards it.
Can you imagine?
- Mind – the Mental Health charity; no one has to face mental health alone
- Depression Support Groups
- turn2me Free Counselling
- Time To Change – end Mental Health stigma