How do you experience depression?
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How do you experience depression?

This is a discussion on How do you experience depression? within the About Depression forums, part of the Resources category; Many people don't know what it is like to have depression. Many people think that depression is just "the blues" ...

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Old 05-18-15, 07:12 AM   #1
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Default How do you experience depression?

Many people don't know what it is like to have depression. Many people think that depression is just "the blues" and that the person will just "snap out of it" at some point. Not everyone understands how serious a problem depression is and how it impacts all aspects of people's lives.

I thought that it might be helpful for visitors and new members to be able to read about members' experiences and descriptions of their depressions and related challenges so that they can understand a bit better.

Please note that this is NOT a support or discussion thread and no one will reply to you to give you support.
You need to start your own support thread if you need help, or if you want to discuss your feelings and experiences.

Here are some sample questions to give you some possible ideas, but you don't have to answer these questions.
  • Please describe how you experience depression.
  • How do you feel about depression? What is it like?
  • What challenges do you experience? Are there particular symptoms?
  • How does depression affect your feelings and beliefs about yourself?
  • How does depression affect your life?
  • How do other people understand your depression?
  • Do you feel that others understand?
  • What is the worst thing about depression?
  • Do you have any stories that express your feelings/experience of depression?
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Old 05-18-15, 09:37 AM   #2
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Great idea Amie..

Here goes..

Ive been suffering with depression for years. I know this might sound weird..but it feels like home.
After living with it for so long..I know how to separate it from me. There's Jo..and there's depression.
They are two different things. In the beginning I thought depression and myself were one.
It feels like home because basically I know I might have to deal with it forever..
Again..this sounds kind of depressing I know..but once you know the signs and triggers..
you can fight it..and therefore live with it in a way.. ()

Of course..this doesnt mean that people should just accept it..

These are just my words..my way of seeing it.. my feelings about depression.

And in no way is living with it easy.. I wouldnt wish it on my worst enemy... its a living hell.

BUT..things do get better.. I never thought Id say that..but they do.....

So hang in there......please...
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Old 05-25-15, 02:47 AM   #3
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I've lived with it for a long time and I still find it difficult to explain it. The closest thing I can compare it to is a backpack.

Depending on how much I put into it, it could be light, it could be heavy. On the really good days I'm not even carrying it. I can't fully enjoy those good days because in the back of my mind I know that I'll be wearing it again. Like a scary movie. You know there's a bad guy in the shadows waiting to jump out. You just don't know when. On the bad days it can be filled to almost bursting. The heaviness affects everything. I don't feel like moving let alone doing something. It feels like I'm dragging a weight around adding to the effort it takes to do something. All I can think about is how heavy it is which, of course, makes it heavier.

And it is not full of fun stuff. I'm carrying around dull, dead, lifeless weight. It is something that is personal and private. It is one thing that feels like it's truly mine. It is MY depression.
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Old 05-25-15, 07:13 AM   #4
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Huh, as I said in my introduction, I went throught it...But it's not bad to let it out and tell others my experience, i really feel like doing that!

When I was depressed no one knew, nor could spot it. I've always shown everybody my fašade, I'd be laughing and joking with everyone. I had to endure that for a good part of my day, since I had to lie even to my parents. Then, once I was alone, everything would turn....black.
I knew the reason why I was depressed. I still didn't know I wasm thought. I just had this weight on my back...and I'd tell none. It was something I feared, something that I felt like a sickness, no one could've known about that. So I kept it for myself...
It surely affected my life. I had panick attacks after a while, so many I couldn't keep with my life. I was scared, i felt sad and I didn't know what to do, so was my mother since they called her a few times because of those attacks. She sent me to a doctor, which gave me Xanax. I felt sick all the time, I had allucinations..I felt even more depressed because of that and I nearly got myself killed. Even if I wanted to die, I forced myself to go on, for my parents..I didn't want to hurt them, so I just went on...

Depression is like having something with you, a shadow that always lies on your back to remember how much you want to die. It's not rage, nor hate...I didn't hate no one, I wasn't angry..I just felt deeply sad all the time, I was tired all the time and I wanted to end everything.

I believe depression is a serious matter. Once you're depressed NO ONE can save you, because YOU don't want to. At least it worked like that for me. The only one who can save you is yourself, and that's the difficult part...finding the strenght to go on...it's difficult, but you can do it. I did. And I want to show everyone that they can do it too.

Last edited by Forest; 05-25-15 at 11:13 AM.
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Old 05-27-15, 05:19 AM   #5
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  • Please describe how you experience depression- I have very little control over it and episodes are quite unpredictable. What helped you with one may not help you with another and vice versa. It isn't sadness or burn out, so you cannot 'just get over it'. We all wish we could do that. When I am depressed, I feel deep sadness about myself. I feel ashamed and very very afraid. I feel hopeless too. I try and try to listen to reason in my own head, but somehow, it doesn't always work.
  • How do you feel about depression? What is it like?- I wish it didn't exist, that's how I feel about it. I don't think it ever completely goes away. You only learn to manage it. Good therapy helps in my opinion or someone who knows how to listen to you. It may not help at first, because we distrust and are so afraid of being vulnerable.
  • What challenges do you experience? Are there particular symptoms?- Not having the control! Sometimes, the best you can do is stay in bed with those horrible feelings. I feel completely alone, worthless and very sad.
  • How does depression affect your feelings and beliefs about yourself?- I feel alone and worthless.
  • How does depression affect your life?- It limits one when you feel worthless and exhausted all the time. You are afraid to commit to certain projects for fear of it resurfacing. It helps in a way too, even though I wish I didn't have to be depressed to grow into myself. It has been helping me accept myself more? I think the reason I experience depression is I grew up way too fast. There was no time to feel sad about traumatic events either. You had to be in control and keep pushing through. Depression has so far been helping me let go of that control. It is such a slow and painful process, but it does help with that.
  • How do other people understand your depression?-It depends. Some people do not understand it and are irritated by it. I have a friend who gets it most of the time, because she has been through it too. Some try to support even if they do not understand.
  • Do you feel that others understand?-Not necassarily. If they have been though the same, it is easier for them to comprehend it.
  • What is the worst thing about depression?- For me, it is that feeling of helplessness. It is so frustrating when you cannot do much about it. It has become a little easier for me over time, but I absolutely hate the feeling of not being able to 'get over it' however hard I try. This is why it is so painful when people expect you to do just that. Depression also makes me feel so so alone. I feel like I am screaming at the top of my voice in a world full of people, but no one can hear me.
  • Do you have any stories that express your feelings/experience of depression?- Not really...Cannot think of any right now. One of my therapists told me once that depression is anger turned towards oneself. Everytime I have had an episode, one thing has been consistent-I feel disappointed in myself. I feel I am letting people down and not doing enough and I'm behind. Everyone hates me, even those who do not know me. Now, sometimes I challenge those thoughts, but what helps me more is letting them be. It's like I know the 'noisy nosey neighbour' is back again. I cannot move out of the apartment, so I have to carry on with my chores without engaging with him/her. After a while, they do not sound so loud anymore. If you challenge them, they get even madder and scream even louder. Ignore them, sometimes they go completely quiet and sometimes, they are still shouting, but you are so engrossed by what you are doing that they seem to have kept it down a notch.
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Old 05-31-15, 01:31 AM   #6
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The tag line "Depression Hurts" used in the Canadian mental illness awareness campaign is how I best describe depression.

Depression hurts physically and emotionally. Depression makes me feel tired, ashamed, unworthy, sad, frustrated and disconnected. I do not get close to most people for fear that they will discover my dirty little secret.

Just like any illness, only those who have experienced it can truly understand how debilitating it really is.
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Old 05-31-15, 02:39 PM   #7
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i've been depressed for two years now, since i lost a friend in a tragic accident. as celery said, it's unpredictable. i may be on cloud nine one moment and the next i'm badly depressed. i cry a lot. it even happens on my workplace. i have to hide in the toilets to cry! i feel worthless, i'm not happy. people do not understand depression. most people will avoid the issue and think that yeah you just snap out of it! my mother thinks i act for want of attention and i'm really a mischievous bitch! sorry for dat word but dats what she thinks and it hurts. the worst thing about depression is dat feeling of intense rage towards yourself and sometimes i'm so angry dat i pull my hair. then i get very bad headaches.
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Old 05-31-15, 05:55 PM   #8
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I've been suffering from depression for a very long time. Since I was a teenager and I'm an adult now. It's the worst feeling. I feel like something dark is constantly choking me and won't let go making it hard to breathe. Depression makes me feel like everything is impossible and so difficult to achieve. It tells me I will not have any success in life and I won't get anywhere. It's just a really dark feeling. I've tried to escape it so many times mostly when I go on vacation. It's a shame no one else can truly understand it except others that suffer. And what happens after other people the people that you want to understand understands it? Does that help your depression will that make it go away? The good news is that eventually it will get better you just dont know when and it may be a long time. And if you want to stay alive then thats one step forward. Hang in there!
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Old 06-11-15, 10:10 AM   #9
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Please describe how you experience depression. Just about on a daily basis I try to fight off the negative feelings. Being alone, not feeling loved or needed.
How do you feel about depression? What is it like? I am mad that it has taken away my confidence in myself. I used to be a multi tasker and now if I get through the day without losing it, I have made my day.
What challenges do you experience? Are there particular symptoms? Crying and feeling of hopelessness.
How does depression affect your feelings and beliefs about yourself? I don't feel like I can have a positive future until I learn how to deal with depression.
How does depression affect your life? What life, I can't function in a job, I feel totally overwhelmed about everything.
How do other people understand your depression? My son has the same depression I do. My boyfriend is very supportive and has gone through depression before. Other people in my family don't really understand it.
Do you feel that others understand? Not really.
What is the worst thing about depression? No confidence in myself.
Do you have any stories that express your feelings/experience of depression? When my husband passed away ( this was my second marriage)my oldest son was by my side. I met and fell in love with A wonderful man that has become my provider emotionally and financially. Now my son has not talked to me in a year. I have one grand daughter (3 yrs old)and I'm not allowed to see or talk to her and I don't know why. I have been a good mother to my sons and this has been the hardest thing to handle. My youngest son is very supportive with my new life. I don't know how to get him back into my life. I try calling, texting and talking to his wife but she says she can't go against his wishes. How can this be.....I want to go back to work because my boyfriend works in another state and comes home on the weekends. I feel like I don't have much of a life. I have no confidence in my abilities anymore. I want my family back.
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Old 06-12-15, 06:24 PM   #10
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Thank you Amie for starting this thread. It was a great idea.
  • Please describe how you experience depression.
Low energy, physical pain, recurrent dark mood and thoughts, defeatist thinking, anger outbursts, low libido, no interest in life or hobbies or loved ones, binge eating.

I am also an existentialist - I look at the bigger, deeper meanings of life. Can't help it. Always been that way. And sometimes that can bring me really down into a dark pit. But conversely, it also cultivates my compassion and activism ... so it has its good points and not so good points.
  • How do you feel about depression? What is it like?
It used to feel very isolating until I found this website. But there is still an unjust stigma about depression in society. So I keep it hidden and feel like I'm living a double life; the outward self and the self who experiences depression.

It also feels like a heavy dark cloud that descends over me until the mood dissipates. It obscures my view of the sunny day and beautiful things around me. Which sucks. Cuz if I could see them, it would really help lift me out of the cloud.

Also, my depression can act as a truth-teller sometimes. It is the voice that alerts me when there is something in the world I'm really sad or mad about, like racism and war and government corruption.

And I feel deeply. Always have, always will. So I can fly up to the highest of highs ... but can also plummet into the darkest depths of human emotion. What can I say, I loved the roller coaster as a kid!
  • What challenges do you experience? Are there particular symptoms?
Having myalgic encephalomyelitis (aka chronic fatigue syndrome and fibromyalgia) and depression together seems to be a recurring pattern in research data about both diseases. Sometimes the ME symptoms bring on a depressed mood, and sometimes a depressed mood brings on a ME flare up.
  • How does depression affect your feelings and beliefs about yourself?
It makes me believe that I can never feel good again, and that I'm flawed genetically. It also makes me believe that I'm a burden to my husband and loved ones - so it diminishes the self esteem I work hard at to bring up. But the funny thing is, I keep doing the rebuilding self esteem work! A sucker for punishment I guess.
  • How does depression affect your life?
It mostly negatively impacts my social life. I wish I had more energize to socialize with the few friends I enjoy. Depression actually helps my creative life. I write and paint more powerfully when I'm depressed (once I drag my butt to the paper and paintbrush that is.)
  • How do other people understand your depression?
My few close friends understand that it is part of my make up and don't judge me for it. My husband is less supportive. He tends to avoid me when I'm in a depressed mood, which worsens my feelings of isolation and hurt. People at work likely see me as a moody coworker. Which is fine. I'd never tell them I have depression. I know there'd be negative judgement and stereotyping.
  • Do you feel that others understand?
the close friends do.
  • What is the worst thing about depression?
That it is still stigmatized in society. I think if there was more acceptance and understanding among others, I wouldn't feel so disempowered by it. We'd have more research and support and available options other than mostly just medication to nurture ourselves through the depression episodes.
  • Do you have any stories that express your feelings/experience of depression?
I don't know what this question means so I'll go look at others' responses. Thanks Amie!
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