When you hear that someone has depression, you expect them to be stuck in bed all day, crying, and being generally sad. You think that they won’t be able to get on with everyday life. Although this is a reality for some sufferers, it’s not what depression is for everyone.
This illness can be subtle and silent. Sometimes you won’t even be able to see it in someone who’s standing right in front of you. This is what depression really looks like.
It’s Feeling Nothing
Anything that used to bring you joy is now just a chore. Nothing is exciting or fun. Even if you loved to paint, play music, or play sports, you don’t feel anything when you do those things anymore.
Even going out to see friends is mentally draining. When you’re all together, it feels like you’re not even there, that your mind is somewhere else. You could be somewhere amazing, doing something that you once loved, but it just seems tiring.
Depression is feeling empty inside. You know that you’re alive but you don’t feel like you are. Nothing could happen that would phase you. You’re a ghost inside a shell, going through everyday routines, waiting for it all to end.
It’s Being Alone
In a crowded room, all you see is shapes and faces. It feels like there isn’t really anyone with you. You’re all alone with no way to reconnect with civilization again. All you have is yourself and your thoughts.
Depression is a struggle. You feel like you’re alone in your battle, fighting a war every single hour of the day with no allies. Your thoughts tell you that you can never reach out for help, that no one understands, and that no one is even listening.
It’s Feeling Lost
Sure, everyone feels a little lost sometimes. With time and determination, that goes away for most people. If you have depression, that feeling never goes away. There’s nothing that you can do to stop it and no path that you can take to get yourself back on track.
Depression is being lost in the world around you. You never know where you’re going or how to get there. You’ve found yourself trapped in a maze of isolation and despair. The worst part is that you have no idea how to find the exit and there’s no map to get you there.
Time and time again you try to turn your life around. You try to take a certain route or follow along with what everyone else is doing. No matter what you do, it’s all meaningless. You can’t find yourself. You’ve lost who you are.
This is What it’s Not
Depression is not just feeling sad all the time. It’s not lying in bed all day and crying uncontrollably. Sufferers may feel isolated, but they do not always isolate themselves from the world. People with depression are not insane. They are not unstable or inhuman.
The picture that we generally see of a depressed person is not always reality. Depression is so much more and goes so much deeper. It’s a mixture of desperate apathy, darkness, and isolation. It’s not knowing how it happened to you, why it happened, or if it will ever get better. This illness has so many different faces and can’t be expected to fit a mould every time.
If you suffer from depression, know that the way you feel is valid. Just because you don’t spend all day motionless in a corner doesn’t mean that what you’re feeling isn’t real. You deserve to be heard and to heal.
Share your experiences with depressions with us or share this article with someone who’s suffering. You are not alone.