Depression is a very common illness these days, but in spite of that fact, not many people seem to know how to deal with it when they see it in others. I have suffered from depression for most of my life, and I thought it might be helpful if I were to describe to you what it is like.
I don’t mean this as self-pity or as a see-how-I-suffer kind of post. What I want to do is to show you how depression feels from the inside to help you perhaps in your efforts to empathize with and assist someone in your life who suffers from it.
Depression, in the first place, makes you tired. Bone tired. No, more than that. It makes you tired from your very soul. Everything feels like an effort, and some things are so much of an effort that you just can’t bring yourself to do them.
Depression takes away joy. Should you ever chance to be happy for a little while, that happiness is destroyed by the knowledge that there is nothing but blackness and sorrow on the other side.
Depression can make nearly everyone an enemy. You think no one understands you and everyone imposes on you. You are smoldering inside because you know this is not the real you that other people are judging, and your anger displays itself in at least a hidden antipathy to those around you.
Depression takes away dreams. I don’t remember who said it, but there was a quote I heard once, the gist of which was that a healthy person has a thousand dreams, but the depressed person has one dream: to get well. This is so true.
Depression is your whole life. You cannot see beyond it. And what is worse is that it warps reality. You cannot see the world that a healthy person sees. Instead, you see life with a jaundiced eye. Whether this means cynicism, mistrust, gloom, or something else, the world you observe is colored by it. And the worst thing is that since you can’t rise above it, you don’t know what is real and what is not.
Depression is, in short, a terrible thing. If you have it, my heart bleeds for you. If you know someone who has it, I beg you to give him or her as much understanding as you can. Depression sucks the life out of its victims, and they need as much love as you are able to give.