I am no stranger to depression and I keep getting stuck in a loop that is so difficult to get out of. It comes to the point where I am jealous of those who haven't gotten the bitter taste of depression. The point of this post is not to define depression from scientific articles or from books. No, this post is about what depression is to me and I want people to understand what it feels like to be depressed. I'm gonna use the picture down below for help to illustrate it all, and that is simply because I can relate to most of it that the artist illustrated in the pictures. I began writing this post so much effort but as I sat down it felt like all of the things that I wanted to discuss just evaporated from my mind. I will do my best though, to write what I had originally intended for this post.
Depression is no easy task to go through and everyone takes it differently. Some do more exercises and others have their own ways getting happy. However, there are people that can completely shut down due to loss of that mental energy it can take to do something so simple. I am one of those who completely shut down because all my mental energy is just drained. This is exactly what depression does to me.
Depression is having the lack of energy to even do the simplest task in your daily life. Not even being able to get out of bed nor shower is an issue. I believe that many people would consider this just being lazy, but imagine that your whole body is filled with rocks and then you have to get out of bed and do stuff. Not that easy huh? Well, that is exactly what it feels like. You start to doubt your capability of being a normal human being. You start feeling weak because you can't just do simple stuff, and that makes you weaker than other people.
Depression is crying in the middle of the night, simply because you let your thoughts spiral down into this darker hole. The crying doesn't stop and no matter how much you scream into your pillow the pain of your thoughts just never leaves you alone. It will take some time for you to calm down, and maybe you have to watch a few animal videos before you're done crying, for now.
Depression is having a weird sleeping schedule where you sleep most of the time, only to make up and maybe eat or drink. There is a possibility that you have enough energy to get out of bed and take a shower for once. Maybe even change your pajamas for once and not have the same pj's you've worn for weeks now. All you can think about, in the end, is to fall back asleep where nothing (besides your dreams) can hurt you.
Depression is not being able to eat a proper meal without feeling bad about it. Some days you can't even bare yourself to get any type of food, maybe a piece of bread but that is pretty much about it. It can be some sort of punishment that you are not aware of, and that is what makes it so wrong. However, it's not always a mental punishment but it could be that you just don't have the energy to get out of bed and make something. Not even make a sandwich.
Depression is also eating too much because you find comfort in the food. You eat whatever you can get your hands on, you eat bigger portions than what you really need to eat and you just don't care about it. There is comfort in the food you're eating and that is all that matters.
Depression is feeling alone even though you have lots of friends to hang with. You wait next to your phone to get that text message that could save this whole day, but it never comes. Disappointment starts to creep on you and you throw your phone to a place where you can't hear it. You're screaming for people to contact you by distancing yourself to those around you, in hope they will hear your silent protest.
I know what you're thinking, lack of sleep + not eating =, of course, it doesn't give you much energy to do anything. However, I'm not talking about that kind of energy that you get from food nor sleep. When I say energy I mean the mental energy it takes to do something, and it's not being lazy. I wish people who'd never been depression understand that those who are depressed are not lazy, it's just really difficult to do something so simple.
So what can you do, as a friend or family member?
My advice to you would be that be there for them. Ask them how they are and if you are worried don't be afraid to contact their those who are closest to this person. As I grew up I had a friend that was suicidal and one night he said he had swallowed a bunch of pills. His parents weren't aware of this as no one was home, and they didn't even know that he was suicidal/depressed. I panicked as he got offline from MSN and so I ran into the living room where my mom and her friend was, crying and begging her to call his dad. Of course, this pissed my friend off and he wasn't friendly to me anymore. Although, this might have been the best decision I've done when I was 13/14. He's alive now and from what I've seen, he looks pretty happy with his significant other. Back then, I was a kid with some troubles and I thought I could save my friend from death by just talking. That wasn't the case at all, he needed help that I couldn't provide him. So I made the only decision I knew at that moment and that was to let his parents know that things weren't as they thought they were. Seems like he got the help he needed.
There are things in this world that we cannot change and we don't have all the powers in our hand to help everyone. That's why I want to encourage people to seek help. I'm at a point in my own depression, where I am recovering and it's easier to get out of bed now. For some, recovery might not be an option unless they get some professional help. I've never been to a therapist, although, my mother wanted to me go to my high school's counselor to get help when I was at my worst in high school. I never went because I dealt with it my own. However, if you feel like you need help, please make sure that you reach out. There are people in this world that could help you get better. It might take some time but it might just be worth it.
This post if out of my own perspective and we are our own with our own perspective on things. The way I've experienced depression may not correlate with your experiences, and that is okay. If they do correlate, I feel sorry for you and I hope you're doing okay.