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How do you explain depression to people who have never experienced it?

27 Answers
Last Updated: 09/08/2020 at 8:52pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
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Monique Bivins, MA, LPC

Licensed Professional Counselor

I have a real passion for helping my clients to overcome life's obstacles . My work with clients is nonjudgmental, supportive, and interactive.

Top Rated Answers
September 28th, 2015 11:15am
I would tell them it's like having a black cloud over you. It's a cloud that never goes away no matter how much you want it to. You want to be happy, but you can't be because your head is clouded and you feel sad and don't know why.
March 3rd, 2015 9:14pm
Hyperbole and a Half has some great comics on depression that I feel are very accessible for people who aren't clear on what it is like: The Bloggess is another funny person online who writes about and deals with depression, though her stuff tends to be more long-format. I find that humor can be very effective in disarming the tension surrounding trying to explain something that is often difficult to explain!
May 29th, 2015 7:58am
Its like being stuck in a really dark whole that you can't see the light from. You can't see anything positive from it and its just horrible.
June 17th, 2015 4:07pm
It's something that has many forms and can impact on people in diffrent ways ! It can feel like the person with depression has no goals , motivation , will to live or any involvement with the community ...
July 27th, 2015 10:14am
Depression usually starts with even the smallest problems. Then after experiencing these problems, you will feel sad. And then all of the problems get on top of the other and you can't stop your emotions and it's driving you insane and you feel more and more sad. And at night, you can't help but to think of it over and over again and you feel worse. That's how it felt for me.. And sometimes, it get's too much and it's hard for me to handle it.
August 24th, 2015 4:30am
It is a feeling of loneliness, sadness lasting for more than a few hours, and a feeling of weakness.
September 8th, 2015 2:31am
Depression seems like a pit, it surrounds you and swallows you whole. It's the feeling of numbness where you don't feel happy or sad you just feel nothing. It makes you feel like there is something wrong with you and like nothing can be done. When really it can be helped, you just need to reach out.
November 23rd, 2015 1:52am
I normally say to keep it simple: A constant feeling of sadness or void, as if you were grieving, but permanently, sometimes without a explainable reason. Some days will be worse than others, but you always feel upset over something, with no clear way to solve it..
December 25th, 2015 7:47pm
Try to tell them that depression is like feeling sad all the time. It's like you just feel sad and cannot stop the feeling.
December 29th, 2015 1:19pm
Depression is being stuck inside a glass container where you're drowning and there are people outside just watching. You can't reach out to them. It sucks.
January 5th, 2016 10:51am
It is a little hard for me to believe that one has neva experienced depression, but he or ahe is lucky if so. It is state where one feels low, sad, loss or increase in appetite in an abnormal level, loss or increase of in an abnormal level, sudden fluctuations in weight, loss of energy, etc. In total you do nothing but cry, or feel sad.
April 11th, 2016 2:21am
I think depression is kinda like drowning but you look around and everyone else is fine but you aren't
June 14th, 2016 11:57am
It's not really something that can be "cured." It's something that can really weigh you down if you're trying to move forward. Something that develops in many age groups, even for children to teens. It's something that traps you if you struggle with it. Something hard to "escape." But, with self care and support, there is a way to move forward even with the weight of the world on your shoulders.
June 20th, 2016 4:03am
Feeling chronically tired without any cogent reason.Feeling suddenly overwhelmed by problems and challenges even though intellectually knowing that these could be solved by us easily.
July 12th, 2016 11:49am
Explain the best you can the feelings you tried when you were depressed and try to make them to feel these feelings and theirs. Use a lot of details and talk with a secure tone on voice, in a slow way. Feel yourself these feelings and try to help people to feel them too. You have to use a lot of empathy. Describe some situations and some personal feelings, it could help, but first of all, I think you have to trust each other.
July 18th, 2016 5:32pm
Depression is basically the art of depreciating our self worth, relations starting from something we shouldn't have paid too much reliance upon.
July 25th, 2016 5:21am
Imagine a dark cloud hanging over your life. Every where you go, its there. Everything you do, no matter how fun it is, there is always that dark cloud over your head. It never leaves from the moment you wake up to the moment you finally fall asleep. Its even there when you let out a forceful smile. That's depression.
January 3rd, 2017 5:57pm
I explain it like your life is on autopilot, you feel numb and have little energy and interest to do anything, you feel emotional constantly and want to cry.
September 5th, 2017 1:10am
It's like being in the middle of field in the dead of night, with no light to know how to get out of it, where to turn to or what to do.
January 1st, 2018 11:15pm
Well, to put it simply, I don't. Not really. Depression is overwhelming, when I'm in a low phase there's nothing I can do about how I feel, and it literally feels like my emotions, responses, everything are out of my control. The hard part is explaining how I feel, like I'm trapped in my body and nothing is happy.
January 2nd, 2018 9:04pm
The way i explain my own depression to people who haven’t experienced it as a drowning feeling, because that’s really what it feels like. Drowning but you know how to swim, but for some reason you’re not able to bring yourself to stop drowning. It feels like you’re watching yourself from outside of your body. it doesnt feel like you’re experiencing life in its entirety, just merely surviving.
February 19th, 2018 7:09pm
You can try describing what you feel, no one can know better than you what are you going trough and your feeling. You are your own safety, but you can ask for help to convince yourself of this!
April 23rd, 2018 4:53am
You can explain depression to people who never experienced it by telling them what it can do to that person emotionally and physically and the affects that can play a major part in their day to day life.
July 24th, 2018 5:01pm
You cant really explain it. Because it has no explanation, it doesn't have to have a reason. It just happens.
December 4th, 2018 1:55pm
Depression is like a never ending void into darkness that is extremely hard to find a way out of. When you finally do manage to pull yourself out of it you know it is going to come back someday and you dread it. It feels like a never ending path and sometimes you feel like you can't go on but you know that if you do keep fighting it one day you will overcome it and finally find a way out of it.
December 3rd, 2019 4:23am
Tell them it is like your emotions are still there- but not. They are absent in your life. Doing things you normally like will not make you happy anymore. Crying is not a thing you do because it’s hard to feel sadness when you merely feel numb to it all. It’s harder to go to sleep, easier to succumb to the “darkness” when you can’t feel anything. Sometimes, it make you more impulsive, other times it can make you not want to to anything. It can make you lie in your bed when you are supposed to be productive just because it whispers in your ear that it isn’t worth it. Depression isn’t fun.
September 8th, 2020 8:52pm
its like your head is being pushed under but others are cant hell. its like this const cloud over your head and it’s exhausting. you feel this constant pain all around you every day all the time. its very draining. you have absolutely no energy and it’s hard to do things that you even loved before or doing hobbies you have always loved. it constantly hurts. you don’t even want to talk to loved ones anymore because it just takes up so much energy you’re constanly on edge and you feel like everything’s going to collapse on you. its a constant uneasy feeling