What does depression feel like?
Last Updated: 12/20/2021 at 3:20am
★ This question about Depression was starred by a moderator on 5/12/2016.
Lauren Abasheva, LMHC
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A sex positive, and kink knowledgeable therapist with an open mindset and a clear understanding that we are all different.
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It feels like your head is burning in pain. You feel you wont ever be happy. The voices in your head take their toll, continously stabbing you with fear and negetivity. It seems like you are covered with huge painful bleeding scars that no one can see, so no one really understands the pain you are dealing with. Its hard to take life one day at a time. Your head weighs like a thousand tons. It always seems like you are running in circles, never getting anywhere. Lot of anger, lot of sadness. It seems like you are on fire and no one or nothing can put it out for long. You are always yearning for relief from it. Sometimes you feel chest pain headaches or break into sweat. You cry a lot. Or you stop feeling anything and become numb.You dont want to leave the house, anxiety wont let you. You want to be left alone. This is what it feels like and i havent even given a full account of it.
Depression can feel like a lot of different things. There are good days and bad days, the latter of which is usually accompanied with symptoms such as increased irritability, low self-esteem, low mood and low energy. There is no specific order in which these can appear. In severe cases of depression, a person can can have trouble with suicidal ideation. It feels different for every individual; a person with major depression might feel different to a person who has seasonal depression. These experiences of depression may also vary according to the extent depression is experienced, as there may be changes in the feelings associated with moderate depression and severe depression. Depression as a word can encompass many different things, such as poor mental health, a lengthy period of distress or a general low mood that has been present for a long time. Thus, it is important to note that depression is not just experiencing suicidal thoughts. There are many causes of depression (and many different types), some of these being hormone imbalances (common in young people), giving birth and substance abuse. In some cases, a good thing to do when experiencing symptoms of depression is to spend time with close friends/family members, as this can help to self-esteem as well as improving mood. Mental health care and medication can sometimes be forms of treatment (always check in with a doctor before taking medication).
It's like alternating between feeling stuck in the past and worrying about the future. Like feeling stupid for something you said, and ruminating in that, and then worrying about saying more stupid things the next time you have to go interact with people.
It's like drowning, it's like an addiction, you want to get out of it but at the same time you don't and it feels awful bc no one can understand you.
Its like being trapped in a mind where you are never happy and when you are it doesn't feel right. You get use to not being happy and learn to accept it.
Having Depression and Anxiety at the same time is like having no emotions and yet feeling everything at all. It's wanting to not care and isolate yourself but at the same time, it is worrying about many things and feelings around you. It's a constant battle of not caring and caring too much. It's a line of confusion and swirling void and it is a very thin line to cross. It is like being half-asleep and half-awake, you are trapped in limbo state and you don't know what to do anymore, you are just trapped in your mind: an ebbing vortex of both emptiness and loud voices. Depression and anxiety is almost like you are away from your body and you watch yourself slowly disintegrate and disappear in your own hands.
Having depression is like if there is another soul inside you who is doing its best to "kick out" the real you and take over control. No matter what you do or say - there's always depression knocking on your shoulder saying you're not good enough, not worth it, useless... It sucks, really. And in my case anxieties kicked in when depression had totally knocked me down. I became extremely scared and got anxious if I had to do all those normal things that I used to love before mental illness. All my days passed by, being in bed. Hardest part was my dad saying "you're just lazy", he didn't realize that I wasn't physically able to do any better because I was ill. I was left alone. It was devastating.
To have depression is to have no motivation; No motivation to wake up, no motivation to socialize, no motivation to live. It is a crushing weight that you just need some support to lift.
Depression is like going through life like you're trying to wade through water. Everything feels sluggish, slow, difficult, and if you make one wrong step you'll trip and drown. Anxiety is the feeling that rushes through your chest when you are about to miss a step on the staircase or you catch your foot on a crack in the pavement, and you think, for a moment, you are going to fall. it is that feeling, but constant.
Having depression and anxiety is very physically and emotionally draining. It feels like you lose your true self and no matter how hard you try you can't find who you once were.
Having depression and anxiety feels incredibly lonely. And the frustrating thing is that things that could help make things better (such being physically active, talking to someone, going out with friends) are so much more difficult to do when you feel depressed and anxious.
Depression is like being coated in a thick tar, which makes it difficult to do anything. It can be so difficult to even get up in the morning, let alone have the motivation to do anything with the day. The thought 'What's the point?' is one that regularly comes to mind, and your thoughts are automatically negative, even when you do not even realise it. Depression makes you feel really guilty. You don't do things, you know you should do things, but you can't. This makes you feel guilty, like you are wasting your life and just no good being around. Anxiety is feeling strange walking down the road, especially when someone walks past you. Do you look up? Do you look down? You became so self aware. It's avoiding situations and then feeling guilty because you did, but secretly relieved that you didn't have to do it. But then feeling bad again because you know it's not healthy to avoid situations. Anxiety is having a low comfort zone and sticking within it, but you don't really know why.
Having depression and anxiety at the same time is really hard. Having depression is like drowning in your problems, without being able to stop them. It's really hard and dessesperant, and it's one of the worst feeling ever. Having anxiety is very hard as well. It has a lot of physical symptoms and it can make your life as a living hell. The problem of having both disorders is that it can "drive you mad". When you have depression you don't feel like doing anything, you feel low, you feel sad. When you have anxiety you always feel like in a hurry, like if you were put under pressure. And having both is just very hard. There is a disorder called Mixed anxiety-depressive disorde, where both disroders are together.
It's having to stay in bed because you cant will yourself to move but freaking out at the thought of missing school or work. It's being stuck between not wanting to go to bed and not wanting to wake up. It's wanting to do so much but not being able to do anything. It's a lot of little things.
Well, that is something really hard to explain... I had depression and anxieties for over a year and it was really hard to get out of it. First of all, I would never cause something like that willingly to myself, so I like to call my depression "her" as if it is another person (Same with anxiety). It's just that whenever something happens, even if it is something good for you she finds a way to make you feel horrible about it. I know I didn't help much, but think of depression as a really big sea, and you, being there in the middle without knowing how to swim. At first you are confused, you don't know what is wrong, why this happened, and start questioning many things that have to do with you. Then once you start and learn how to swim, and feel kinda good, there comes a really huge wave. You start drowning, since your swimming is not good at all, and try to keep your head above the surface of the water, which can be REALLY hard at some times. You are struggling with the water. Then it calms down again until you manage to "swim" again. And again, there comes the next wave, and the story goes on and on. But I have to tell you, once you get out of it, the feeling is wonderful. You see the whole world with a new prespective, and you will understand easier whenever somebody else is going through something as well. Based on my experience, this is exactly how i would explain my depression and anxieties to anybody that never had any experience with that. I hope it helped :)
It is the biggest contradiction ever. You care too much, but you also don't care anymore. You don't know how to feel ever. You have two different sides of you trying to tell you what to do, and you never know which side to listen to.
It's like you lost something and you don't quite know what until one day you realize you lost yourself
when i am depressed I feel like I am dull my brain works slower, happiness is superficial, life becomes meaningless and when i am anxious i feel a heavy burden on my heart.
Depression to me is like drowning, while everyone else is breathing. It's also kind of like life in slow motion. It feels like being shackled and having no power or sense of existence. It's sort of identity crisis also. Who am I, and why am I alive? To me that is depression.
It's almost indescribable, the feeling as if something is literally weighing you down, you're tired and forcing a smile feels so painful. You think no one understands and you just want to isolate yourself so nothing happens to you.
When you are depressed you feel sad a lot, but it's not a "normal" sad, it's mor like a feeling depressed that you just can't get out of for that very moment. And Anxiety? Well,all day, every day, life is like this. Fear. Apprehension. Avoidance. Pain. Anxiety about what you said. Fear that you said something wrong. Worry about others' disapproval. Afraid of rejection, of not fitting in. Anxious to enter a conversation, afraid you'll have nothing to talk about.
It's very difficult. I have both depression and anxiety and it's not only hard on me, but anybody who I am around.
Depression is often referred to as a feeling of overwhelming sadness, and anxiety is referred to as a feeling of overwhelming fear. These descriptors aren't always accurate, however. Depression has many symptoms including numbness and lethargy, which can make it hard to feel any emotions at all, including sadness. Depression can also make someone lose their appetite, lose interest in activities they once enjoyed, and feel incredibly frustrated with themselves. Anxiety also has physical symptoms, including sweating and shortness of breath. People with anxiety may overthink even simple tasks, be overwhelmed by perfectionism, or feel inadequate. They may also develop fears of being judged by the people around them, even if there is no rational reason for doing so.
It's a feeling of isolation, discomfort and in some cases fatigue. Both have their own symptoms: depression is more personal, feeling like you don't matter or you're doing something wrong, even if you're not. Anxiety, on the other hand, is excessive self-awareness and being afraid of judgement, in addition to many more things.
For me anxiety led to depression, and they're feeding on each other. I get anxious over the most irrational things, thing unworthy of anxiety. I think this thought, and my rational brain tells me it's nothing to be anxious about. I try to figure out why I feel like I'm suffocating, and why I have this heavy weight on my heart, for something that is unworthy. Then I cant make sense of it, I get frustrated with myself, because I cant figure out why I feel this way. I then just leave the feeling to dwell inside me, and I continue to feel suffocated, and as if my heart is carrying a 100 kilogram weight around. Eventually, my mind goes blank, I simply stop thinking. I realise I'm not thinking then I try to figure things out from the beginning, and the circle begins again. I then usually decide to talk to my love, and since my anxiety affect my thoughts about my relationship with him, I start to get anxious about whether I'm driving him away with my irrational fears. Then I decide I'm not going to talk to him about it, because I don't want to hurt him. The thing is, he is the only one I have left to talk to, I have nobody else. I have no energy socializing. I start to get depressed and wonder: "What is wrong with me?." I am 16, I am exhausted, I can't talk to people because I'm exhausted. I think one thought, and my mind spirals. I don't know how to help myself, thus I become depressed. I want to have energy and enjoy my youth, instead I sit in physics and repeat to myself: "Breathe, breathe, it will be okay, just breathe." If it wasn't for my love who sat through all of this with my, I would've lost myself completely.
Believe me, it's hard. No one ever takes it seriously. No one understands. Even my parents and friends don't understand. People mistake you for so many things that you're not. It's hard. It's just really hard.
It feels like you can't breathe in a room full of people, because someone might stare at you fi you make the tiniest noise. You feel like everyone is always talking about you, even though they usually aren't. Depression is different for everyone, as is anxiety, but for me depression is the feeling of being utterly alone no matter what you do. Silently crying for help but no one cares. My anxiety is like the feeling you get when you begin the swift descent from the highest point of a roller coaster, and your body can't keep up.
Hard. Depression isn't caring about anything, and anxiety is caring too much about everything, so the two conflict a lot and it's hard to keep them in check. You'll skip a bunch of stuff, or neglect to do things like schoolwork or chores, and then a couple hours later, your anxiety will freak out, thinking of all the bad things that could happen because of the stuff you skipped.
It's knowing you have so many things to do and stressing over them but being physically and emotionally unable to get out of bed. So you sit there, heart thumping quickly thinking about those responsibilities but feeling like there's so many reasons why getting out of bed is bad or useless. You feel so useless and don't feel like you have a reason to live, and you're constantly torn between worrying about life and dreading life
Living with depression and anxiety is hard to do. I have dealt with it for the past two years. You feel hopeless and worthless like no one is there for you. You feel like you are in a dark world where no one understands you. Never forget that there is always someone there for you to talk to. We all have a purpose.
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